Thai Deputy PM signs 5 security pacts with Malaysia, aiming at peace in southern region

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 – Thailand and Malaysia today signed five agreements on national security in a move that Thai Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung strongly believes will ease the long-standing insurgency in the kingdom’s far South.

Chalerm said he was assured by Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein that Kuala Lumpur will fully assist Bangkok in returning peace to the southernmost provinces which have been troubled by violence and insurgency for most of the past decade.

The Malaysian minister also promised to look into the plight of Thai workers in the neighbouring country and to consider other problems including drug trafficking, insurgency and the insurgent movements.

The five agreements involved crackdowns on transnational crime, extradition of criminals, exchange of convicts, crackdowns on specific transnational crimes such as the trade drug and human trafficking, and facilitating easier processes for border crossings for Thai and Malaysian nationals.

Mr Chalerm said he exchanged views with the Malaysian minister during their one-hour meeting but he could not disclose some points, explaining that Mr Hishammuddin will raise some of the issues in a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tomorrow.

The Thai deputy premier is scheduled to call on the Malaysian leader tomorrow, the last of his three-day visit to the Muslim country.

“I believe that the five agreements, if fully implemented, will bring peace to both countries and will have a positive impact on the three southernmost provinces of Thailand,” said the Thai deputy premier.