Thailand morning news for January 31

Thailand morning news for January 31
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Thailand morning news

All schools in Bangkok closed as smog problem worsens
The Ministry of Education has ordered all schools in Bangkok closed for two days starting Thursday as smog condition in and around Bangkok worsened today. Meanwhile, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwangkuang…
— Thai PBS World

Thailand aims to export 9.5m tonnes of rice in 2019
Thailand aims to export 9.5 million tonnes of rice this year, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said on Wednesday, a 14% decline from 2018.
— Bangkok Post

Hakeem AlAraibi’s wife asks Thailand’s Prime Minister to ‘please help my husband come home’
The wife of detained footballer Hakeem AlAraibi has sent an emotional appeal to Thailand’s Prime Minister asking for the junta leader’s help as she fears for her husband’s life.
— ABC News

Prayut mulls factory shutdowns, mandatory carpools
The government may require factories to shut down part of each day, the use of carpools and other driving restrictions to reduce toxic dust, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.
— Bangkok Post

Court dismisses case against suspected wildlife trafficker
A SUSPECTED wildlife trafficking kingpin accused of smuggling US$1 million (Bt31 million) worth of rhino horns to Thailand has had the case against him dismissed, in a surprise court verdict slammed by conservationists.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Minister urges baht to be reined in
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong urged the Bank of Thailand to rein in the strengthening baht after the currency hit a nine-month high against the greenback.
— Bangkok Post

Araibi’s wife: Please help my husband come home
A campaign to stop Thailand from extraditing to Bahrain a detained soccer player who has refugee status in Australia has gotten a personal touch, with a letter from the jailed man’s wife delivered to the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
— Bangkok Post

Pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party proposes Prayut for next premier
PHALANG Pracharat Party has resolved to have Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha lead its list of PM candidates, followed by former industry minister Uttama Savanayana and Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

PM threatens to enforce odd-even number driving rule if other efforts to tackle smog fail
Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha warned this morning that he might be forced to introduce the odd-even number rule for motorists in Bangkok if all other measures to ease the health-threatening smog…
— Thai PBS World

Rice shippers take dimmer view of 2019
Rice exporters forecast Thailand to ship 9.5 million tonnes this year, 500,000 tonnes shy of the Commerce Ministry’s forecast and 1.6 million tonnes less than the total shipped in 2018.
— Bangkok Post

Bangkok lost in a blanket of smog, tourism bosses fearful
More than 330,000 Chinese tourists are due to arrive in Thailand next week and enjoy festivities linked to the Chinese New Year.
— Asia Times

No relief from intensifying Bangkok smog before Monday
Toxic smog was recorded in 39 areas of greater Bangkok on Wednesday morning, trapped by stagnant air, with no relief expected before next Monday.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

PM awards first 20 loans in the One Million Homes program
The Prime Minister has chaired a ceremony granting loans to the first 20 people to be approved under the One Million Homes program.

HM The King steps in with support for boy, 7, savaged by dogs
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will cover all medical costs for D-Max, the 7-year-old boy savaged by stray dogs on Sunday, and has ordered for him to be cared for by royal command, Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana announced today (Jan 30).
— The Phuket News

Final Day of King’s Coronation Declared National Holiday
The final day of His Majesty the King’s three-day coronation ceremony will be observed as a national holiday.
— Khaosod English

NCPO order reveals medical research on cannabis
NCPO Order 1/2019 published on January 28th this year made amendments to patent law, and introduced measures to provide the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) with the authority to cancel cannabis patent filings within 90 days so that researchers can study cannabis extractions for medical purposes.
— NBT World (video)

Rice Department reacts to export of subpar rice
The Rice Department has urged farmers to plant only validated strains of rice to maintain the quality of exports. Following news of fake Kao Dok Mali 105 rice being sold to importers, thereby denting the image of Thai rice sales, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has ordered a thorough investigation.
— Pattaya Mail

Bangkok smog: 50 drones to be launched spraying molasses to relieve smog
Bangkok is preparing to launch 50 drones tomorrow for spraying water in the skies over the capital. The water will contain molasses to aid in the attachment to smog particles. The Thai News Agency is reporting that Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang says they have contacted a drone club in Nakhon Ratchasima to get 50 drones
— The Thaiger

Ministry bans steel plant expansion
Steel plant expansion and construction of steel bar plants will be banned for the next five years in Thailand to reduce the domestic surplus, according to an Industry Ministry draft regulation the cabinet approved on Tuesday.
— Bangkok Post

EP33: The Mission of Thailand as ASEAN Chairmanship
As Thailand will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship next year, let’s take a look at the country’s mission to host important meetings at various levels.
— NBT World (video)

Condo launches at 10-year high
The condominium market in Bangkok in 2018 set a record for the most new project launches in 10 years, with some 65,000 units entering the market, an increase of 11% from 2017, says Knight Frank Thailand.
— Bangkok Post

PM orders agencies to devise long-term plan to tackle PM2.5
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed related agencies to develop short, medium, and long-term plans to tackle air pollution in Thai cities.

Developers advised to unload old condo supply
Condo developers should monitor their own unsold inventory closely and try to drain as much as possible before planning new supply launches this year amid slowing property market growth, according to analysts.
— Bangkok Post

Smog condition worsens in and around Bangkok today and likely to remain so until Feb 4
Smog problem in and around Bangkok appears to be getting out of control, with 39 areas being affected by excessive PM2.5 dust particles, especially in areas along Rama II road…
— Thai PBS World

NBTC gears up auctions for 5G
The telecom regulator is moving ahead with its plan to auction spectrum on the 26- and 28-gigahertz as well as 2600-megahertz ranges later this year to prepare for 5G wireless broadband adoption.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

Upcoming e wallet compatible with millions of vendors
Central JD Fintech has partnered with Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn Bank to develop an e-wallet solution called Dolphin Wallet that can be used to buy goods and transfer money with a linked bank account.
— NBT World (video)

NLA to pass 100 more laws before its dissolution
Incumbent lawmakers will pass no fewer than 100 laws before leaving office, according to the president of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), Pornpetch Wichitcholchai.

Thailand: Manufacturing Supports 4Q18 GDP Growth Pick-Up
Thailand’s manufacturing production growth slowed further to 0.8% year-on-year in December from 0.9% in November, which was revised lower from the 1.0% initial estimate.
— Seeking Alpha

Thailand’s domestic gas production declines amidst changes in energy mix
The government is stepping up its efforts to diversify its power sector to move away from a reliance on gas production.
— Singapore Business Review

Suvarnabhumi Airport unveils “Thailand E-Visa On Arrival”
Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Samut Prakan province launched a “Thailand E-Visa On Arrival” campaign on Tuesday, to boost tourism during the Spring Festival.

SCG raises investment for 2019
SET-listed Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand’s biggest cement maker and industrial conglomerate, has boosted its investment budget by 23% to 60 billion baht in 2019 to expand domestically and overseas.
— Bangkok Post

Authorities to step up efforts to take legal action against drivers of vehicles emitting black smoke
The Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, has ordered the Royal Thai Police (RTP) and the Department of Land Transport (DLT) to take legal action against drivers of any vehicles emitting black smoke.

22 arrested over illegal gambling websites in Bangkok
Police have arrested 22 suspects following crackdown on online gambling sites across six provinces today. Of the 22, 16 were arrested for alleged links to,, and which allegedly provide people with online betting. “The websites had a combined cash flow of over 300 million baht,” said Pol Lt-General Surachete Hakparn
— The Thaiger

No crackdown on Islamic schools, says Army
THE AUTHORITIES are denying claims that they have launched a crackdown on pondoks or Islamic schools in the South.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Coronation-related activities to formally start on April 6 with blessing of coronation water
Activities related to the coronation will kick off on April 6, starting with the launch of a ceremony for the collection of holy water to be held simultaneously in all…
— Thai PBS World

Satellite grant to end
The cabinet on Tuesday approved in principle applying a public-private partnership (PPP) format for the country’s satellite management in lieu of the concession system once the existing contract expires…
— Bangkok Post

Egat to float solar panels at dams
The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will start installation of floating solar panels in April at five hydropower plants in five provinces.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand’s Central Group planning to invest $200 million in Grab
Central Group, Thailand’s biggest shopping Centre and department store operator, is planning to invest US$200 million (6.3 billion Thai baht) in ride-hailing giant ‘Grab’, according to sources ‘familiar with the matter’ today. The deal seals a strategic partnership where the Thai retail giant will help Grab expand its business in Thailand.
— The Thaiger

Burmese migrants, heading for Malaysia, stopped in Chumphon
Police and soldiers in Chumphon have arrested 37 Burmese people who were heading to Malaysia. Security forces, including troops from the 44th Army Circle, checked a wooded location where residents had seen a group of strangers in a makeshift camp.
— The Thaiger

Selfie checkout using advanced Facial Recognition coming to major Thailand retailers
Major retailers in Thailand and China are teaming up to offer their customers a new way to pay. They’re asking people to put away their wallets and shop by simply showing their face. The system is set to launch in Thailand by the end of the year.
— The Pattaya News

DPM Somkid says farming sector needs complete overhaul
The government has confirmed it is seeking to strengthen the agricultural sector in its entirety, with a focus on upgrading the sector so that it may weather all modern challenges.
— NBT World (video)

Thailand aiming to challenge for Asian crypto leadership
So who is scared of the big bad crypto bear market? Not Thailand, apparently. Since the Thai Ministry of Finance granted digital asset business licenses to four operators, BX, Bitkub, Satang and, and the country’s stock exchange was reported to be applying for a crypto-currency exchange license, the mood in Thailand has remained upbeat and optimistic.
— Asia Times

AOT expects more Chinese arrivals during Chinese New Year
The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) is expecting more tourists this Chinese New Year, while confirming that Thailand is still among China’s most popular holiday destinations.

Thailand Slips Further in Latest Corruption Index
Thailand dropped three positions in the latest corruption index released Tuesday by a Berlin-based transparency watchdog. Transparency International ranked Thailand 99th out of 180 countries in its annual index, which saw the kingdom fall two points to score 35. Zero represents complete corruption and 100 is complete transparency.
— Khaosod English

Phuket pollution woes blanked at Asean marine environment confab
On hand to welcome the delegation were Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana along with Pralong Damrongthai, the Director-General of Pollution Control Department.
— The Phuket News

Fighting the plastic waste
A group of the world’s big energy, petrochemical and plastic manufacturing companies has just announced a massively funded programme to cut pollution by plastic waste, with a focus on Southeast Asia.
— Bangkok Post

Ashes from 144 medical research volunteers to return home
Relatives of the ‘Khru Yai’ (deceased people who donated their bodies for medical research) at Khon Kaen University (KKU)’s Faculty of Medicine on Wednesday collected their ashes at the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall to return home.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Former Factory Worker Named Future Forward Candidate
A former garment factory worker and labor organizer with a middle-school education became a progressive political party’s third party list candidate Wednesday. Doubling maternity leave and welfare for new mothers are among social programs Wanwipa “Mod” Maison said she will push for if seated in the new House of Representatives as a member
— Khaosod English

Over 20,000 Pabuk-hit people used services of Fix It Centers
The Secretary-General of the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Dr. Suthep Chittayawong, said over 20,000 people affected by tropical storm Pabuk in Thailand used the repair services of the Fix It Centers.
— Pattaya Mail


Feature photo CIAT


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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