Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia and Thailand will set up “strong villages” along the border with the aim of strengthening border security cooperation as well as boosting the local population’s socio-economic development.

The programme will be probably implemented in January next year.

Malaysian Army Chief Gen Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain said the proposal was brought up by the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army General Narongpan Jittkaewtae during a meeting here.

Zamrose said besides improving the socio-economy of local residents along the border, “strong villages” – to be a joint effort of the Malaysian and the Thai armies – can indirectly improve local community relations and bilateral relations through social activities and exchange visits.

Zamrose is currently on a working visit to Thailand from July 21 – 24, which aims to strengthen the defence diplomacy between Malaysia and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Zamrose said he also informed Thailand that Malaysia will establish two more checkpoints – at the 34th and 36th mile of the Malaysia-Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah – on top of the existing six checkpoints in an effort to maintain national security and prevent cross-border criminal activities./.