WANG KELIAN - A Cabinet minister here has a suggestion - turn a human trafficking camp on the hills along the Malaysia-Thailand border into a tourism attraction.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, who visited the campsite yesterday, described it as "very nice".
"It is the largest camp among the 16 campsites found, and it is located around 100m from the border," he said of the camp that is about the size of a football field.
"Everything is still intact."
"There is a surau, a mosque, an imam house, vegetable farm and many more. There are also some writings in Thai inside the mosque," Shahidan said.
"Let the tourists see where it all happened," he said.
"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.
Shahidan, who spent an hour trekking up the campsite with General Operations Force police personnel and forest rangers, said he also found Thai beer cans and playing cards.
"These gave hints that a large community had lived there, may be around 600 people," he said.
"In my opinion, I don't think the camps were built by Malaysians unless they were communists.
"The structures at the campsite reflected expertise. I call for the police to process this camp fast to give the people an answer that this camp was not built by Malaysians. I'm sure the former communists in our country are too old for this."
Shahidan said they saw three unidentified persons flee to the Thai side of the border as they reached the campsite.