Thailand morning news for December 28

Thailand morning news for December 28

Thailand morning newsThai anti-graft agency drops probe into ‘Rolex General’
A graft probe into the luxury watch collection of Thailand’s junta number two was dropped Thursday (Dec 27), sparking the ire of the public and political opponents of the military.
— Channel NewsAsia

Two bombs rock Songkhla in Thailand, no one hurt
Two bombs rocked the popular Samila Beach here Wednesday night, causing damage to the famous Golden Mermaid Statue and the Cat and Mouse Sculpture.
— The Star Online

Thailand records 7.5% growth in visitor arrivals
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced the tourism figures for January-November 2018. Thailand received 34,431,489 international visitors, up by 7.53% over the same period of last year, generating an estimated B1.8 billion in tourism revenue, up by 9.79%.
— The Phuket News

Police reform coming in Thailand: Interrogations to be captured on film; no more parading of suspects before press
As part of police reform, people will soon be able to lodge a complaint with police via email.
— The Pattaya News

Bomber’s motive unclear, Samila beach remains closed
Samila beach in Muang district remained closed to the public on Thursday after two bombs exploded there on Wednesday night. No casualties were reported.
— Bangkok Post

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Thailand’s new pro-junta party raises $20m in one night
Military regime flexes muscle in lavish bid to counter populist opposition groups
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Thailand shows interest in Russian helicopters
Thailand has shown interest in Russia’s helicopters Ansat, Mi171A2 and Ka-32, the CEO of the holding company Helicopters of Russia (an affiliate of Rostec), Andrei Boginsky, told TASS on Thursday.
— Tass

Fraud, child porn arrests among pre-holiday busts
Four recent cases were shared with media by Immigration police chief Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakpal in Bangkok on Thursday. They included the arrest of “Net Idol” fraud suspects, the arrest of an alleged con artist using the lure of jobs overseas, the crackdown on six Chinese beggars roaming Bangkok tourist attractions, and the nationwide searches that netted eight suspects on child pornography-related charges
— The Nation

Corruption before and after the NCPO
When the military junta in Thailand, also known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), seized power on 22 May, 2014, one of the main reasons it gave for doing so was to address the high levels of corruption plaguing the country under then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
— The Asean Post

“An academic forum is not a military camp” case dismissed; court rules law no longer exists to charge 5 defendants
On 25 Dec 2018 at 9 am, the Chiang Mai District Court read the verdict in the case over the sign reading “An academic forum is not a military camp” displayed at the International Conference on Thai Studies held in Chiang Mai on 18 July 2017.
— Prachatai English

Our Person of the Year 2018: Prawit Wongsuwan, Military’s ‘Real Power’
Deputy junta chairman Prawit Wongsuwan, aka Big Pom, sure gave his critics and the media a lot to talk about throughout 2018.
— Khaosod English

Body of missing toddler found in Thai sugarcane plantation
The search for a missing 2-year-old boy in which even elephants were employed ended grimly Tuesday with the discovery of the toddler’s body in a sugarcane plantation in central Thailand.
— Pattaya Mail

Thai farmers giddy over new medical marijuana law
Thai farmers welcomed a new law allowing cultivation and use of marijuana for medical purposes Wednesday, in an Asian first that promises an economic bonanza but also fears that foreign companies could reap the rewards.
— The Asean Post

Fixed-income funds, corporate bonds among concerns flagged by BOT
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) yesterday warned investors about the risks posed by fixed-income funds invested abroad, while also flagging concerns over deposits placed with savings cooperatives and bonds issued by Thai conglomerates.
— The Nation

Heightened push for free-trade agreements
Thailand has set an ambitious goal to finish drafting four free-trade agreements (FTAs) in 2019, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) mega multilateral FTA and three bilateral FTAs with Turkey, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
— The Nation

Glow takeover gets nod
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Wednesday approved the takeover of Glow Energy Plc by Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC), with the proviso that Glow must sell some of its power plant assets at Map Ta Phut to a third party before the acquisition takes place.
— Bangkok Post

B.Grimm moves ahead on solar lead
B.Grimm Power Plc, which has the most capacity among small power producers in Thailand, has begun commercial operations at three solar projects in the country with a combined capacity of 10.83 megawatt (MW)
— Bangkok Post

Thai orchid growers turn to the East as US sales wilt under tariffs
The protectionist climate in the U.S. is pushing Thai orchid exporters to seek more fertile ground in China, in another example of how trade tensions can reshape markets of all kinds.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Fierce competition from Vietnam and Cambodia dampens export of Thai Hom Mali rice
Export of Thai Hom Mali (fragrant) rice for the year 2019 is expected to fall by about 20 percent to roughly one million tonnes from this year’s 1.2-1.3 million tonnes as foreign buyers have increasingly shifted to similar grains from Vietnam and Cambodia which are cheaper.
— Thai PBS World

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Interior Ministry unveils “No Gift” policy
The Permanent Secretary for Interior has announced a “No Gift” policy for the New Year celebrations 2019 in order to create an anti-corruption culture among officials at the Ministry of Interior.
— NBT World (video)

Same-sex marriage out of the closet in Thailand
Thailand’s Cabinet has approved a civil partnership bill that gives long sought legal recognition to LGBTI unions, though activists say the legislation still falls short of equal rights
— Asia Times

Senator candidate complains about vote-buying
A senator candidate for the small farmers’ group has protested against the elections at the national level, claiming efforts were made to buy votes.
— Bangkok Post

Prem advises Prayut to befriend enemies, critics
The Privy Council president on Thursday advised the junta chief to treat his critics and political opponents as friends – a move that he said would make his time in power smoother.
— The Nation

Surachai and refugee friends disappear from home, wife begs those with power to spare their lives
On 23 Dec 2018, Facebook user Romchalee Sinseubpol, a refugee living in a neighbouring country, published a post saying that Surachai Danwattananusorn (Surachai Saedan), a 75-year-old political activist who fled Thailand after the May 2014 coup, had disappeared from his residence along with 2 other refugees he had been staying with.
— Prachatai English

Phuket raid nets 500kg of kratom, four cars seized
A raid by anti-narcotics officers in Phuket before dawn today netted 500 kilograms of kratom and seven suspects, and saw four cars seized.
— The Phuket News

Cats & dogs die by hundreds in disease-infested Bangkok shelter: Rights group
Stuffed inside small cages, they stare and whimper at visitors or lie helplessly still. In every group of big dogs and adult cats, or small puppies and kittens, some are collapsed on the ground, short of breath or even dead.
— Khaosod English

Bodies of two missing South Korean golfers in Nan found
The bodies of two elderly South Korean golfers who went missing after their golf cart fell into the Nan river in the northern province of Nan following an accident on a floating platform on Tuesday have been found.
— Thai PBS World

Help monitor latest rare egg discovery via turtle cam
A rare sea turtle laid about 100 eggs on a Thai beach fewer than 10 days after another did so at another beach for the first time in five years.
— Khaosod English

Top 10 party countdowns for new years eve in Phuket 2019
There are lots of options for dinner around the island. But what are you doing after that on December 31?– when the kids go to bed and the adults can go out, where there is bubbly to be found and music to dance to.
— The Thaiger


Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges the volunteers and paid professionals who participated in the rescue of the Wild Boar football team in July


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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With a decade of experience as an editor and journalist, Roy has edited mastheads across Australia and Southeast Asia, from the remote island communities of the Torres Strait to Cambodia’s only award-winning newspaper, The Phnom Penh Post.

A a professional photographer since the days of film, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Photomedia and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.

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