KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu expressed his appreciation for the sacrifices of a Malaysian battalion serving as peacekeepers in Lebanon, hailing them for their selfless service abroad even as their country began celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitiri today.

Along with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Mohamad visited the Malaysian Battalion 850-6 (Malbatt 850-6) serving under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, in conjunction with the first day of the Muslim festival.

The battalion’s general communications officer Major Muhammad Azemy Dulhani said the ministers also brought with them bags of festive goodies during the event, courtesy of the Armed Forces of Malaysia.

“The contribution, no matter its size or value, was a source of joy for the officers and troops marking Aidilfitri in Lebanon,” he said in a statement.

Traditional fare including dodol, lemang and ketupat were also served, prepared by elements from the Royal Service Corp under the leadership of Major Ridzuan Norman.

“The event also saw video recordings of Hari Raya wishes from the Defence Ministry family and the delegates present being played, as well as speeches from every element in Malbatt 850-6)

“Commanding officer Colonel Azhan Md Othman said he was touched to see greetings from his family, especially from his mother,” said Azemy.

The visit of Mohamad and Lim was also accompanied by Deputy Chief of the Army Lieutenant Gen Datuk Hasgaya Abdullah, Defence Intelligence director-general Lieutenant Gen Datuk Sheikh Mokhsin Sheikh Hassan and Joint Forces commander Major Gen Datuk Zulkapri Rahamat.