Malaysian minister: Turn human trafficking camps into tourist attraction

Malaysian minister: Turn human trafficking camps into tourist attraction

WANG KELIAN, Malaysia - A human trafficking camp found near the Malaysia-Thailand border here may have potential to be a tourist attraction, said Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

The minister in the Prime Minister's Department, who visited the campsite Sunday, described it as "very nice" and had complete facilities.

"It is the largest camp among the 16 campsites we found and is located around 100m from the border.

"Everything is still intact. There was a surau, a wooden mosque, an house for an imam, vegetable farm and many more. There was also some Thai writing inside the mosque.

"Let tourists see where it all happened. With this as a new tourism spot, it will also deter human trafficking activities from taking place as there will be more people coming in and out," he said, adding that the campsite was about the size of a football field.

Shahidan, who took around an hour to trek up the campsite with General Operations Force (PGA) police personnel and forest rangers, said he also found Thai beer cans and playing cards, indicating a large community lived there.

"I don't think the camps were built by Malaysians unless they were communists. The structures at the campsite show expertise.

"I call on the police to process this camp fast and tell the people that it was not built by Malaysians. I'm sure the former communists in our country are too old for this.

"On plans to make it a tourism attraction, I will discuss with the police and the state government about preserving the structures," said the former Perlis Mentri Besar.

Shahidan added that they also saw three unidentified persons fleeing to the Thai side of the border as they approached the campsite.

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