PASIR MAS – The construction of fences and walls along the Malaysia-Thailand border is important to enhance border control to curb Daesh militants as well as other smuggling activities.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the initiative would complement the existing fence and walls along 111 kms of the border in Perlis, Kedah and Perak.
“A committee will be set up to identify hot spots, taking into account geographical factors such as the thickness of the forest, river depth and other factors in the border areas,” he told reporters after opening the Pasir Mas UMNO Division delegates’ meeting here, today.
Hishammuddin said the proposal to build the fences and walls would involve cooperation from the Thai Government and the matter would be discussed in more detail at the 53rd General Border Committee Malaysia-Thailand (GBC MALTHAI) meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur in November.
“Among other things which would be discussed at the meeting are plans to continue the cooperation between the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and the Royal Thai Army, in addition to developing exercises involving ASEAN countries and its alliance, focusing on humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations,” he said.
He said smuggling, human trafficking and the threat of Daesh militants were the major issues currently affecting security at the Malaysia-Thailand border.
“In order to strengthen control and monitor the mountainous region and jungle areas at the border, the army has deployed about 1,600 troops along the 640km-border between Malaysia and Thailand,” he said.
He said in addition to working with other countries, the local public should also keep abreast of the threat of militants and help the authorities to deal with it.
Meanwhile, he said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) would continue with the planned construction and maintenance of the Armed Forces Family Homes (RKAT) in Kelantan.
Mindef is currently building 384 Class G RKAT units at the Desa Pahlawan Camp in Kota Bharu costing RM98 million, expected to be completed late next year.
The ministry also planned to build 151 RKAT units, costing a total of RM67.5 million, at the Batu Melintang and Tumbi camps in Jeli which will begin in April next year and set to be completed in 2022, he said.
As for the maintenance of existing buildings, he said the ministry had allocated RM1 million for the Eighth Infantry Brigade camp in Kelantan and Terengganu.
He was also asked about the widow of the late Capt Husman Hussin – an army personnel who died in the flood incident in Missouri, United States last year – who claimed she was aggrieved that the welfare of her family was not taken care of after the death of her husband.
Hishammuddin said the ministry and ATM had fulfilled all obligations towards the late captain’s family, including advanced salary, group insurance, pension benefits and paid leave benefits totalling RM274,542.
“In addition a monthly pension of RM916 is also running,” he said.
He added that the ministry and other parties could extend further help if required by the family. – BERNAMA