Concrete wall will curb smuggling, says Bukit Kayu Hitam rep

BUKIT KAYU HITAM, Malaysia - The 20km-long barbed-wire fence along the Malaysian-Thai border here should be replaced with a concrete wall to curb cross-border smuggling.

Bukit Kayu Hitam assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Zaini Japar said an inspection along the border showed that there were many "holes" believed to be made by smugglers.

"The fence is rusty and can be easily cut. We should replace it with a concrete wall which is sturdy and easier to maintain," he said yesterday.

The inspection, added Ahmad Zaini, revealed that there were many lorong tikus (rat lanes) where the fence had been cut.

He also called for CCTV cameras to be installed along the security line here.

He said there were 27 CCTV cameras along the security line in Padang Besar, but none here.

"All the CCTV cameras are located in Padang Besar while in Bukit Kayu Hitam, the security line is protected by only a barbed-wire fence," he said.

Ahmad Zaini said he had raised the issue of repairing the broken fence and the need for CCTV cameras with the National Security Council.

A Kedah National Security Council officer, who declined to be named, said the matter had been forwarded to its headquarters in Putrajaya for further action.

It was reported that a soldier on patrol was injured when he was shot by an unknown gunman at the Malaysian-Thai border here on Saturday.

L/Kpl Mohd Azam Rudin Azizan, 26, and another soldier had spotted flashlights behind the border fence and gone to check, after which he was shot in the back just as they were returning to their motorcycle parked at the security lane on the Malaysian side of the border.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted as saying that police would forward a proposal to the Government for the use of modern technology along the border fence, such as sensors and CCTV cameras.