Dual citizenship poses 'security threat'

Dual citizenship poses 'security threat'

PATTANI: The issue of people holding dual Thai-Malaysian citizenship has posed a national security threat for Thailand and Malaysia with both countries working hard to resolve it, a seminar was told.

Lt Gen Pornsak Poosawat, commander of the 4th Army Region and head of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4, said the issue pertaining to people holding Thai-Malaysian citizenship has become a long-term threat to Thailand and Malaysia.

He said the government has sought cooperation with Kuala Lumpur to deal with the problem but much more had to be done.

Lt Gen Pornsak said Thai authorities have long claimed people who held both Malaysian and Thai citizenships were responsible for acts of violence related to the conflict in the deep South and wanted the issue to be resolved.

He told participants at the meeting to discuss the issue so they could seek out more effective measures to tackle it.

Participants included governors of the three southernmost border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, representatives from the Foreign Ministry, the head of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC), and consul general of the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu, Malaysia.

Lt Gen Pornsak said both governments are surveying the number of people who hold dual citizenship.

They are furnishing details about those it claims are holding dual Malaysian-Thai citizenship, including their biometric records.

He said the two countries agreed that those who hold dual citizenship must only select one nationality for the sake of security.

Meanwhile, Kasturi Mahkota, president of The Patani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo), said on Facebook his organisation wants to solve the separatist violence in the southernmost provinces through peaceful means.

Pulo is widely recognised as a separatist group and has long fought for Patani independency covering Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla and Satun provinces.

The government has appointed Gen Wanlop Rugsanoh as the new head of the Thai dialogue team in the southern peace talks.

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