Hishammuddin hints at revival of King Salman Peace Centre

Former prime minister Najib Razak with Saudi monarch King Salman Abdul Aziz in May 2017. The then government had offered a piece of land in Putrajaya for the proposed King Salman Centre for International Peace. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s remarks at the Dewan Rakyat today suggest the possibility that the King Salman Centre for International Peace here may be revived.

He said Putrajaya’s ties with Saudi Arabia had improved again after Perikatan Nasional took over and that the matter was under the defence ministry.

He added that he would continue talks with Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the way forward regarding this.

However, Kasturi Patto (PH-Batu Kawan), said Saudi Arabia, which wants to set up the peace centre, had attacked Yemen which had been devastated by a civil war, with thousands of casualties and thousands more facing malnutrition.

“It is a bit of an irony to talk about peace,” she said.

Hishammuddin Hussein.

Hishammuddin replied that the peace centre was to counter terrorism and that it was part of a two-way relationship, especially on security.

He further said Malaysia was the first country King Salman visited during his trip to South East Asia during the Barisan Nasional era.

“We were offered to have the centre as compared with other countries. That is a recognition to Malaysia,” he said.

In August 2019, the PH government ordered the immediate closure of the Saudi-backed anti-terrorism centre which was launched in 2017.

Hishammuddin also spoke on a recent repetition of a claim by the Philippines on Sabah, categorically stating that Sabah was and would remain a part of Malaysia.