Parliamentary panel to probe Ops Yemen II

Azril Annuar
Liew told the Dewan Rakyat that there were no written directives by the National Security Council (NSC) or the previous Cabinet under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration to show approval had been given to send Malaysian troops to Riyadh. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong today said a parliamentary select committee will check to see if the deployment of Malaysia’s armed forces had followed procedure in its mission to the Middle East codenamed Ops Yemen II.

The senator told the Dewan Rakyat that there were no written directives by the National Security Council (NSC) or the previous Cabinet under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration to show approval had been given to send Malaysian troops to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia as claimed by former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

“I am disappointed the former defence minister is not here after saying that the NSC had made a decision [on Ops Yemen II], but after checking, the NSC said they never produced an originating directive.

“It is better if the former defence minister attends Parliament to discuss this serious issue,” Liew said.

The DAP lawmaker said an originating directive must be given either by the NSC or the Armed Forces Chief’s Committee before the military can be deployed.

Yesterday, Hishammuddin asserted that Ops Yemen II had the NSC’s approval to deploy troops to war-torn Yemen in June 2015 to rescue Malaysians stranded there.

However, the operations continued for three years, ending only in September this year after the Pakatan Harapan coalition replaced the BN in government.

The 12 missions saw Malaysian troops transporting military equipment, bullets and explosives for the Arab Alliance, although Malaysia does not have any military agreement with Saudi Arabia to place its troops there.

Liew said Malaysia’s evacuation missions were led by the Foreign Ministry with other agencies and it had never requested military assets to be used but had utilised commercial assets instead.

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