God, King and Country

The close and personal relationship between Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and His Majesty King Salman Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid of with the kick off pf the pilot project of immigration clearance for Hajj pilgrims at source, instead upon arrival.

New Straits Times story:

 

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi conduct checks on the new POC system at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Malaysian haj pilgrims will be the first in the world use the Proof of Concept (POC) system for pre-clearance at the point of departure to Saudi Arabia. Pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

SEPANG: Malaysian haj pilgrims will be the first in the world use the Proof of Concept (POC) system for pre-clearance at the point of departure to Saudi Arabia.

The POC system enables immigration checks on Malaysian pilgrims to be done at the point of departure in Kuala Lumpur, instead of upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said this initiative will eliminate the need for long queues by pilgrims at immigration points in Saudi Arabia, as experienced in the past.

The system, he said, would also benefit the pilgrims by freeing up more time for them to perform their ‘ibadah’.

“Saudi Arabia’s immigration authorities have been working closely with ELM Saudi Arabia, a Saudi based company, and Xybase Sdn Bhd, a local company, to implement the POC system in phases.

“The Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been chosen as the pilot site.

“All immigration processes will be done here in KLIA by Saudi immigration officers before the pilgrims’ departure.

“With the implementation of the POC, our pilgrims can go straight to the luggage area (upon arrival in Saudi Arabia) and they do not have queue up at the immigration counter. It will help them save time,” he said.

He said the POC trial system will be operating for the next four days, starting today.

This project will involve the last few flights of Tabung Haji pilgrims, beginning with Malaysia Airlines charter flight MH8146 ferrying 287 pilgrims.

Also present at the event was Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali.

Abdul Azeez said the pilot project was initiated thanks to Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak strong relationship with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“We should be grateful and honoured with this new National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative by our government with the Saudi government,” he said.

Abdul Azeez said at the completion of the trial period, the Transport Ministry will provide its feedback to the Saudi government.

“We are hoping for the POC system to be permenantly implemented, subject to the Saudi government’s approval,” said Abdul Azeez.

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This is a landmark relationship and confidence between leaders which is benefitting the citizens, where upon full implementation would shortened time and provide more convenience for Hajj pilgrims from Malaysia to by-pass the congestion at arrival either Jeddah or Medinah international airports.

Two million of international pilgrims made the way for the annual fifth tenet of Islam.

King Salman did his landmark visit on 25 February 2017, which fortified the close relationship between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, which an extension of the previous King’s visit 11 years ago.

It demonstrated the intimate personal relationship between His Majesty King Salman and Prime Minister Najib.

Reuters story:

Malaysia rolls out red carpet as Saudi king kicks off Asia tour

KUALA LUMPUR/DUBAI (Reuters) – Malaysia welcomed Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday for the start of a rare, month-long Asian tour, where the monarch will build ties and seek to draw more investments to the oil-rich gulf nation.

The visit is the first by a Saudi king to Malaysia in more than a decade, as the Arab nation courts Asian investors for the sale of a 5 percent stake in state firm Aramco in 2018, expected to be the world’s biggest IPO.

Malaysian state television on Sunday showed live footage of the octogenarian king descending from his plane on an escalator flown in with his delegation. He was received by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak before being whisked away in a heavily guarded convoy for a state ceremony at Malaysia’s parliament grounds.

The leader was greeted in parliament with a 21-gun salute, local media reported.

King Salman also plans to visit Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan “to meet with the leaders of those countries to discuss bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common concern,” a royal court statement carried on Saudi Arabia’s state media SPA reported.

Government sources with knowledge of the visit said a 600-strong delegation will accompany the king on his four-day visit to Malaysia, where cooperation on energy developments will be on the agenda.

State oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco will sign an agreement on Tuesday to collaborate in Malaysia’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, a boost for the Southeast Asian economy which has been reeling under weak global oil prices.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman inspects an honour guard at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia February 26, 2017.Edgar Su

Relations between the two countries have been in the spotlight over the last two years after Saudi Arabia was dragged into a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at Malaysian state fund 1MDB, founded by Najib.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing in the money-laundering case which is now being investigated by several countries including the U.S, Switzerland and Singapore.

A Malaysian government inquiry found that nearly $700 million transferred to the Prime Minister’s bank account in 2013 was a donation from the Saudi royal family and most of it was returned.

The last time a Saudi king visited Malaysia was in 2006, when King Abdullah, King Salman’s half-brother and predecessor, flew in with a 300-member delegation.

“Saudi Arabian investment in Malaysia is expected to create thousands of jobs and we are proud that Malaysian firms have been chosen to undertake projects at some of the most prestigious locations in Saudi Arabia,” Najib said in a statement on Friday.

Besides traveling with his own private escalator, King Salman has also flown in two personal cars. His entourage has also completely booked out three luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur for the duration of the visit.

After Malaysia, the King is expected to travel to Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia from March 1-9 with an even larger entourage of 1,500 people, followed by a trip to Japan from March 12 to 14, officials in those countries said.

King Salman is expected to spend the last two weeks of March on holiday in the Maldives, according to a Maldives diplomat. Local newspaper Mihaaru reported that three resorts have been reserved for his stay.

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On top of the close diplomatic, commercial, military, administrative, monarchy and religious relationship, there is a progression of the close cultural an civilisation relationship between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Both nations are partners in the commitment to the promotion of global understand and peace of Islam and Muslims.

Prime Minister Najib also offered a 16 ha land in Putrajaya for the King Salman Centre, an institution incepted to promote the global understanding of Islam and Muslims. Islam means Peace.

 

The Star story:

Sunday, 9 July 2017 | MYT 5:33 PM

Najib: 16ha land in Putrajaya allocated for King Salman Centre

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/07/09/09/40/najibsalman-bernama-220517.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=78C53410288139D8B66FDCCCE180CF0A061B2226

A file picture of Najib (left) and King Salman during his visit to the Saudi kingdom in May this year. - Bernama

A file picture of Najib (left) and King Salman during his visit to the Saudi kingdom in May this year. – Bernama

PEKAN: A permanent structure for the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) will be built on a 16ha piece of land in Putrajaya, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the matter was decided after a discussion with assistants to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman who visited his official residence in Putrajaya, Saturday night.

“The construction of KSCIP in Putrajaya reflects the importance of the institution, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself will come to Malaysia to launch the centre together with me.

“This is because King Salman could have chosen any other country to build the centre, but the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chose this country,” he said at an Aidilfitri open house hosted by him and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar here Saunday, which was attended by more than 50,000 people.

The KSCIP currently operates from Kuala Lumpur, and the Government has been given two years to build the new centre, which is a brainchild of King Salman aimed at deflecting the influence of extremism and terrorist activities, as well as promoting universal peace.

Najib also urged the people not to be angry and critical about what the Government had done for the country, as it was only for their own wellbeing.

“What we do has earned praise and recognition from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

“That’s why it’s not true if the Opposition says that the country is a failed state and needs to be saved. In fact, we have been safe and successful, as well as commended by foreign countries.

“For those who say that the country needs to be saved…even our leaders in the past had never received such acclaim from that country (Saudi Arabia), so there is no need to ‘save’ Malaysia,” he said.

On Saturday’s meeting, Najib confirmed that the additional Haj quota given by the Saudi Arabian government to Malaysia would be maintained, and talks on the construction of two Tabung Haji complexes in Makkah and Madinah were still underway.

Najib, who is also Pekan MP, said that if the complexes were built, it would help reduce the cost of Malaysians performing the Haj in the future.

Najib also said that the government had spent RM3bil on five Aidilfitri aid packages throughout the month of Ramadan, benefiting 9.6 million people.

“Among the assistance given were in the form of rice aid to civil servants and pensioners, dividends to smallholders, the second stage of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) given to seven million recipients, as well as Raya incentives.

“These are part of our efforts, which not only focus on physical development, but also the welfare of the people. Before, people used to say that Government assistance was only for non-domestic purposes, but now, we even provide assistance for the household kitchens,” he said.

Najib also hit out at the Opposition for playing up the sentiment of Malaysia being a failed state because, according to him, the Government had strived to the best of its ability to ensure that Malaysia was on the right track.

As proof, the Prime Minister referred to the 5.6% economic growth rate in the first quarter of 2017 and exports surging to RM80bil, which was unprecedented in the country’s history while the price of oil in Malaysia was the 10th cheapest in the world.

“Therefore, we should feel grateful and if we continue to give support and encouragement to the Government, I believe we can chart a brighter future for our country,” he said. – Bernama

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/07/09/najib-16ha-land-in-putrajaya-allocated-for-king-salman-centre/#35oGyFcRX3WsyioB.99

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On the same note, His Majesty’s Navy previewed its latest warship the Gowind Littoral Class Ship named ‘KD Maharaja Lela’, designed and built by Boustead Naval Shipyard in collaboration with DCNS.

In the tradition of navy inherited from the Royal Navy, she was launched by female member of the monarchy. HRH Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Zara Salim of Perak honoured Royal Malaysian Navy’s most sophisticated surface warship at Lumut Naval Base, Perak.

IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly story:

Malaysia names and launches first Littoral Combat Ship

23 August 2017

Key Points

  • Malaysia has named and launched the country’s first Littoral Combat Ship
  • Platform will provide the Royal Malaysian Navy with all-round offensive capabilities against air, surface, and underwater threats

Malaysia's first-of-class Littoral Combat Ship, Maharaja Lela, just prior to its launch on 24 August 2017 (Royal Malaysian Navy)Malaysia’s first-of-class Littoral Combat Ship, Maharaja Lela, just prior to its launch on 24 August 2017 (Royal Malaysian Navy)

Malaysia’s Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) has launched the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

The vessel, which has been given the pennant number 2501, was launched on 24 August at BNS’ facility in Lumut by the Queen of Perak, Zara Salim. In attendance at the launching ceremony was the Sultan of Perak Nazrin Muizzudin Shah, Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, and RMN Chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.

Just prior to its launch, the queen also revealed that the warship will be known in service as KD Maharaja Lela , named after the 19th century anti-British Malay nationalist who was executed by the colonial government in 1877.

Maharaja Lela is the first of six LCS platforms ordered under a MYR9 billion (USD2.1 billion) contract awarded to BNS in July 2014, and was laid down in March 2016. According to specifications provided by the RMN, the 3,000-tonne LCS platform features an overall length of 111 m, an overall beam of 16 m, and a hull draught of 3.85 m.

The warship, which derives its design from French shipbuilder Naval Group’s Gowind 2500 corvette, has been incorporated with reduced radar cross section (RCS), acoustic, infrared (IR) and magnetic signatures for a stealthier disposition. It has a crew complement of 118 including 18 officers, and can accommodate one helicopter on its flight deck.

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The first Gowind LCS warship is named after Dato’ Maharaja Lela, the second tier Perak nobleman who was responsible for the opposition against British intervention into the state’s wealth.

He was found guilty for the assassination of British Resident James W. W. Birch on 2 November 1975. He was tried by the British and hanged near Taiping on 20 January 1877.

The other glaring story about the royals is HRH Sultan Ibrahim of Johor took a swipe against Minister of Youth and Sports YB Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Johor Sultan slams Khairy, calls for polo match

Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/johor-sultan-slams-khairy-calls-for-polo-match#4o0k38wJBJ6Ok8LD.99

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar accused Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today of trying to claim credit for Malaysia’s win against Singapore in the SEA Games polo tournament.

It is unclear as to what had prompted his salvo against the Umno Youth chief, but the Johor ruler took to Facebook to slam the federal minister, accusing him of ordering a player to fake injury so he could play at the last minute and appear as the leading man of the moment.

“Today they played against Singapore. When the team was already winning, he came on and asked the performing player to pretend to be injured,” Sultan Ibrahim wrote on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, the official page of the state’s main football club Johor Darul Takzim.

 

“So there’s a photo of him in the team to be featured in the print media and spread the propaganda to cheat people as if he was victorious and reliable,” he added.

This is the first time the Johor sultan publicly blasted Khairy, who had also been the subject of criticism by his son and Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Idris.

Tunku Ismail had repeatedly labelled Khairy an opportunist, claiming the Umno leader to be a manipulative politician who used sports to boost his own popularity.

Khairy is the first ever Malaysian minister to compete as a professional athlete in the SEA Games tournament, leading the country’s first ever polo team.

But the Johor ruler suggested that the current polo team was mediocre and that its winning streak was only due to the poor standards of the teams competing in tournament.

To measure the national team’s true strength, Sultan Ibrahim has challenged Khairy and his men to a game against his two sons and the state’s polo team. The Johor ruler, now 58, had also expressed the willingness to play for the Johor side.

“The polo teams competing in the 2017 SEA Games are merely meeting the necessary conditions set forth by the games committee.

“There are some that have come with lower handicap thus making it easy to be defeated. I challenge the SEA Games polo team to come to Johor and show your fangs since news of your greatness supersedes you,” he wrote.

The Johor ruler also said he would readily admit that the national polo team is good if the Johor team is defeated.

“I’d like to extend the invitation to the the Youth and Sports Minister and hopefully he won’t disappoint the requests of the people to see your team defeat the Johor team.

“I will send 2 of my sons and 2 of our horse trainers or perhaps myself, as I believe I still have what it takes. Should my team lose, I will admit that the SEA Games team are represented by the best there is,” he said.

Polo, a game usually reserved for aristocrats, was first played and introduced in Johor since 1884.

This year’s edition of the SEA Games tournament is the first to have polo as part of its fixture.

Sultan Ibrahim claimed he had once represented Malaysia in the polo World Cup and that Johor had been at the forefront in the sport.

“Polo in Johor did not start yesterday. Polo was first played and introduced in Johor since 1884. When I was the Crown Prince, I was already playing around the world and even played in the World Cup. Hence, the SEA Games is almost insignificant in comparison. If you want a more competitive match, do come to Johor”.

Khairy could not be reached for comments.
Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/johor-sultan-slams-khairy-calls-for-polo-match#4o0k38wJBJ6Ok8LD.99

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The Minister is participating as an Olympic Council of Malaysia sanctioned athlete representing the nation in the noble game of polo in the 29th Sea Games Kuala Lumpur 2017.

A few days ago, the nation celebrated as HRH Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu handsomely won the gold representing Malaysia in challenging event of 80km equestrian endurance of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games 2017.

Tuanku was His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIII was the Constitutional King for the Federation of Malaysia for five years between 2006 and 2011.

He was then the Field Marshall of the Armed Forces, Head of Islam in five states and the Parliament, Judiciary, Administration and Civil Service was under the auspicious of his office.

Unlike Tuanku Sultan Mizan, Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim has yet been appointed by HRHs Brethren Rulers to the office of Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong.

All and sundry, Malaysians are in very good spirits.

All gearing up for the this year’s Hari Raya Haji ul Akbar, sixtieth celebration of nationhood and seemingly the champion of the XXIX Sea Games as the nation host, after five days post officially launched bienieally regional sports meet with 63 gold medals in hand.

 

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Published in: on August 24, 2017 at 23:59  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. All good news except Tuanku challenging KJ in the open, through media.

    Hardly the appropriate time.

    There are other times to do this. And without saying, many ways to skin that cat.

    Team Malaysia has been decided. Not all world class Malaysian athletes are in that Contigent, for one reason or another. Eg. Lee Chong Wei, now in Glasgow for BWF.

    Now is not the time to highlight about Southern Tigers. It’s about Rimau Kuala Lumpur 2017.

  2. Najib, God, King and Country. That’s what it is now , right?

  3. Salam Saudara Zakhir.

    Frankly speaking, I don’t think the nons, who’s about 50% of the voters, would give a damn about the ‘Saudi immigration clearance in KL for Malaysian haj pilgrims’. To them, its just a waste of money, enriching the Kingdom known for propagating hatred amongst Arabs. As we’re speaking… Saudis, with the help of Americans, are killing women and children in Yemen, the poorest Arab nation, which could not even afford to have its own air-force.
    If the nons were given a choice, they would choose not to have anything to do with these people who are always not at peace with each other, except… maybe, selling more arms to them.

    If Najib’s government had asked Rakyat’s opinion beforehand, many would have not agree to set-up that ‘permanent structure’ for King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP), on a 16ha piece of land in Putrajaya.

    So… are we selling this piece of land in Putrajaya to the Sauds, freehold? Its about money, is it? If its about ‘true love for Islam and Allah’, we should have propagated peace and harmony between Sunnis and Shiites, instead.

    About that lavish and extravagant spending by the Sauds… traveling with his own private escalator, flown in two personal cars, booked out three luxury hotels, 300 ~ 1500 strong entourage… I don’t think this would endeared well with poor Rakyat, in Saudi Arabia of elsewhere in the Islamic world.
    If Prophet Mohammad s.a.w, were alive today, He would be very shocked to see the lifestyle of the “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”. I’m very sure the Prophet would have demanded that they spend Rakyat’s coffers prudently and wisely. Surely, He would not have anything to do with both, Shia or Sunni.

  4. I’m sorry.

    I should written… Saudis, with the help of kapir-Americans, are killing Muslim women and children in Yemen, the poorest Arab nation, which could not even afford to have its own air-force.


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