King Salman Centre for International Peace commences operations

KUALA LUMPUR: The King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) that aims to rectify the perception of the international community towards Islam commenced operations on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the centre will also work closely with the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI) that was launched by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and US president Donald Trump in Riyadh recently.

"Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was scheduled to launch the KSCIP during his state visit to Malaysia on June 1, but unfortunately the visit has been postponed, probably after Aidilfitri.

"Since we promised King Salman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak that we will launch it within 90 days after the announcement of the centre during King Salman's visit to Malaysia, I am glad to announce today that it has commenced operations," Hishammuddin said during a press conference after he handed over some 3,000 "bubur lambuk" to Defence Ministry staff here today.

Hishammuddin said the KSCIP is currently operating out of a temporary building in Kuala Lumpur, as they have been given a two-year period to set up the centre.

He said the selection of Malaysia as the location for KSCIP by Saudi Arabia reflected the confidence of the Arab nation towards Malaysia as a Muslim country which practised moderation.

Commenting on the recent death of three Malaysians believed to be among Islamic State-linked militants fighting Philippines security forces in Marawi City, he said the trilateral initiative between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to do a joint air patrol and joint maritime patrol will be launched on June 19.

"The trilateral Sulu straits initiative is a way forward for concerned states to rectify the issue there.

"We don't need to wait for all ten Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries to agree with this as we need to create a bridge and cooperation between the three countries," Hishammuddin said.