The Utusan Malaysia newspaper published an article on 1st Nov 2011 titled the restoration in three provinces southern of Thailand. The article written by YULPISMAN ASLI said international communities are interested to a major flooding that recently occurred in Thailand. Among the assistance that comes from around the world making sure the unrest that occurred in the area is temporarily forgot.
Unrest that led in the area several years caused death of many thousands people is as a "thorn in the flesh" of Thai executives to bring prosperity to the area.
The unrest in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala province, particularly in the Muslim religion, is resulting Thai government trying to bring development to the area as much as they do for the benefit of society in such areas.
It is clear that the protracted conflict between religions is an indication that these areas have been lagged behind in development and growth as well as in the travelling industry, which have been claimed as the pulse of the economy, that the unrest takes the tourists not to travel in those areas.
On the international level, such the unrest has affected the image of Thailand, especially in Muslim countries, and there are suspicious on measures to resolve problems in such areas of the Thai government due to the inclination of foreign and local media which proposed news about unrest taking place in remote rural areas in the region.
Recognizing such that matters, so the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu / state of Kelantan held a meeting invitation to a representative office, invited religious organizations, educational institutions and the media from the state of Kelantan to appreciate the lives of Muslims in those areas on their own.
Generally, it is known that the state of Kelantan is one of the states in Malaysia located at the border of Thailand, despite the history of the two areas having close relationships with each other: the relationship of indirect relatives.
I had an occasion to visit such areas as many predicted that there were several issues had not been known previously. So the visiting had been expected to be able to create clarity about the conflict that was unknown.
Getting the bus to the first two visits of the district, the first at Su Ngai Go Lok - Narathiwat Province, where insurgency earlier had caused death of four people - including a Malaysian - by bombing which was associated with insurgency.
Then, The arrival to Pattani was welcomed by Mr. Nipon Narapitakkul the Pattani provincial governor and the sermon was that the bombing situation in the area had been getting better after meeting with religious leaders and local people. He also described about creating peace in the area that is will be recently assigned leaders of communities to lead the people of the area developed.
Previously, people had lived difficultly in the area, especially female, when their husbands moved to work in Malaysia, Investors could not invest, Educational backwardness because teachers and students were poor quality. The current government was trying to develop educational system as well as giving some wider opportunities for children in the area, including giving about 20,000 ringgit to the poor farming families.
Mr. Nipon said that the Thai government intended to develop Halal food center in Pattani, which of course will bring benefits to local people and the surrounding areas, and that project be affected slightly due to the ongoing violence. This was an obstacle to development in three provinces southern of Thailand.
Since 4 Jan 2004 to 31 Aug 2011, the violence had occurred in Pattani caused death to 4553 people which are 2366 people were civilians and the rest were the officials. The government had given grants to families affected by the violence more than 56 million ringgit. Violence occurred not only be concerned with civilian but the military was often a target of insurgents.
For those reasons, The Thai government has demanded the military do not only security tasks in the region, but also do research work in the field of bio-diesel to help improve people's economic and social as well.
The performance under the leadership of Lieutenant Pichet Visaijorn, former commander of 4th Army Region, leaded to place the Learning Center of Sufficiency Economic on 7 Oct 2007 to study the guidelines and training for people who engage in agriculture and local students in agriculture and livestock. The goal was to enhance economic, public social and, at the same time, protect people from involving in violence as well as drugs that has shaking stability, including developing that such areas.
The interesting was that the center achieved in the production of organic fertilizer, many people visit the facility more than 85,000 people until now including leaders from abroad to closely learn about the facility.
Moreover, The Thai government was also establishing the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) to bring calm and peace to that area which has majority Muslim.
General Secretary of SBPAC, Mr.Panu Uthairat, said SBPAC established on December 2010 to manage the various provinces which sharing border with Malaysia. To improve the quality of life, SBPAC has aimed to provide the public with a median income of up to 120,000 baht / year (12,000 ringgit / year). And the direction at the moment is the political policy because of the unrest that occurred in three southern provinces of Thailand actually caused by small terrorist groups which has conflict with religious doctrine. So SBPAC has established The Advisory Council to clarify the right doctrine for people getting to know.
Misunderstanding or conflict of religion has been proven by Mr. Abdulaziz Abdulwahhub a director of Pondok school clubs in the area that Southern Thai Muslims have been frequently known the Jihad but has not been explained clearly. Because of this, the club with the cooperation of teachers and datos has inescapably explained whatever the mistake. Pondok schools in the five southernmost provinces of Thailand had also written a book to explain the society about the meaning of JIhad in Islam.
Panu said that the Thai government policy has provided education to Muslim youth in the southern provinces of Thailand to raise the quality of family life as well as to eliminate the threat of drugs that has been more prevalent now. Public officials in the southern provinces of Thailand about 75 percent have children in the area. Moreover, the government has also provided support for the Malay culture and all things related to the Malays. Matter of fact, Thailand is lucky because the king and queen play an important role in the development of the area.
Whether any policies of the Thai government trying to bring permanent peace and prosperity to the southern provinces of Thailand, it have to be taken seriously and to be honest with all parties including the government sectors and societies in the area for great benefits of the country in ASEAN, especially Malaysia.