Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has rejected Thailand's claim that Islamic separatists are using Malaysia as a base to destabilize southern Thailand.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Friday that some of the Muslim militants waging an insurgency in southern Thailand had been trained in Malaysia.

He told reporters he believed the training had been given in religious schools without the knowledge or support of the Malaysian government.

Mr. Abdullah called the statements shocking and said if Thailand had any information on the matter, they should have conveyed it to Malaysia through diplomatic channels.

The Malaysian leader said that when the Thai prime minister went to the media with the information, it became "sensational news" that would benefit no one.