KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 (Bernama) — Malaysia maintains a neutral stand in the crisis involving Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the presence of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) in Saudi Arabia was only to focus on evacuating Malaysians from restive areas.
“MAF personnel are still there but only to evacuate Malaysians from areas of conflict.
“Our assets there are not capable of offensive action. The twisting of facts by the foreign media is irresponsible and unfounded,” he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Mujahid Yusof (Amanah-Parit Buntar) on media reports which said Malaysian forces were assisting Saudi Arabia’s military operation in Yemen.
Hishammuddin said there were still 89 MAF officers and two Charlie C-130 transport planes in Saudi Arabia.
He said the team was designated to the Saudi Arabian border area and to focus solely on its evacuation programme.
Hishammuddin said that so far 673 Malaysians had been brought home from the crisis-ravaged region.
“As of January this year, almost 500 Malaysians were still in Yemen and we are committed to protecting our citizens there,” he said.