thailand national security
(Foto: Siska Silmi/

Border crossing management has become increasingly important because the sheer volume of global travel puts border management systems under constant pressure. Border management systems especially in land border checkpoint areas have been confronted with additional risks associated with these movements. Mass-causality terrorist attacks; rising illegal immigration and human trafficking have exposed weakness in the states’ ability to manage their borders effectively.

The increased of security has slowed because flow of goods and people increase frustration because of businesses and travelers. These disruptions are serious because they threaten to undermine economic opportunities in the border region2. As a result, in the last decade there have been huge government investments to implement new border management frameworks and collaborate across borders to accomplish several competing aims: the facilitation of legitimate travel and trade, the prevention of terrorism and transnational criminality, and reductions in illegal migration especially Southern Thailand between Thailand and Malaysia.

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The history between Satun (Thailand) and Perlis (Malaysia) has the close relationship for example culture, religion, language etc. In the past, Perlis was part of Thailand, but after Anglo-Siamese Treaty between the Kingdome of Thailand and British, Perlis became the part of Malaysia for both countries that can make clear the sovereignty territory of those countries. On 24 June 1940 the MOU between Thai and Malaysia Government in Bangkok signed about boundary of both countries that people wanted to go and came they should use passport and border pass. On the other hand, the local government used frontier especially Satun and Perlis to see that the relationship between people in that location never lose from the past until now.

The people of both places always go to the Wang Prachan and Wang Kelian border to get the job or buy some goods. The goods are very cheap and no need to pay tax.

From the past until now, they never use passports or border pass, for example, when people from Satun province want to go to Perlis, they just go and never use the passport or border pass and vice versa, it is because they are the local people in local who have the same culture, same daily life, and their families live both in provinces. It means that they can go and come every day, every week or every month.

The immigration just gives free or use frontier for them who are the local people between Satun and Perlis people. But the big problem is the immigration officer of both countries gets difficulties to define who are the Satun people are or who are the Perlis people because they have the same language, culture, daily life. And also both never have the conflict after the Anglo-Siamese Treaty spared them to be part of Thailand and Malaysia.

The big issue is the people outside come to this place for transit to go to the other countries  because the people of both between Satun and Perlis always come and go every days that is why the polices get difficult to manage this place.

Thailand is a source of transit for foreigners, and a destination country for human trafficking cases. It is a destination-side hub of exploitation, for both sex and labor exploitation; especially Thailand is the transit of Rohingya people to go to Malaysia or Indonesia3. Satun and Perlis are the good place for them to transit or human trafficking because there have lower security more than the other border.  Therefore, in 1 April 2015 Malaysia closed the border and a back to use the MoU of 24 June 1940. It means that every people who want to come and go need to use passport and border pass, there are no frontier again4.

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According Rachen Racpitak (2015), there are three scopes now of Thai government to respond Malaysia new border policy to security between Wang Prachan border in Satun Province and Wang Kelian border in the state of Perlis boundary. First, Volunteer Defense Corps. The Volunteer Defense Corps in Khun Don District is to detect and prevent of the village in Satun province now, village we have Volunteer Defense Corps and the people there cooperate together to detect and save their village every night, especially in Wang Prachan and the village near the state of Perlis (Malaysia).

Second, the police in Satun Province especially in Khun Don District is to detect and prevent illegal, terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering Thailand, and prevent illegal human trafficking and contraband and so on.

So, after the case of Rohingya the Thai government gives serious attention by using the police man or Border Patrol Police directly to the location between Satun province (Thailand) and the state of Perlis (Malaysia) every day. Third, the Military in Satun province especially in Khun Don District is to detect and safe guard illegal, terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the Thailand, and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband and so on. So, after the case of Human trafficking The Thai government give serious attention by use the Military directly to the boundary or the mountain between Satun Thailand and Perlis Malaysia every day.

In the immediate phase, the government attaches the importance of preparations to ensure Thailand’s readiness towards the ASEAN Political-Security Community. In the following five areas, namely border management, enhancing maritime security, addresses the problem of transnational crime, enhancing trust and confidence with neighboring countries, and enhancing the potential for joint military operations in ASEAN1.

Emphasizing cooperation for preventing and resolving disputes and resolving boundary problems through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms; organizing development within the framework of the ASEAN Economic Community, and management of land and maritime border areas; supporting the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along borders. By utilizing surveillance systems based on modern technology; designating the problems of narcotics, weapons trafficking, human trafficking, piracy, terrorism and transnational crimes as urgent problems that require strict law enforcement to prevent and resolve. Thus, deal with other continuously linked problems in a comprehensive manner, including problems associated with individual status and rights, improving immigration systems, and putting migrant labor in order.

Promotion of good relations with foreign countries based on the principle that foreign policy is a vital component of overall policy in national administration, whether in the area of politics relations, economics cooperation, or society engagement, by employing and integrated diplomatic mechanisms, directly or indirectly. For the maximum benefit of the Thai people such as the protection of Thai nationals and interests abroad; exchanges in education, culture, trade, human resources development, and broadening perspectives to be more universalistic. To solve the problems of border crossing, the Thai Government and the Local Government cooperate together especially in case study in Satun and Perlis to help diagnose the problems.

Connected to this, border crossing management needs to move away from traditional management with the emphasis on the regulations, patterns, command and control with the structure of strict regulations towards the management of inter-agency cooperation with flexibility and adaptability in this border.

After April 2015, Malaysia operated new border policy in the boundary between Satun province (Thailand) and the state of Perlis (Malaysia). Therefore The government respond to the Malaysia new border policy in two steps consist; the first step is Thailand need to follow Malaysia new border policy in the border between Satun (Thailand) and the state of Perlis (Malaysia) by every people need to use valid document, it is border pass or passport.

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The second step is Thailand also still use the accommodative in this border everyone can see of you want to come and go in the border between Satun and the state of Perlis immigration now always check everything you bring such as car, goods, passport or border pass and so on. But the Satun immigration is still use the accommodative style by The Satun immigration just only check the passport or the border pass only.

This is the difference between Satun immigration and the State of Perlis immigration in this border. Because Thai government still accepts what our people want in Satun province. That why, Thailand government use the accommodative ways to solve this issues in Satun province because they never have the conflict between Satun and the state of perlis but they always joint together such as Buka puasa bersama, football activity, exchange study and so on. Therefore the data of the proposal of Satun province use the topic is the sister city province activity every proposal to create the activity to join together between people to people or between Satun province and State of Perlis.

Wang Kelian (2015) was shocked after the Malaysia police found the discovery of 106 skeletons victims of human trafficking syndicates recently. It was almost paralyzed since facilitating the free flow movement of frontier market that was canceled 1 April 2015. Before 1 April 2015 the one kilometer to Wang Prachan facility in southern Thailand and Wang Kelian (Perlis, Malaysia) didn’t need to use any documents.

So this border on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in two weeks, were very prosperous. But after 1 April 2015, Malaysia uses the new border policy because of safety grounds. Every Saturday and Sunday more than thousand people of Malaysia and Thailand come shopping at Wang Kelian and Wang Prachan in those days. But now, gloomy atmosphere all found that more than a third of the approximately 200 dealers in Wang Kelian business have closed. And the newest, water and electricity in the Arcade Forest Department Wang Kelian was cut because of no tenants. 

Malaysia new border policy situations occur where takes place that is difficult to solve it. This is experienced as something that cannot be really understands or relate to. But this is important for the Thai government to respond. It is something stood that is determined to acquire. This can take place by means of accommodative. The accommodative style has the opposite strengths from assimilation, emphasizing concrete experience and active experimentation.

The main strength of this orientation lies in doing things, in carrying out plans and tasks what have done and getting involved with the new experience.  The adaptive emphasis of the state of this orientation is on opportunity seeking, risk taking, and action of this case, but this is the best suited for those situations where one must adapt our country to change immediate circumstances.


Anak Agung Banyu Perwita, P. (2007). The Management of National Border and Indonesia’s Security Problem.
Boriboonrat, P. (2013). Collaborative Border Management in Thailand. Thailand. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences Mahidol University.
Andriesse, E. (april 2007). The Impact of National Institutions on Economic Development in Satun (Thailand) and Perlis (Malaysia). Chulalongkorn journal of economic.
Andriesse, E. (2008). the Institutions and regional development in Southeast Asia A comparative analysis of Satun (Thailand) and Perlis (Malaysia). Netherlands: Netherlands Geographical Studies