KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian Armed Forces is prepared to head to the Middle East if its services are needed there following the US government’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.
The US recognition as announced by the Trump administration had drawn widespread condemnation from the Muslim world, including Malaysia which has long been sympathetic to Palestine which has been engaged in a decades-long conflict with the Zionist regime of Israel.
“We were shocked earlier this week with the worrisome news that would affect global geopolitical stability.
“We are ready for any orders from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, should our services be needed,” Hishammuddin, who is also defence minister, said in his winding-up speech at the 71st Umno general assembly that ends today.
He also called on Malaysians to remember and show appreciation for the servicemen who are also frontliners when natural disasters strike.
He pointed out that soldiers have been rescuing people in several flooded states.
“As of 12pm today, our soldiers have extended humanitarian help in Kota Setar, Kedah, Raub, Pahang, and in Kemaman, Terengganu. This is their sacrifice,” Hishammuddin said.
He then took a swipe at the Pakatan Harapan federal Opposition alliance, accusing some of their leaders of making light of the servicemen’s contributions during the 2013 Lahad Datu incursion and more recently, last month’s floods in Penang.
“Sadly, last month in Penang, there were certain individuals who tried to deny the contributions and hard work of the safety personnel solely due to their political agenda.
“It is true that our military personnel were mobilised earlier to help the flood victims, even before the planned video that was spread by Lim Guan Eng,” Hishammuddin said, referring to the Penang chief minister and secretary-general of the DAP.