'No threat of Thai violence spillover in Malaysia'

PETALING JAYA - Malaysian security forces are on high alert after Sunday's bomb blasts in the Thai border towns of Danok, Padang Besar and Sadao.

However, there is no threat of a spillover of violence in Malaysia, Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.

The Deputy Home Minister said the country's security forces have been on high alert, adding: "The police and Armed Forces have stepped up security along the borders.

"They are vigilant and will ensure there is no spillover of violence in Malaysia," he said yesterday.

Expressing shock and dismay over the attacks, Dr Wan Junaidi said the security forces were working closely with their Thai counterparts to prevent future attacks.

"Malaysians should have no cause for concern, although they should postpone any travel plans to southern Thailand (for now).

"The security forces will not allow any party to threaten the security and safety of Malaysians," he said.

Despite the gruesome attacks, Dr Wan Junaidi said he was confident such violence would not disrupt ongoing peace talks in the Thai's restive southern region.

"Violence has never solved any conflict anywhere in the world. Only civilised discussion and meetings can bring an end to the conflict in southern Thailand," he said.

He said such violence should not hamper the peace talks in the region, which has been plagued by civil war.

"War and violence is never the answer. The peace talks should go on," he said.

The decades-old conflict flared up again in 2004 and has since claimed more than 5,500 lives. The areas where the violence occurred included Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

Malaysia had brokered several peace discussions between the insurgents and Thai government in 2010.

Local and regional analysts believe that groups such as Pattani United Liberation Organisation, Pattani Islamic Mujahideen Movement (GMIP) and the BRN-Coordinate (a faction of BRN) and its alleged armed wing the Ronda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) are also involved in the attacks.