Msia-Thai GBC meeting brought forward after bomb blasts

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia-Thailand General Border Committee (GBC) meeting scheduled for November will be held two months earlier, following a series of bomb blasts in Thailand’s southern provinces.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is to discuss the matter with his Thai counterpart, General Prawit Wongsuwan said, “Through this meeting, the two sides will discuss efforts to strengthen the exchange of intelligence and mechanisms in the two countries to curb violence.”

He said this to reporters after opening the Segambut Umno division delegates meeting here today.

In a series of bombings in southern Thailand on Friday, two homemade bombs exploded in the popular island resort of Phuket, one each in Patong and Kathu at 7.45am (local time) and 8.45am. One person sustained minor injuries.

Hishammuddin said the meeting was important because similar incidents could occur in other places, including Malaysia, especially with threats from militant groups such as Daesh (Islamic State).

The annual GBC meeting is chaired by the defence ministers of both countries to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation in matters of security, immigration and border management in the area along the Malaysia-Thailand border.

In a similar development, Hishammuddin said that to avoid the recurrence of the bomb blast at Movida, an entertainment outlet in Puchong, security had been tightened at the border, as well as in public places such as shopping centres, airports and other places of high risk.