Yingluck, Najib to announce joint steps on South
MoU spells out areas of bilateral cooperationThe Thai and Malaysian prime ministers will today announce joint moves to seek a solution to the unrest in the deep South.
At the same time, National Security Council (NSC) chief Paradorn Pattanathabutr will sign an agreement on security co-operation with his Malaysian counterpart to facilitate talks with separatists.
But Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has dismissed reports of a plan to have former premier General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh as her adviser on the unrest issues, saying there had been no formal invitation for Chavalit to work with her.
Following the 5th annual prime ministers' meeting, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Yingluck will issue a statement reflecting bilateral ties and co-operation in the border area, as well as economic and social development.
Their proposals will include:
- Cooperation to tackle the Southern Unrest through economic development, to boost border area stability and security as well as cooperation under a Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) framework emphasising education, employment and business.
- The linkage of Thailand's Southern Development Plan (SDP) to Malaysia's northern and western states as well as accelerating two bridge projects over the Sungai Kolok River to link Narathiwat's Tak Bai district to Pengkalan Kubur and to Rantau Panjang.
- Promotion of private sector trade and investment in gasoline and gas, the automobile industry, rubber and tourism as well as the setting up of a Thai-Malaysian business council.
- Halal product promotion cooperation.
- Radio frequency co-operation in the border area to support television and cellphone service business expansion.
- An agreement to help travellers cross the border and a memorandum of understanding for youth affairs and sport cooperation to boost bilateral friendship ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
- Labour co-operation allowing Thai workers at tom yum gung shops in Malaysia to work legally.
- Speeding up cooperation through:
1) employment and human resources development to certify labour skill standards;
2) immigration affairs and two-nation person-related issues;
3) suppressing transnational crime;
4) inmate transfer;
5) extradition treaty review;
6) border cooperation agreement review;
7) conclusion to the anti-human trafficking agreement;
8) and conclusion of an agreement on passenger and money transport over the Thai-Malaysian border.
NSC chief Paradorn yesterday flew to Malaysia to set up the initial steps.
He said Malaysia would facilitate talks with separatist leaders and the understanding was that less than 1,000 insurgent sympathisers were in Malaysia.
The Fourth Army commander's adviser Chok Perksopon told the House Committee for national security yesterday that Region 4 Internal Security Operations Command would ask the Cabinet to cancel the Emergency Law and apply the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Yala's Betong and Kabang district, Pattani's Mai Kaen district and Narathiwat's Waeng and Sukhirin districts.
The ISA Article 21 is currently in force in Songkhla's Chana, Thepa, Saba Yoi and Na Thawee districts and Pattani's Mae Lan district.
Seven suspected insurgents have surrendered to Thai authorities in Songkhla.
Thai officials yesterday inspected the scene where a bomb damaged two electric poles on Phetchakasem Highway in Narathiwat's Yi Ngor |district on Tuesday night.
Police suspected insurgents planted the bomb to scare away new investment in the area.