South MPs eye relief for stranded Thais

South MPs eye relief for stranded Thais

Security officers speak to Thai workers who illegally crossed the border back from Malaysia to Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat late last month. Waedao Harai
Security officers speak to Thai workers who illegally crossed the border back from Malaysia to Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat late last month. Waedao Harai

Five MPs from southern provinces have asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to help Thais stranded in foreign countries, including giving them 5,000 baht in aid.

The five are Anwar Salaeh, a Democrat Party MP for Pattani; Sommut Benjalak, a Prachachat Party MP also for Pattani; Abdulayee Sameng, a Prachachat Party MP for Yala; Dr Pechdau Tohmeena, a Bhumjaithai Party list MP; and Adilan Aliishoh, a Palang Pracharath Party MP for Yala.

They asked the government to revoke the requirement that returnees provide health certificates, complaining that it is financially prohibitive to obtain the certificates and organise volunteer doctors to screen everyone at the border before entry.

For those who do not intend to return home now, Mr Anwar requested that the government allow them to register for 5,000 baht in financial aid from the "No one will be left behind" campaign.

Mr Anwar told media that the online registration for Thais looking to return was not user friendly and had prevented many from successfully signing up.

That has led people to seek other ways of returning to Thailand, including forging documents or crossing the border illegally, he said.

Mr Anwar said the Royal Thai Embassy in Malaysia and Thai volunteers have tried to help but there are not enough resources to cover the thousands of citizens waiting to cross the border.

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