A Saudi-backed anti-terrorism center that was to be housed at a state university south of Kuala Lumpur will instead occupy a 40-acre (16-hectare) site in Malaysia’s administrative capital, officials have announced.
Announcing the development after a meeting with top Saudi officials at his official residence, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stressed what he said was a special bilateral relationship with the oil-rich kingdom on the Arabian Peninsula.
“The construction of KSCIP [King Salman Center for International Peace] in Putrajaya reflects the importance of the institution, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself will come to Malaysia to launch the center together with me,” Najib said Sunday, according to state news agency Bernama.
“This is because King Salman could have chosen any other country to build the center, but the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques still chose this country.”
The building housing Malaysia’s third counter-terrorism center will be constructed at a site in Putrajaya, about 24 km (15 miles) from Kuala Lumpur, and the government has a two-year timeline for building it. The center started operating out of temporary quarters in Kuala Lumpur in late May, according to Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
The creation of the center was announced on March 1, when King Salman visited Malaysia. As revealed at the time, the plan was to house the new center at the Islamic Science University of Malaysia’s (USIM) campus in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan – 45 km (28 miles) from central Kuala Lumpur – according to USIM Vice Chancellor Musa Ahmad.
On Tuesday, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who serves as the chairman of the center’s committee, visited the Putrajaya site. Officials have not released a price-tag for the project.
“God willing, the construction will be detailed in a special committee meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, next week,” he told BenarNews.
Full story: BenarNews
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