Saudi Arabia will be upset with anti-terror centre’s closure, Najib laments

Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to reporters at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 7, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to reporters at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 7, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the cancellation of the Saudi Arabia-backed King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) by Putrajaya would offend the kingdom.

“It’s not something we planned. It was really planned by the Saudi government, by King Salman himself. That’s why it was named after him,” Najib told reporters at the Parliament lobby here.

“They chose Malaysia, compared to many other nations. So we are rejecting help from Saudi, a nation that has a very good relationship with Malaysia.

“They are good to us, and we get good treatment and much special considerations from them. They will be disappointed,” he added.

The project was originally planned to be developed in Putrajaya, by then Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said yesterday that the government has decided to end KSCIP’s operations here.

Mohamad reportedly said the Malaysia Institute of Defence and Security (Midas), an agency under his ministry, would assume the roles and KSCIP, to keep extremism in-check.

In November last year, then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein defended the setting up of the KSCIP in Putrajaya, against its detractors who were concerned that Malaysia might have painted a bull’s-eye on itself for the Islamic State (IS) terror group.