In Thailand English-language News for May 1, 2018, Newsline presenter Surapan Laotharanarit tells us about:
00:47 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday told a government committee to accelerate its efforts to enhance public services and to find a solution to the controversial housing project for judges at the foot of Doi Suthep in the northern province of Chiang Mai.
Before chairing a meeting of the committee to mobilise reforms according to the Thailand 4.0 development agenda, the PM said that Thailand had declared its commitment to modernise the country inclusively during last week’s Asean Summit in Singapore.
01:51 | Deputy prime minister General Prawit Wongsuwon yesterday refused to respond to criticism from political groups about plans by the junta-government to talk to politicians in an an attempt to get them to join a newly formed political party aimed at supporting the prime minister.
03:10 | Deputy prime minister Dr Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has no intentions to use Article 44 of the Interim Constitution to resolve the ongoing protests about houses built for judges on Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.
Dr Krea-ngam said that while the project had been constructed legally, the protests had shown that it is not just a matter of the law that needs to be considered in resolving the issue. He said that he recognised the demands of the people for good governance, transparency, accountability and the rule of law in settling the matter.
However, he ruled out the demolition of the controversial houses, saying that such action is against government rules and laws, as more than Bt1 billion (about US$31,700) had been allocated for the project.
04:50 | Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya yesterday held a meeting with relevant agencies to follow up on progress in Thailand’s ongoing fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
A number of updated measures were discussed, with penalties for wrongdoers increased to include license suspension and revocation and/ or the impounding of boats.
06:21 | A government committee established to improve the life of farmers yesterday discussed amendments to the law on sales with the right of redemption aimed at increasing the period of time that farmers have to find money to redeem their property from the current three months to between one and one and a half years.
07:50 | The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) have signed a memorandum to protect the rights of consumers to mark Thai Consumer Protection Day 2018.
08:41 | The government’s nationwide ant-rabies vaccination programme continues with pet owners in Ang Thong, and Nong Khai taking advantage of mobile vaccination clinics visiting their areas.
11:43 | The national rice policy committee has approved the selling two million tons of rice for industrial use this year. The meeting heard that the rice price this year is satisfactory due to strong overseas demand. Additionally it was told that ‘a large volume of rice’ will be delivered in a government-to-government deal with China this month, while the Philippines will open rice bidding on May 4.
12:45 | The Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SME) Bank is to launch measures to give SMEs better access to finance after a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) showed that business competitiveness of Thai SMEs increased from 47.9 points in Q4_2017 to 48.2 points in the Q1_2018, caused largely by production costs, product quality, and access to financial services.
14:05 | Social Development and Human Security Minister, General Anantaporn Kanjanarat, yesterday joined Payong Srivanich, President of Krungthai Bank to inaugurate an electronic payment service for state allowances aimed at ensuring transparency and speeding up the payment process.
After the system kicks off today, May 1, only three groups of people will continue to receive allowances in cash: people faced with an emergency situations, those who file complaints with a Damrong Tham Center, and the poor in need of financial support for returning home.
15:45 | Phangnga Governor Sittichai Sakda yesterday chaired the opening of a Pracharat Market, named Rim Nam Takua Pa Ruam Jai, considered Phangnga’s fourth ‘must-see market’.
17:05 | Thai fire suppression authorities have attended a meeting in Yangon, Myanmar to assist Myanmar in suppressing a landfill fire on the city limits of Yangon that has burnt for more than seven days.
Thai officials advised Yangon Chief Minister, Phyo Min Thein, to have firefighters dig a firebreak around the remaining area to contain the blaze and to extinguish the smoke plumes with water. Residents of communities affected by the smoke should be evacuated, they advised.
18:15 | A Malaysian court yesterday convicted 46-year-old Danish citizen Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, for spreading fake news by posting video on YouTube accusing police of taking 50 minutes to respond to distress calls following the shooting of a Palestinian lecturer in Kuala Lumpur on April 21. Malaysian police said they took only eight minutes to respond.
Sulaiman was fined RM10,000 (about US$2,552), but opted to spend a month in jail because he could not pay the fine.
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Newsline is a daily Thailand English-language news and current affairs programme produced by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNBT) under the Thailand Government Public Relations Department (PRD) for *NBT World, the NNBTs 24/7 English language television service delivering Thailand government news and information to the Thai, Asean, and wider Asian communities. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.