KUALA LUMPUR — He is a man of vast experience with proven capabilities and who has helped the government and country.
Such were the accolades heaped on Defence Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein following his appointment as minister with special functions in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“Hishammuddin has also done a lot in terms of bringing in foreign investments, which include Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco investing US$7 billion (RM30.8 billion) in the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) within the Pengerang Integrated Complex project in Johor,” Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said in supporting the prime minister’s announcement on the appointment.
“Hishammuddin’s new portfolio suits him well because of his vast experience and proven capabilities,” he said after the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative which promotes the Malaysia-China Cultural and Arts Year.
“Hishammuddin is friends with a Saudi prince and he was instrumental in convincing the prince that investing in the RAPID project would be a worthwhile opportunity not to be missed, apart from dealing with him on other matters as well,” Liow said.
He added he believes Hishammuddin’s new portfolio would allow him to help the government address many other matters, hence the reason he was confident the new portfolio suited Hishammuddin, and he did not see why there should be any speculation.
On another matter, Liow said Malaysian drivers should adhere to traffic rules and regulations after the Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS) was fully implemented yesterday.
AWAS is an integration of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) and Demerit Points System (Kejara) which aims to weed out habitual traffic offenders.
Meanwhile in Kluang, the King Salman Centre for International Peace to be set up in the country has been described as the right move to help Muslim countries change the perception of the world community towards Islam.
“Efforts to correct the perception of Islam is important with various threats facing the world, including Daesh, as it not only requirse military force but also a counter-narrative strategy,” Hishammuddin told Bernama.
“The selection of Malaysia as the location for the centre by Saudi Arabia reflected the confidence of the Arab country towards Malaysia as a Muslim country which practised moderation, he said when met after opening the group meeting of the Felda Kahang Timur and Felda Ulu Dengar Umno branches yesterday.
“(Advisor to the Saudi Arabia King) Sheikh Dr Mohamed Abdul Kareem Al-Issa said they could have chosen other countries that are richer, bigger and more developed, but they chose Malaysia because they see Malaysia portraying the true image of Islam, which is moderate, tolerant, loving and peaceful in the world, at a time when Islam is seen in a prism that is very saddening,” the defence minister said.
“The detailed information on the centre will be announced during a visit by the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Salman to Malaysia soon,” he added.