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Sunday December 13, 2009

Malaysia to help set up Islamic bank in Thailand

BACHOK: Malaysia is willing to send financial and banking experts to help Thailand set up an Islamic bank in the three provinces in the south for the benefit of Muslim residents.

Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein said the experts could be sent at any time if the Thai authorities requested their assistance.

“We will do anything to help the Muslims, especially those in the three provinces bordering Malaysia,” he told reporters after meeting the villagers of Kampung Daramain, Perupuk, yesterday.

He said the proposal was part of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s promise to his Thai counterpart, Abhisit Vejjajiva, when he visited the region on Thursday.

Dr Awang Adek said the bank could be set up in a month or two. He added that establishing peace in the three provinces of Patani, Narathiwat and Yala must be speeded up for the benefit of the Muslims who formed the majority of the residents there.

If that could be done, it would provide more economic and investment opportunities to benefit the residents on both sides of the border.

He said the government was also considering extending aid in the form of Malay language and Islamic religious teachers for lower secondary schools and centres of higher learning there. — Bernama

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