Thailand Morning News For February 2

Thailand Morning News For February 2
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Thailand morning newsButt Out! Smoking Ban Hits Thailand Beaches (video)
Thailand’s beaches are among its greatest draw cards for tourists and from today when a beach smoking ban begins being enforced they’re going to start getting cleaner.
— AEC News Today

Polls tell Prawit it’s time to go
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has come under renewed pressure over his luxury watch collection as petitions and online polls have been launched asking people if they think he should resign.
— Bangkok Post

Economy for December continued to grow from November
Driven by tourism and export growth, Thai economy for the month of December continued to expand from a month earlier, said Mr Don Nakorntap, senior director of macro-economics of the Bank of Thailand, said on Wednesday.
— Thai PBS

NLA chief hints at more election delays
National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai has hinted the organic bills on the election of MPs and selection of senators could be scrapped, which would delay the election beyond February next year.
— Bangkok Post

168 projects in EEC get green light
The government has approved 168 infrastructure development projects worth a combined 989 billion baht for its flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.
— Bangkok Post

Wedding Bells: Thailand to Host Amour Asia Pacific 2018
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) today announced that Thailand will host the first ever Amour Asia Pacific 2018, a luxury travel trade event that will cement the Kingdom’s reputation as the destination of choice for lovers and honeymooners from around the world.
— TAT News

Government appointed team completes inspection of food prices at Bangkok airports
The government-appointed team in charge of the inspection of prices of food and beverages at Bangkok airports has completed its survey.
— News Today (video)

BMA hosts training program on water management
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has organized a training program to help all personnel learn more about flood prevention and water management.
— News Today (video)

Five-year GMS environmental agenda endorsed
Environment ministers from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) endorsed a five-year environmental agenda that includes more than US$540 million (16.9 billion baht) worth of priority…
— Bangkok Post

Holders of state welfare cards invited to attend government sponsored training programs
The government has invited holders of state welfare cards to attend a training session designed to help improve the quality of life.
— News Today (video)

About 10,000 foreign over-stayers are believed still hiding in the country
Police estimated there are about 10,000 foreigners who have over-stayed their visas in Thailand and are suspicious that many of them may engage in illegal activities.
— Thai PBS

Cryptocurrencies committee to outline stance this month
A working committee on cryptocurrencies is expected to clarify its stance on how to regulate digital currencies by this month, aiming to guard against fraud from investment in the tokens.
— Bangkok Post

Thai Bangchak plans $3.5 bln investment by 2022 for expansion
Thai oil refiner, Bangchak Petroleum Pcl said on Thursday it plans to invest 110 billion baht ($3.5 billion) between 2018 and 2022 to increase capacity and grow its business.
— Reuters

Merchants slow to adopt EDC systems
The Finance Ministry will encourage merchants to install swiping devices for credit and debit cards after the number of merchants equipped with point-of-sale terminals under the national e-payment scheme…
— Bangkok Post

DPM Wissanu Authorities can pursue seizure of former PM Yingluck’s assets until statute of limitations
The deputy prime minister in charge of legal affairs affirmed that authorities can pursue the confiscation of assets of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until the statute of limitations of her case expires.
— News Today (video)

Ex-deputy commerce minister Banyin indicted in court
Former deputy commerce minister Banyin Tangpakorn and two accomplices were formally indicted by public prosecutor Thursday (Feb 1) with charges of forgery and use of forged documents related to the transfer of 300 million baht worth of shares belonging to the late businessman Chuwong sae Tang.
— Thai PBS

BAY fans out with digital outposts
Bank of Ayudhya (BAY) aims to transform half of its traditional branches into digital outposts over the next three years, mirroring similar announcements by its competitors.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand Riddled With Crypto Mining Malware
New research by Palo Alto Networks reveals that Thailand is the country with the highest number of malware infections in Monero mining equipment. The figure exceeds 3.5 million, which means that one out of every 20 people in the country is currently using systems that mine Monero for hackers and doesn’t even know it.
— Cryptovest

39 individuals summoned for demanding elections
Bangkok police have summoned 39 participants in last weekend’s political campaign, which urged the junta to step down. They are accused of joining a public assembly held too close to a royal palace.
— Prachatai English

EC targets vote budget of B5.8bn
The Office of the Election Commission (EC) plans to ask for a budget of 5.8 billion baht to fund the next election, acting secretary-general Pol Col Charungwit Phumma said on Thursday.
— Bangkok Post

Centuries in the making: Will Thailand build a 100km canal?
If Thailand’s canal is ever built, it won’t be the world’s longest, but it surely will claim to have had the longest gestation period.
— Al Jazeera

Deputy PM lays out policy for police
Deputy Prime Minister Gen.Prawit Wongsuwon has instructed the police to suppress drug trafficking and Mafia activities more intensively. He stressed that the anti-money laundering law must be enforced in such cases.

NHRC to investigate Human Rights Watch reports
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will scrutinise two reports from Human Rights Watch (HRW) previously denounced by the Foreign Ministry. The new constitution orders the NHRC to investigate reports on human rights in Thailand, said a commissioner.
— Prachatai English

Central, Hongkong Land to buy UK embassy site for $597m in Thailand’s biggest land deal
A consortium of Thailand’s Central Group and Hongkong Land, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, has sealed a deal to acquire the British embassy site in Bangkok for over £420 million ($597.55 million).
— DealStreetAsia

Environment Ministry hands out awards to green businesses
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has given awards to 106 establishments that have changed their production and service operations to become more environmentally friendly.
— News Today (video)

Southern police uninjured as Narathiwat bomb detonates
Police patrolling an area in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district to safeguard teachers narrowly escaped injury on Thursday morning when a roadside bomb exploded near them.
— Phuket Gazette

Himalayan griffon vulture rescued in Phuket
The scavenging bird of prey was then taken to a wildlife nursery station in Phang Nga by a bird conservationist volunteer.
— The Phuket News


Feature photo Tom Jutte


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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