BANGKOK - Thailand and Malaysia have agreed to proceed with a plan to build a border wall in Thailand's southern province of Songkhla as part of efforts to strengthen security operations and fight transnational crime, the Bangkok Post reported on Friday (March 16).
The agreement was reached during the 54th meeting of the Thai-Malaysian General Border Committee in Bangkok chaired by Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Gen Prawit said the proposed 11km border wall will be built at Dan Nok-Dan Sadao in Songkhla with details to be worked out later.
According to the Bangkok Post, the border wall is expected to stem the flow of drugs, weapons, illegal petrol and human trafficking between the two countries. Thailand and Malaysia share a 640-kilometre common border.
According to Gen Prawit, the latest meeting also touched on the issue of dual citizenship and a memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed on the citizenship issue soon.
He said the authorities still have to find out how many people hold dual citizenship but the move is needed to enhance security and surveillance in the restive South.
Dual citizenship is often regarded as a legal loophole allowing people suspected of carrying out attacks in the deep South to easily slip across the border into Malaysia to hide.
Gen Prawit said Thailand has also expressed a willingness to increase collaboration in information-sharing with Malaysia to tackle terrorist threats in the region, reported the Bangkok Post.