KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 24 – Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor today confirmed his appointment as the new mediator for the peace talks in Southern Thailand.
Abdul Rahim (75) replaced Datuk Seri Ahmad Zamzamin Hashim, who had been appointed by the Barisan Nasional-led previous government to facilitate the peace talks between the Thai government and MARA Patani, an umbrella organization representing militant groups in Southern Thailand.
Speaking with Bernama, the Malaysian fifth IGP that served from 1994 to 1999 said he was surprised to receive the letter of appointment, but honored and willing to use his experience to ensure the success of the talks.
"Yes, I have received the letter of appointment, I will go to Bukit Aman later to resolve the relevant matters," he said without announcing the date of appointment.
Bundling Abdul Rahim described his new task as very challenging because of long-standing problems and disputes that had not yet reached a concrete agreement.
As such, he said that he would also use his experience as the special branch director of Bukit Aman to facilitate conversations.
"I think my extensive experience and knowledge about the problems at the border can be put to good use when carrying out my new task," he said.
However, Abdul Rahim said that he would also need the cooperation and dedication of the parties involved to ensure the success of the peace talks.
Kuala Lumpur is organizing various peace talks between representatives of the government of Thailand and MARA Patani to find a peaceful solution to years of armed conflict in southern Thailand.
About 7,000 people died as a result of armed conflicts in Southern Thailand since 2004. – Bernama