Thailand morning news for December 17

Thailand morning news for December 17

Thailand morning newsEmbassy staff can observe poll, but not outsiders, says foreign minister
The Foreign Ministry has welcomed the idea of allowing embassy staff to observe the general election but not non-residents or foreign organisations.
— Bangkok Post

Thai Govt launches campaign to regain Chinese visitors’ confidence
Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat said this weekend that Thailand has initiated a number of measures to better balance, manage, and distribute visitor numbers and preserve the quality of tourism destinations in Thailand.

Hundreds of Thai Women Sold for Sex, US Prosecutors Say
Hundreds of Thai women were lured to the United States to work in brothels across the country, U.S. prosecutors said, as they announced that five people had been convicted of various charges for their involvement in “modern-day sex slavery.”
— Benar News

Politician Acquitted Over Missing Plaque Remarks
A former Pheu Thai MP was acquitted Friday of sedition and cybercrimes for questioning what happened to a historic plaque that went missing in April 2017.
— Khaosod English

NLA accepts draft amendment Arbitration Act
The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand (NLA) has accepted in principle the draft amendment Arbitration Act which would allow foreigners to serve as arbitrators in Thailand.
— NBT World (video)

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Border cops in tourism deal
The Thai Border Patrol Police force has reached an agreement with its Myanmar counterpart to turn parts of the western forest in Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pha Phum district into a new tourist attraction.
— Bangkok Post

Selection of senators starts today
Selection of senators, who will play a key role in shaping post-election Thai political future, began today with candidates in all 876 districts across the country selecting among themselves in their respective districts for preliminary lists of candidates to be moved up to provincial level for the second round of selection.
— Thai PBS World

Thailand needs a more ambitious action plan on climate change
THAILAND’S climate-change prevention commitment is not ambitious enough, environmental group Greenpeace warned, following a United Nations report last week that called for a major boost in prevention measures in order to keep global warming within the 1.5- to 2-degree Celsius target needed to prevent dire future consequences.
— The Nation

Ballot issues to dominate EC meeting
Electronic campaigning, election campaign spending, and prohibitions on campaign materials are expected to top the agenda of a meeting between the Election Commission (EC) and political parties this week.
— Bangkok Post

Sino-Japanese cooperation thrown off track over Thai rail project
Japan and China are working to improve ties through joint infrastructure projects abroad, but cooperation on a Thai railroad — a centerpiece of that effort — has already suffered.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Democrats quick off the blocks with “Strong Children” policy
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has strongly denied that his party’s “Strong Children” policy is one kind of populism. The policy is attracting much attention for two reasons
— Thai PBS World

Thailand eyes lifelong learning push
Thailand needs to make lifelong learning a national imperative to build a competitive workforce for the so-called disruptive era, as the formal education system can no longer “future-proof” degrees for the jobs of tomorrow, according to the South East Asia Centre (SEAC).
— Bangkok Post

Royal Decree for February 24 election has been sent to HM the King
The Royal Decree on the election of members to the parliament has already been submitted to His Majesty the King for his Royal approval, according to the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam.
— The Thaiger

Illegal Sports, Movie Stream Sites Taken Down in Crackdown
Security forces raided nearly 20 venues nationwide to shut down illicit operations streaming pirated films.
— Khaosod English

Thailand to Launch Virtual Drivers Licenses with QR Code in 2019
Drivers in Thailand will no longer have to carry licenses after the Department of Land Transport (DLT) launches an electronic version of the ID in mid-January.
— Chiang Rai Times

Narcotics officers arrest three with 370 kg of ‘ice’ and heroin in Chiang Rai
Three Hmong men from Tak province have been arrested in Chiang Rai while allegedly attempting to smuggle 300 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ice) and 70 kilograms of heroin from Myanmar into Thailand.
— The Thaiger/ The Nation

Thailand Has Only One High Ranked University on New World University Rankings Report
The US News and World Report has released this years University Ranks and Asia has only 63 high ranked universities and Thailand only had one, according to the recent report.
— Chiang Rai Times

Heavy rain causes widespread flooding in three southern provinces
Heavy rain that has battered the southern region for the past few days has caused flooding in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung provinces.
— Thai PBS World

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau Chief Says “X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner” Here to Stay
Thailand’s Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen.Surachate Hakparn told a press briefing yesterday that Visa crackdowns in Thailand are here to stay.
— Chiang Rai Times

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Site of Thai cave rescue now seeing up to 16,000 tourists a day
The site in Thailand where 12 football players and their coach were rescued from a cave has become a major tourist attraction.
— Evening Standard

Former DSI chief jailed for defaming former deputy premier
A former director general of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) was found guilty of libeling former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban and sent to jail.

Cybersecurity spending to rise
Thailand’s cybersecurity spending is expected to grow 20-30% during 2018-19, driven by faster and more complicated targeted attacks powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in critical infrastructure and cloud security, says US-based cybersecurity firm Fortinet.
— Bangkok Post

Seventeen Outstanding Business Leaders and Organizations were Conferred the Prestigious Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2018 Thailand
Enterprise Asia, the leading non-governmental organization for entrepreneurship in Asia, announced 17 winners of The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2018 Thailand at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire (media release)

Anti-junta rap resonates with young Thais
A rap video critical of Thailand’s military government has won over millennials and rankled the authorities, with one line declaring, “You don’t know what’s happening in this ludicrous country.”
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Coping with education disruption
The expert of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) points out how universities in Thailand can learn from LSE to cope with education disruption
— Thai PBS World (video)

Save the Children trains communities in Phang Nga in the prevention of drowning
An event on the safety of children has been organized in Phan Nga province. The focus of the event is the prevention of drowning which is the leading cause of death among children in Thailand.

MOPH aims to treat 14,000 drugs users in 3 months
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is taking a proactive approach reaching out to drug users, targeting to offer rehabilitation for 14,000 drug addicts over the next three months.

China, Thailand pledge to deepen cooperation
China and Thailand on Sunday pledged to deepen bilateral cooperation and move forward the construction of the China-Thailand railway.

Police raids in Chalong, Karon net 1,006 ya bah pills, 64g of ice
A series of raids by officers from the Phuket Provincial Police has netted four suspects along with 1,006 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine), 63.99 grams of ya ice (crystal meth) and a handful of bullets – but no firearm.
— The Phuket News

New investment to drive growth in Thailand’s e-commerce market
High rates of digital banking growth and an increase in online transactions have coincided with new investment in Thailand’s e-commerce segment, with online shopping market share expected to treble within five years.
— Borneo Post Online

Government helps Thai orchids sell online in China
The Thai Orchid Exporters Association hopes to penetrate the Chinese market by cooperating with a company in the Alibaba Group to sell Thai orchids online.
— NBT World (video)

Thai – Laotian PMs announce bilateral cooperation
The Thai and Laotian Prime Ministers have announced several bilateral cooperation during the third Thai-Lao Joint Cabinet Retreat (JCR).
— NBT World (video)

PCD issues plan to rid Thailand of garbage
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has issued guidelines for related agencies to achieve the country’s goal of eliminating 7.7 million tons of garbage within next year.

Ban Ki-moon attends launch of Global Compact Network Thailand, setting off private-sector collaboration for country’s sustainable development
Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recently visited Thailand to celebrate the official launch of Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) along with more than 500 business representatives from all manner of private industries.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire

Bridging the gaping wealth chasm
Although the military-led government has rolled out a raft of stimulus and relief measures to shore up the grassroots economy, spending and indebtedness among the underprivileged are still rampant.
— Bangkok Post

Forum on development of land around U-Tapao Airport
Deputy Governor of Rayong province Yuthapol Ongarjittichai has chaired the second forum on development plans for the area around U-Tapao Airport attended by Rayong Public Works and Town and Country Planning Official Capt Theerapong Krutdilokanon and other relevant officials.
— NBT World (video)

Wanted: Adept Thai manager who fits the bill
It seems the raucous media chorus calling for the installation of a homebred coach at the helm of the national football team has run its course and muffled a great deal.
— Bangkok Post

Rajaprajanukroh Foundation supplies to 36th Rajaprajanugroh School in Phuket
The Rajaprajanukroh Foundation under the Royal Patronage donated school supplies to 36th Rajaprajanugroh School in Phuket province.
— NBT World (video)

Thailand’s Chonburi wins Yunnan International Football Tournament
Thai side Chonburi won the title at the 2018 Belt and Road Colourful Yunnan International Football Tournament here on Sunday, beating Belgrade FK Zvezdara from Serbia 3-2 in the final.

Visions for Thailand
Leaders and key figures from Democrat, Phalang Pracharat, Pheu Thai and Bhum Jai Thai parties talked about their vision for Thailand after the next election at an event on Sunday.
— The Nation (annoying pop-ups)

Schneider Electric expanding with IoT
France-based Schneider Electric has committed to expanding its business presence in Southeast Asia with an Internet of Things (IoT) concept called EcoStruxure.
— Bangkok Post

Thai – Laotian PMs announce bilateral cooperation
The Thai and Laotian Prime Ministers have announced several bilateral cooperation during the third Thai-Lao Joint Cabinet Retreat (JCR).
— NBT World (video)

PTT Thailand Grand Prix in Buriram voted best of 2018
“The race weekend at Buriram was the most attended and has been voted the best of the season on its debut.”
— The Thaiger

PM leads walk rally, honor HM the late King
The Prime Minister has taken part in a walk rally along Prem Prachakorn canal honoring His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, part of the Altruistic Heart: We Love Doing Good campaign.
— NBT World (video)

Thailand May Become the Worlds Powerhouse of Medical Marijuana
Thailand is on the brink of becoming the first Southeast Asian nation to legalize medical marijuana, a development that has pot connoisseurs around the world lighting up in anticipation.
— Chiang Rai Times

Seeking stability
When poor people in Thailand queued to collect billions of baht in state-alloted cash handouts recently, critics accused the military government of using the exercise to raise the profile of its allied political party.
— The Straits Times

NLA accepts draft amended Arbitration Act
The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand (NLA) has accepted in principle the draft amended Arbitration Act which would allow foreigners to serve as arbitrators in Thailand.

Thailand, Cambodia to open more checkpoints, bolster trade
Thailand and Cambodia agreed on Thursday to open four more border checkpoints and vowed to achieve their bilateral trade target.
— Lakeland Observer

Phuket’s coastal eyesore construction is legal, confirms mayor
The building under construction on the coastal road to Krathing Cape, north of Nai Harn Beach, is legal, Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos has confirmed.
— The Phuket News

Bangchak sets $50m investment budget in bio, green-energy startups
BANGCHAK will invest US$50 million in startups within the next five years in order to expand their core business and technologies with the goal to emerge as the leading innovative group of its kind in the Asean bloc.
— The Nation

Thai Islamic leaders tighten rules on child marriage
Islam’s guiding council in Thailand has introduced new regulations requiring that marriages of children under age 17 be approved by a religious committee.
— Daily Times

Rajaprajanukroh Foundation supplies to 36th Rajaprajanugroh School in Phuket
The Rajaprajanukroh Foundation under the Royal Patronage donated school supplies to 36th Rajaprajanugroh School in Phuket province.
— NBT World (video)

GPO delivers blankets, medicine for Chiang Rai villagers facing winter cold
The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has delivered warm blankets and medicine to villagers in Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang district, prepared 3 million doses of influenza vaccine for prevention of the disease in risk groups next year.

DSI cracks down on pirated movie streaming sites in Bangkok, provinces
Officials of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and police raided 19 venues in Bangkok and the provinces in a crackdown on illicit streaming of pirated films.

Government strives to lift wellbeing of the disabled
The government is determined to improve the lives of persons with disabilities, turning Thailand into an inclusive society under the Pracharat or civil state approach.
— NBT World (video)

Naka Noi land fight spills into allegations of denied access to public beaches
A formal complaint has been filed against a prominent Bangkok family alleging that they are refusing people access to public beach areas on Naka Noi Island, off Phuket’s east coast.
— The Phuket News



Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Migrants Day, December 18.


Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

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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