BANGKOK – The Malaysian Army and Royal Thai Army will further enhance existing ties and cooperation through the signing of the Terms of Reference (ToR).
Malaysian Army Chief General Datuk Seri Zulkiple Kassim said ToR would ensure the relationship between the two armies is expanded to include matters outside the General Border Committee (GBC).
“The Terms of Reference will open up more opportunities for both armies to further develop the existing ties and cooperation,” he told Bernama in an interview here Thursday.
He said it included personnel exchanges, social and community activities and joint exercises.
Closer ties between the army of Malaysia and Thailand would benefit the people of both countries,said Zulkiple.
The two sides, according to him, also planned to hold the “Army to Army Talk” programme under the ToR aimed at building closer networking between the army officers of the two countries, especially at the mid level.
He hoped the close relationship and strong network among the mid level army officers of Malaysia and Thailand, that was nurtured through the initiative, would endure and develop further particularly when they become the top brass.
“When they (Malaysian and Thai army officers) become superiors, the networking and ties among themselves will become closer because they are ‘old friends’,” he said.
The memorandum on the ToR was signed during his introductory visit on his Thai counterpart General Chalermchai Sittisart at the Thai Royal Army headquarters yesterday.
Zulkiple assumed the post of Chief of Army on Dec 16 last year.
Thai Royal Army in a statement yesterday said the Army Chiefs of Thailand and Malaysia pledged to improve the exchange of military information between the two countries and conduct joint patrols and checks along the common border.
Cooperation between both countries at the border would curb and fight terrorism threats, illegal border crossings, contraband smuggling, drug trafficking and others, he added.