SINTOK: The government’s decision to station Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) assets in Saudi Arabia will help expedite the evacuation of its citizens in the Middle East should the need arises.
Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Baharum said the move was part of the ministry's proactive effort to enable the mobilisation of an emergency evacuation of Malaysians living in the region.
Johari said the evacuation mission can be launched at any time using ATM's Nuri helicopters and C130 Hercules.
"The Nuri and the C130 aircraft enable us to transport hundreds of Malaysians whenever the need arises," he told reporters after launching the National Service's Group 1 Series 14, 2017 programme at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) NS Camp here today.
Also present was National Service Department director-general Datuk Mohmed Asri Yusof.
Johari said this when commenting on the possibility of transporting Malaysians in Egypt home following deadly terrorist attacks in two cities there on Sunday.
At least 47 people were killed while nearly 140 people injured in the bomb attacks at two Coptic Christian churches, forcing Egypt government to declare a three-month state of emergency in the country.
He added that the ministry was ready to carry out the mission, should the Cabinet decide to bring the Malaysians in Egypt home.