Thailand, Malaysia to build border wall

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 yesterday.

The agreement was reached during the 54th meeting of the Thai-Malaysian General Border Committee in Bangkok chaired by Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein.

General 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 smuggled drugs, weapons and petrol, and reduce human trafficking between the two countries. Thailand and Malaysia share a 640km common border.

According to Gen Prawit, the meeting also touched on the issue of dual citizenship, and a memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed on the issue soon.

The holding of citizenship of both Thailand and Malaysia is often regarded as a legal loophole, allowing people suspected of carrying out attacks in the restive deep South to easily slip across the border into Malaysia to hide.

Gen Prawit said Thailand has also expressed a willingness to collaborate more in information-sharing with Malaysia to tackle terrorist threats in the region, reported the Bangkok Post.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Thailand, Malaysia to build border wall'. Print Edition | Subscribe