In the last couple of years, there have been several reports of Malaysian tourists being murdered or killed in bombings in southern Thailand.
The latest Malaysian tourist to be killed in southern Thailand was 50-year-old Tang Ah Loi, who was shot in the head and chest on Saturday night. His body was dumped in bushes at the side of the road, and his Proton car was stolen.
With stolen cars being the signature of Muslim terrorists in the south, as they are later used for car bombs, the possibility of a terrorist connection is also being looked into by Thai police.
While Thailand overall is a safe country for tourists to visit, the south of the country unfortunately often isn’t.
Plagued with bombings, shootings, murders and kidnappings, places like Narathiwat province, Pattani, Hat Yai and Yala are quite dangerous much of the time. They are also, however, popular places for Malaysian and Singaporean tourists as they are close to the Malaysian-Thai border, and are cheap places for shopping and entertainment.
The last Malaysian tourists to be murdered in the south of Thailand happened just three months ago when three Malaysian tourists were killed in car bomb incidents in Yala.
Meanwhile, Tang Ah Loi’s murderers are still on the loose.
The Malaysian man’s body was discovered early this morning. He was last seen at an entertainment venue in Narathiwat last night. At the time he was accompanied by what witnesses say were “two friends”.
There’s no information as to whether these men were simply friends or were the ones that later perpetrated the murder. Meanwhile, a team of police and soldiers has been set up to investigate the murder.
A tragedy, of course, for the family of Tang Ah Loi, but also not particularly good for the Thai tourist industry.
That is why Deputy PM Chalerm came out last week saying he was initiating a crackdown on attacks on tourists, which have been increasing in recent months. Time will tell how that pans out.