MARAKAH (Lebanon), July 16 – Paying tribute to the courage and sacrifice of Malaysia’s Malbatt 850-1 personnel, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said they are contributing to peace efforts in a world that is increasingly marked by hatred, violence and oppression.
The Malaysian Defence Minister said their role in the peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) had drawn glowing feedback from the relevant parties.
He said fairness, sincerity, discipline and professionalism were viewed as attributes that worked in favour of the Malaysian peacekeeping force, as well as their ability to interact with locals with a human touch.
“Only God knows how proud I am of all of you,” he said at a breaking of the fast organised in conjunction with his visit to Marakah Camp which also serves as the headquarters of Malbatt 850-1, here Tuesday. Hishammuddin had stated similar sentiments at an earlier press conference with the Malaysian media covering his visit to southern Lebanon.
Hishammuddin noted that the challenges he faced in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 could not compare with what the Malaysian Armed Forces personnel had to contend with in Lebanon.
“What’s on the line here is your life, your blood and sweat. I’ve been told of inspiring stories that could not be evaluated in material terms,” he said. As part of the visit, Hishammuddin also toured two other facilities under Malbatt 850-1, namely Tibnin and Shamrock Camps. He handed out Hari Raya goodies to Malbatt 850-1 troops, performed tarawih prayers with them and took part in dodol and lemang making events.
Hishammuddin also inaugurated the 1Malaysia Monument at the grounds of the Marakah Camp. The Malaysian Armed Forces’ involvement in Unifil began in 2007 following a 34-day conflict between Hezbollah fighters and Israel Defence Force between July and August 2006. The conflict ended with the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which, among others, called for the world body to send in peacekeeping troops.