Malaysian soldiers on peacekeeping mission in Lebanon will not be recalled, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said. (pix by HAZREEN MOHAMAD)

PORT DICKSON: Malaysian soldiers on peacekeeping mission in Lebanon will not be recalled, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.

The 850-member Malaysian Battalion (Malbatt) 850-5 who are serving under the United Nations Interim Force peacekeeping mission will remain in Lebanon, where tensions are high because of a standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri had also announced his resignation last week stoking feas of escalating tensions in the region.

Hishammuddin said the ministry is following the development in the republic closely to ensure the safety of Malbatt 850-5 members who were sent for the mission in Sept this year.

“A day after Saad announced his resignation, Armed Forces Chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor had contacted our Malbatt commander in Lebanon to get details on the current situation in the republic.

“At the moment the situation is under control and there are no circumstances or suspicious incidents reported so far,” he said.

Hishammuddin added, the ministry will continue to monitor the situation in Lebanon on a daily basis.

He said this after launching the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM)-Celcom special call and data packages (TigaTiga package) and Deepavali celebration at Army Basic Training Centre (Pusasda) here.

The package is part of the latest initiative taken by the ministry under its charity principal aimed at alleviating the cost of living faced by servicemen and veterans, especially in the telecommunications related matters.

On another issue Hishammuddin reiterated the federal government and armed forces sprung into action when the massive floods struck Penang on Nov 4.

“Together with the Armed Forces Chief, I personally went to Penang to check on the flood situation there. I am proud to say that the army went beyond what was expected of them by assisting victims even before instructions were given out.

“They had done their best regardless of the political affiliation, race and religion,” he said.

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