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Malaysia accepts US proposal on use of Thai airbase
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia does not regard US proposals to use the U-Tapao airbase in Rayong, Thailand as interference in the Asean region.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia respects any decision made on the matter.
"We respect the agreement made between both countries. The US has the right to bilateral relations with any country they regard as a friend or ally. I don't see the US as interfering in Asean," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.
He said this when asked to comment on US proposals to use the airbase for climate-research as well as a centre for humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief training.
Last Wednesday, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the country's government will appoint a committee to conduct studies on the proposal.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said the government has approved RM11.2 milion to implement National Service Volunteers Brigade (BSKN) programme.
He said the fund was a special incentive for eligible BSKN members based on their hours of service in any programme conducted.
"The yearly incentive is given to boost the spirit of volunteers to continue giving social services to the community," he added. Bernama