BY A CORRESPONDENT
February 27, 2007
The citizens of Malaysia have been advised by the
Malaysian government to avoid traveling to southern
Thailand following the latest spate of bombings in which
seven people were killed in the violence-torn region.
Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar on Tuesday
asked holidaymakers to give southern Thailand, a
favoured travel destination of Malaysians, to skip
southern Thailand following the bombings.
“There are a lot of uncertainties in that part of
Thailand. It is better to avoid going there rather than
get caught in the crossfire,” Syed Hamid was quoted as
saying by the New Straits Times daily.
“I hope Malaysians will not go there now and endanger
their lives,” Syed Hamid added.
Synchronised bombings set off on Sunday night had killed
at least six people and wounded 54 others. Four of the
injured are said to be in a critical condition.
Another bomb was detonated on Monday morning in Yala
town, killing one soldier – thus bringing the overall
death toll to seven.
Syed Hamid requested the urged the government of
Thailand to “push urgently for peace and stability in
the area and increase security” in the deep-South, where
more than 1,900 people have died in increasing violence
over the past three years.
In Malaysia’s northern Kelantan state, bordering
Thailand, police have increased security, especially at
the border areas, according to Malaysia’s police chief
Thailand had on Friday agreed to allow Malaysia to play
the role of mediator in initiating negotiations with the
various groups involved in the violence, but Malaysia
has said it is still waiting for an official request
from the Thai government.
Thailand’s deep South – which comprises Narathiwat,
Pattani and Yala – has a large Muslim majority and over
80% of the population there are ethnic Malays.
A separatist struggle for the past five to six decades
has been the cause for the increasing violence in