MALCOY 8: 360 replacements told to maintain image of credibility and integrity overseas
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIAN peacekeepers in Lebanon have been urged to avoid becoming involved in negative activities which could tarnish the country's image.
Armed Forces chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said all it took was one negative incident to bring disrepute to the whole contingent, present and past.
"Thus far, we have been held in high regard by the United Nations, other peacekeeping nations, as well as the government and people of Lebanon.
"Preserve a high level of discipline and maintain your image as soldiers of credible character committed to providing humanitarian assistance when needed," he said when seeing off the advance team of 200 Malaysian Company (Malcoy) 8 peace-keepers bound for Lebanon at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang, yesterday.
The chartered AirAsia X Airbus A330 jet will bring home the first batch of Malcoy 7 members from Beirut today.
The second and final batch of 160 peace-keepers, to serve under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil), will leave next week.
Zulkifeli urged the peacekeepers to use the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge.
"Value the true meaning of peace and while there, always prioritise security and obey all regulations and procedures, especially when faced with critical situations."
The Malcoy 8 peacekeepers, comprising 46 officers and 314 rank-and-file, led by Lt Col Hamdan Ismail, underwent three months of intensive force integration training at the 1st Regiment Royal Armoured Corps camp in Kuantan, Pahang.
The contingent included eight women and 10 members from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
Malcoy 8 replaces the 300-strong Malcoy 7 which completed its one-year tour of duty at Unifil's East Sector based in Kaoukaba, today.
A 540-strong Malaysian Battalion (Malbatt) 4 is stationed at Unifil's West Sector.
Earlier, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, who was catching his chartered flight to Alor Star from the base, also saw off the Malcoy 8 soldiers.