LUMUT – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government would continue assisting the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) develop as a credible force which the country could be proud of.
He said the government needed to provide equipment which could modernise the RMN to achieve a high level of preparedness and be battle-ready.
“Whatever we do for the welfare of RMN staff and to build its capabilities are definitely appropriate and worthy,” he said after performing isyak and tarawih prayers at the An-Nur Mosque at the RMN base, here, Sunday night.
The prime minister also congratulated the RMN team for its success in recapturing the tanker, MT Orkim Harmony, which was hijacked by pirates recently.
Najib said he understood the responsibilities and duties borne by RMN personnel to ensure the nation’s security and peace.
“I am also aware that your responsibilities are very heavy, regardless of the day and time. Perhaps other people can be with their families during Ramadan and Hari Raya, but some of you will definitely be at the frontline performing your duties.
“I fully understand the feelings of your beloved wife and children who cannot celebrate with their husband and father because they have to be on duty so that the people can live in peace and sleep well.
“This is what is meant by the price of peace, and we have to pay this price and you are willing to pay this price for the sake of 28 million Malaysians,” he said.
The prime minister also announced an allocation of RM8.5 million to redevelop the An-Nur Mosque at the Lumut naval base.
“In appreciation of your contributions to the country and people, tonight and in this holy month, I feel it is most appropriate for me to announce the approval (of the allocation) to redevelop the RMN mosque to have a larger capacity to accommodate more people, from 3,000 to 5,000, as well as to beautify the mosque so that you can pray in greater comfort,” he said.
RMN deputy chief, Vice-Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin in his speech said on behalf of the security force, he thanked the government for the special aid of RM500 given to civil servants in conjunction with the coming Hari Raya festival.
“We will hold strong to the oath of loyalty to the country and government elected by the people, and this oath is not a political oath but an oath to protect the rights of the people through the system of parliamentary democracy.
“As a force which has been entrusted to protect the peace and sovereignty of the country, we will continue carrying this responsibility till the last drop of our blood,” he said.
Some 3,000 RMN personnel took the opportunity to perform the isyak and tarawih prayers with the prime minister.
This was followed by a moreh meal, where the prime minister took the opportunity to give his message to the RMN staff. Earlier, Najib was welcomed on arrival at the mosque by Ahmad Kamarulzaman, the formation commanders, senior RMN officials and other personnel.
Earlier, Najib attended a “buka puasa” (breaking of fast) with the people at Masjid Afifah Batu 3, Segari.
He arrived at the mosque grounds at 7.05pm and was welcomed by about 1,000 residents, with some taking the opportunity to take photographs with the prime minister.
Also present were Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.