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Malaysia shuts down Saudi-backed anti-terrorism center

AP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

Malaysia's new government has shut down a Saudi-backed anti-terrorism center, just over a year after it was launched by the kingdom's ruling monarch during a visit here last year.

said in a written reply to a question in parliament on Monday that the Center for International Peace will cease operation immediately and that its function will be absorbed by the and Security.

He didn't give a reason for the closure.

The center, which aims to draw Islamic scholars to combat extremist views and promote tolerance, was announced in March last year during Salman's visit to under former Malaysian leader It has a temporary office in while awaiting the construction of a permanent building in Malaysia's administrative capital of Putrajaya.

Najib suffered a shocking defeat in May's national polls and is now facing corruption charges.

Opposition lawmaker Hishammuddin Hussein, who was formerly defense minister, said Tuesday that the move to close the center was a loss to the nation amid growing terrorism in the Muslim world. He said the center was aimed at putting predominantly Muslim at the forefront of the fight against violent extremism and ideologies together with

There have been concerns in recent years that under Najib, Saudi Arabia's ultraconservative interpretation of Islam has gained an expanded foothold in

The kingdom has built mosques and schools across the region and offers scholarships to Malaysians and other Southeast Asian Muslims who want to study in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 07 2018. 12:36 IST