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Thailand has given the go ahead to Malaysia to build a wall and perimeter fence along Sungai Kolok, which separates Kelantan from Narathiwat province.
The construction of the wall is part of a move to curb cross boarder crimes that include smuggling.
The Straits Times Singapore reported that the Thai- Malaysia Regional Border Committee secretary Adisak Prachakittikul said that as the construction would not affect Thai territory, Thai authorities he no problem with the plan. He was also reported to have said that the wall and fence would be good as it would help prevent the smuggling of contraband goods.
He went on to stay that aerial surveys are being conducted to assess the feasibility of a wall and fence on their side, as Thailand had similar plans. This is due to other problems with its neighbors such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia where the length of the border is two thousand kilometers.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia’s Home Minister told the Singapore Daily that the fence would help keep drug and firearms smugglers and stop fleeing criminals. He went to say that the wall, that was suggested by the Kelantan police should be put in place sooner rather than later as the problems were getting worse in the state. Kelantan is opposite Narathiwat’s Sukhirin, Sungai Kolo, Tak Bai and Waeng districts.
Calling the barriers a long-term solution to curb trans-border crimes, Zahid said that he would be putting in a request for a special allocation from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the construction.
Zahid added that those staying along the river would be relocated and that illegal jetties would be destroyed, the Singapore Straits Times reported. – September 19, 2013.