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Wednesday October 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday October 23, 2013 MYT 9:29:49 AM
PETALING JAYA: They tied the knot just last week and parting was the hardest thing for Lt Mohd Fauzi Abdul Rahman, from the Royal Malaysian Navy, and staff nurse Nurul Nadiah Sazali, both 27.
But duty calls for the young man, who was among 300 soldiers from Malaysia, including 16 from Brunei, in the Malbatt 850-1 peacekeeping mission to Lebanon from the RMAF base in Subang, near here, yesterday.
And while his heart was aching that he had to leave his new bride, Lt Mohd Fauzi took the departure like a hero.
“I am willing to make this sacrifice because it’s for my country and I am happy to be able to serve with the United Nations,” he said.
At the same time, the navy lieutenant added, he was excited with the deployment, his first overseas assignment.
Lt Mohd Fauzi and Nurul Nadiah, both from Manjung, Perak, had been high school classmates and sweethearts for over 10 years. They decided to get married last week.
“I am both proud and sad that he has to go,” she told The Star at the departure gate of the airforce base, holding back her tears.
It was also a hard-to-say goodbye for Sgt Mohd Irwan Shah Aziz, 34, who was spotted kissing his four-month-old son Muhammad Aniq Mukhriz, as wife Noor Azilah Ahmad Rodzhi, 32, and six-year-old son Aniq Haikal looked on.
Sgt Mohd Irwan said he was proud at the opportunity to represent the country as a UN peacekeeper.
Noor Azilah said she was initially sad but had now accepted her husband’s deployment. “Initially, I was distraught. But now, I am more positive and proud,” said the housewife.
Lt Mohd Fauzi and Sgt Mohd Irwan joined their brothers-in-arms in donning the UN blue berets in a ceremony officiated by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Armed Forces chief Jeneral Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.
The Malbatt 850-1 contingent replaces Malbatt 5, whose peacekeeping mission ends on Oct 26 after their one-year deployment. They will join the UN Interim Force (Unifil) in Lebanon.
Part of the contingent, led by Maj Rudie Asmawai Abdin, was a 16-strong group from the Royal Brunei Air Force.
Paying tribute to the men and women who make up the peacekeepers, Hishammuddin said they were selected from thousands of their colleagues for the mission.
“Our continued peacekeeping role with the UN in Lebanon is the international community’s recognition of the credibility, ability and professionalism of the Malaysian armed forces,” he said.
Malbatt 850-1 total force comprises 540 personnel, with the second batch of 240 personnel leaving for deployment at a later date.
Among those who left yesterday was a woman officer and three other women personnel along with an officer and three other ranks from the Brunei Armed Forces who will be serving with Malbatt 850-1.
Tags / Keywords:
Government, World, un, peacekeeping, malbatt
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