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Minister: No military obligation in Saudi anti-terror coalition

 | December 15, 2015

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says Malaysia will work with 34 other coalition members to combat militancy in its own way.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s participation in a coalition of 34 Islamic nations to combat terrorism does not involve any military commitment from Malaysia, said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today.

Earlier today, news agency SPA reported that Saudi Arabia had announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism.

Countries such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan among others were reported to be part of the coalition.

Hishammudin said Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Minister of Defence Mohammad Salman told him that prior to this, all the countries in the coalition had taken a stand against the Islamic State but in their own capacity.

“The Saudi initiative does not involve any military commitment, but an understanding that we will combat militancy.”

“It is a good start and I told the Deputy Crown Prince that this has always been our stand and Asean’s too,” he said adding this was why it was not peculiar to be part of the initiative.

On the special court to try individuals suspected of involvement with militants or terror groups, Hishammuddin said he was all for it.

Prime Minister Najib Razak had said on Saturday that the special court could even hold proceedings at night.

According to Hishammuddin, the matter had been discussed in principal at a recent National Security Council meeting and that a dedicated court would ensure such trials were fast-tracked.

“The Islamic State threat is real and we have to be proactive, we cannot let these militants out of our sight.”


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