Malaysia Proposed Asean Members Move As Team In Undertaking Peacekeeping Mission

From Abdul Muin Majid

MARAKAH (Lebanon) July 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has proposed that Asean members move as a team in undertaking endeavours such as peacekeeping missions as well as humanitarian work under the banner of the United Nations (UN).

In making the suggestion, Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the cooperation between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam's defence forces in Malbatt 850-1 peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon could serve as an example and be further fleshed out in the context of Asean.

He said this matter was worth pursuing in conjunction with Malaysia's chairmanship of Asean in 2015 and the possibility of the country being picked as one of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

"It will be a golden opportunity (to realise this objective) but we must lay the ground work this year," he told reporters during his maiden visit to Malbatt 850-1 headquarters at Marakah Camp here Tuesday.

Hishammuddin said in forging such close cooperation, Asean could leverage on its diverse strengths and show the world that there was strength in diversity.

Noting that diversity could lead to divisiveness, killings and oppression for whatever reasons in some parts of the world, Hishammuddin said this should not be the case for Asean which cherished values such as tolerance and understanding.

Malbatt's 850 members includes over 20 personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

Hishammuddin three-day morale-boosting visit to Malbatt 850-1, which comes under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil), coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Besides Marakah, he is scheduled to visit two other camps under Malbatt, namely Tibnin and Shamrock.

He is expected to break fast with Malbatt 850-1 members, whose stint under Unifil is from Oct 23, 2013, until Sept 28, 2014, and present Aidilfitri goodies to them ahead of the celebration at the end of this month.

Resulting from the amalgamation of Malbatt and Malcoy in July 2013, Malbatt 850-1 peacekeeping mission in Lebanon is placed under Unifil's Western Sector.


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