PEKAN: A permanent structure for the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) will be built on a 16ha piece of land in Putrajaya, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the matter was decided after a discussion with assistants to Saudi Arabia's King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman who visited his official residence in Putrajaya, Saturday night.
"The construction of KSCIP in Putrajaya reflects the importance of the institution, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself will come to Malaysia to launch the centre together with me.
"This is because King Salman could have chosen any other country to build the centre, but the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chose this country," he said at an Aidilfitri open house hosted by him and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar here Saunday, which was attended by more than 50,000 people.
The KSCIP currently operates from Kuala Lumpur, and the Government has been given two years to build the new centre, which is a brainchild of King Salman aimed at deflecting the influence of extremism and terrorist activities, as well as promoting universal peace.
Najib also urged the people not to be angry and critical about what the Government had done for the country, as it was only for their own wellbeing.
"What we do has earned praise and recognition from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia.
"That's why it's not true if the Opposition says that the country is a failed state and needs to be saved. In fact, we have been safe and successful, as well as commended by foreign countries.
"For those who say that the country needs to be saved...even our leaders in the past had never received such acclaim from that country (Saudi Arabia), so there is no need to 'save' Malaysia," he said.
On Saturday's meeting, Najib confirmed that the additional Haj quota given by the Saudi Arabian government to Malaysia would be maintained, and talks on the construction of two Tabung Haji complexes in Makkah and Madinah were still underway.
Najib, who is also Pekan MP, said that if the complexes were built, it would help reduce the cost of Malaysians performing the Haj in the future.
Najib also said that the government had spent RM3bil on five Aidilfitri aid packages throughout the month of Ramadan, benefiting 9.6 million people.
"Among the assistance given were in the form of rice aid to civil servants and pensioners, dividends to smallholders, the second stage of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) given to seven million recipients, as well as Raya incentives.
"These are part of our efforts, which not only focus on physical development, but also the welfare of the people. Before, people used to say that Government assistance was only for non-domestic purposes, but now, we even provide assistance for the household kitchens," he said.
Najib also hit out at the Opposition for playing up the sentiment of Malaysia being a failed state because, according to him, the Government had strived to the best of its ability to ensure that Malaysia was on the right track.
As proof, the Prime Minister referred to the 5.6% economic growth rate in the first quarter of 2017 and exports surging to RM80bil, which was unprecedented in the country's history while the price of oil in Malaysia was the 10th cheapest in the world.
"Therefore, we should feel grateful and if we continue to give support and encouragement to the Government, I believe we can chart a brighter future for our country," he said. – Bernama