Thailand morning news for August 29

Thailand morning news for August 29

Thailand morning newsPrayut orders airport design contest probe
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) to conduct a probe into the contest to design Suvarnabhumi airport’s new passenger terminal, amid concerns among competing architects and the public over how the eventual winner was chosen.
— Bangkok Post

Thai July factory output rises 4.6 pct y/y, beats forecast
Thailand’s manufacturing production index (MPI) in July rose 4.6 percent from a year earlier, helped by higher production of cars, sugar and electronics, the Industry Ministry said on Tuesday.
— Reuters

Finn ‘satisfied’ after bitcoin scandal talks
Finnish businessman Aarni Otava Saarimaa, who lost millions of baht in an alleged high-profile bitcoin scam, is now “satisfied” after negotiating a settlement deal with two key suspects who Tuesday acknowledged fraud charges pressed by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD).
— Bangkok Post

Private sector forecasts 9% export growth this year
The Thai private sector has expressed confidence that this year’s exports will expand by 9% despite the U.S. – China trade war and currency volatility.
— News Today (video)

Amlo set to seize assets of operator in tour boat tragedy
The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has set out to seize the assets of TC Blue Dream Ltd, the alleged nominee working on behalf of foreign investors to operate a boat that capsized and killed 47 Chinese tourists last month, on suspicion of dubious operations, including money laundering.
— Bangkok Post

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PM promises easing of political restrictions once two poll-related bills enacted
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today that political restrictions would be eased to allow political parties to conduct certain political activities once the charter-mandated bill on the election of members of parliament and the other bill on the selection of senators are promulgated.
— Thai PBS

Thailand visitor arrivals in Jan-Jul 2018 up 11% to 22.6 million
Thailand welcomed visitor arrivals of 22,657,730 in January-July 2018, up by 11% over the same period of 2017, according to preliminary figures tabulated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Estimated visitor expenditure also rose significantly, up 14.44 percent to 1.18 trillion Baht.
— TAT News

Minister backs pesticide ban
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Wiwat Salyakamthorn has thrown his support behind a total ban on three hazardous herbicides — paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.
— Bangkok Post

Flood, landslide alerts for areas downstream from six dams
The six dams are the Nam Oun Dam in Sakon Nakhon, the Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam in Nakhon Nayok, the Vajiralongkorn Dam in Kanchanaburi (also with a possible flood impact in nearby Ratchaburi), the Kaeng Krachan Dam in Phetchaburi, the Pran Buri Dam in Prachuap Khiri Khan and the Rajjaprabha Dam in Surat Thani.
— The Nation

Judges seek commissioner ouster in ‘first’
In a move believed to be the first in the history of the Thai Courts of Justice, a petition signed by 1,776 out of all 4,555 judges nationwide was submitted on Tuesday to the Office of the Judiciary, seeking the impeachment of Judicial Commission member Chamnan Rawiwanpong.
— Bangkok Post

Ex-city police chief acquitted for his role in violent breakup of PAD protest in 2008
Former metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Suchart Muenkaew who ordered the use of tear gas to break up protesters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in front of the parliament in October 2008 was today (Tuesday) acquitted by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Posts.
— Thai PBS

Thailand is among Top 3 destinations for disconnecting from work
According to research by a global travel agency, the countries with the fewest hotels equipped with W-Fi are Chile, Mongolia and Thailand.
— The Nation

Water management tools no longer effective: forum
UNPREDICTABLE and extreme rainfall patterns caused by climate change make the management of water in reservoirs very challenging.
— The Nation (annoying popups)

Thailand’s cryptocurrency scandal must not derail fintech momentum
According to local media reports, an investor in the Stock Exchange of Thailand and staff at up to three Thai banks may well have been complicit in a US$24-million scandal involving a businessman from Finland, a Macau casino and a cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin.
— The Nation

DSI summons Akara gold mining firm to acknowledge encroachment charges
Akara gold mining company was today summoned by the Department of Special Investigation to acknowledge charges of illegal encroachment of forest land and highway land in two districts of the northern provinces of Phetchabun and Phichit.
— Thai PBS

Bankers chew over hiking PromptPay fee-waiver limit
The Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA) is still considering whether its members will raise the fee-waiver ceiling to 700,000 baht per transaction for those who transfer money through the PromptPay system, says a banking source.
— Bangkok Post

Uncertain future for homeless Lawa villagers
BAN HUAY Khab villagers, who lost their homes to a landslide in July, have been moved to temporary shelters as the government’s plan to set up a new village in a forest reserve continues.
— The Nation

Thailand and India agree to strengthen collaboration on security and military affairs
Thailand and India have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on security and military affairs.
— News Today (video)

PM disagrees with higher penalties for drivers without driving licenses
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today that he personally did not agree with a police proposal to increase the penalties for drivers without driving licenses.
— Thai PBS

Military Chief Visit Spotlights Thailand-Brunei Defense Relations
Last week, Brunei’s military chief embarked on an introductory visit to Thailand.
— The Diplomat

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Thailand: Water spinach stems as eco-friendly straws in Bangkok
Plastic straws, accompanying bottled drinks sold at convenience stores, are part of everyday life in Thailand. However, when in June a dead whale was found that had died after swallowing 80 plastic bags, public awareness of plastic waste grew, sparking a move away from the material.
— Fresh Plaza

New Malaysian peace talks facilitator hopeful of peace agreement
The new Malaysian facilitator for peace talks in southern Thailand said today he sees the possibility of an agreement to end the violence that has plagued the Thai region for years if the dialogue can proceed in positive manner.
— Thai PBS

KBank joins rush to tap postal network
COMMERCIAL banks are rushing to seek out business partnerships with Thailand Post Co to capture opportunities from the boom in online shopping.
— The Nation

Visa application prices for Thailand to rise: Thai envoy
Thailand’s top envoy to Taiwan said Tuesday that his office has decided to outsource visa applications to a private company, which he claimed will provide better service and improve the security of its representative office, although prices will rise.
— Focus Taiwan

National E-Payment system to be developed further
The Ministry of Finance has moved forward with its development of the National E-Payment system, increasing fee waived transactions using Prompt Pay from 5,000 to 700,000 baht and upgrading Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines to distinguish between goods prices and Value Added Tax (VAT).
— News Today (video)

Cabinet OKs 15% income funds tax
The cabinet on Tuesday approved a 15% withholding tax on gains from investment in income funds, a move estimated to generate up to 2.5 billion baht a year for state coffers.
— Bangkok Post

In Golden Week, Thailand to cede market share to Japan
Thailand may not see a rebound in the number of Chinese tourists for as long as a year, following a deadly boat accident that claimed 47 Chinese lives, a Chinese tourism expert said on Monday.

Thailand starts construction of monorail transit lines in Bangkok
Thailand formally started construction of the first two single monorail mass rapid transit lines of the country on Monday in a bid to ease traffic congestion in its capital Bangkok.
— Asia&Pacific

Tata Steel lowers sales estimate on slim state project spending
SET-listed Tata Steel Thailand Plc (TSTH), the local unit of India’s largest steelmaker, is conservative about sales volumes for its 2019 fiscal year, which began in April, projecting slight growth to 1.24-1.25 million tonnes after witnessing overall rebar volume in the country shrinking during January to June.
— Bangkok Post

Government confirms relocation of construction site for judges’ residence in Chiang Mai
The government is confirming that the construction site for the residence of judges and officials in Chiang Mai will be relocated and the process will be transparent.
— News Today (video)

Tree bank loan amount rises
The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has raised the maximum loan amount under its tree bank scheme to 80% of collateral value from 50% to attract more people to grow…
— Bangkok Post

Bangkok conference seeks to build inter-continental cooperation in suppressing wildlife trade and trafficking
Some leading anti-wildlife trafficking experts and law enforcers from 30 countries of Africa, South Asia and Asean are gathering at a two-day Bangkok “Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation for addressing Wildlife and Forest Crimes and Attaining SDGs”, being held at the Asian Institute of Technology until tomorrow.
— The Nation

Overcrowded Vachira Phuket Hospital to refuse non-critical patients due to bed shortage
Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town, which is the main government hospital on the island, from Oct 1 will begin refusing to treat non-critical inpatients from other areas across the island unless they have been referred by a medical specialist due to a bed shortage.
— The Phuket News

Unilever, P&G spruce up low-cost outlets
The Commerce Ministry has teamed up with consumer goods giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble Trading Thailand to modernise traditional small-scale retail and Thong Fah Pracha Rat low-priced shops, aiming for at least 10,000 outlets nationwide in the first phase.
— Bangkok Post

Thai national returns to Singapore to face NS defaulting charges, pleads guilty
A 24-year-old Thai national who was formerly a Singapore citizen returned to Singapore and pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Aug 28) to defaulting on national service (NS).
— Channel NewsAsia




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Thailand morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Thailand news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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John Le Fevre

Thailand editor at AEC News Today

John is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer, and copy editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Prior to AEC News Today he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

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