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Malaysian Armed Forces’ Presence In Lebanon Warmly Welcomed By Its People

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PORT DICKSON – The presence of Malaysian armed forces personnel under the Malaysian Battalion (Malbatt) 850-1 in Lebanon while on a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) mission was much welcomed by the Lebanese, thus easing their duties there.

Malaysian Armed Forces acting chief, General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor said as a result, channelling and delivery of information had been good as there was direct communication.

“This is important as other areas were outside Malbatt 850-1’s watch and outside Unifil control. However, the preparedness of the Malbatt 850-1 members was vital in handling any problem that occurred there.

“The level of cooperation with the local residents was very good and I am impressed and proud of the achievement,” he said at a news conference after a parade and conferment of the United Nations National Service (PNBB) medals on the recipients, here, today.

He said although there were cultural differences, the Malaysian military personnel were well accepted in Lebanon.

“When I went there with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, the reception from the Lebanese was beyond expectations. For instance, when the minister’s car stopped by the roadside and came out of the car, the residents also got out of their cars to welcome him.

“So I feel that our armed forces are the best as they are able to shoulder well the responsibilities entrusted to them and this has been acknowledged by Unifil itself,” he said.

At the ceremony, 844 Malaysian military personnel comprising 76 officers and 768 of other ranks on the Malbatt 850-1 mission led by Colonel Arman Rumaizi Ahmad received the PNBB medals, besides four officers and 18 members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

The presentation of the medals was in recognition of their successful  mission under Unifil in Lebanon for 12 months from Oct 26, 2011, and also held in conjunction with the dissolution of Malbatt 850-1 and removal of the UN blue berets from the battalion members. – BERNAMA

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