Thailand morning news for January 8

Thailand morning news for January 8
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Thailand morning newsSaudi asylum-seeker challenges Thailand human rights record as Asean chair year begins (video) *update #6
Just seven days in to its year as Asean chair and Thailand is embroiled in a human rights controversy that threatens to caste a lingering shadow over its custodianship of the region’s 4.5 million people for the next 12 months.
— AEC News Today

Somkid confident of 4-4.2 percent growth rate for 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is confident that Thailand’s economy for the year 2018 would grow between 4-4.2 percent, citing several economic indicators which have shown sign of improvements.
— Thai PBS World

Confusion reigns in poll date debate
Confusion has erupted over what the 150-day deadline on the election is following the enactment of the election law, with the uncertainty likely needing a Constitutional Court interpretation, according to political observers.
— Bangkok Post

Facemasks urged as haze persists
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has urged people in worst-affected areas to wear masks as air pollution is set to get worse over the next two to three days.
— Bangkok Post

Saudi Woman Leaves Bangkok Airport Under UN Care
A runaway Saudi woman who barricaded herself inside a room at a Bangkok airport rather than be deported back to her family has left safely in UN care.
— Khaosod English

Poll uncertainty, trade war hurting exports, investment: Somkid
THAILAND’S economic outlook for 2019 is “uncertain and gloomy” due to the upcoming general election and the US-China trade war, deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak warned yesterday.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Industry Min reports 200-million-baht’s storm damage
The Ministry of Industry expects the damage done by Tropical Storm Pabuk to manufacturing plants in the south to be around 200 million baht.

Optimism despite obstacles
Thailand’s economy will face a number of disruptions this year, from the US-China trade war to domestic elections, while overall economic growth is expected to marginally decrease, according to a panel of government officials and a banker.
— Bangkok Post

NLA asked public to halt criticism against Government
The president of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has called on the general public and politicians to refrain from lashing out at the government in regard to the election date.
— NBT World (video)

Motorists told to switch to public transport to help ease air pollution
The Pollution Control Department has pleaded with motorists in Bangkok to switch to public transports to help reduce car emissions and improve air quality in and around Bangkok.
— Thai PBS World

Monopoly of medical cannabis not in public interest: Experts
AUTHORITIES overseeing a flood of patents for medical cannabis must consider the public interest, otherwise a commercial monopoly of the medicines and cultivation would result, experts warn.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Asean economic meeting to focus on 12 top issues
As chair of Asean this year, Thailand is set to host the first senior economic official meeting (Seom) during Jan 12-18 in Bangkok, highlighting 12 key economic issues as top priorities.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand will not forcibly deport Saudi woman: immigration chief
The Saudi woman who made a desperate plea for asylum after landing at Bangkok airport will not be forcibly deported from Thailand, an official said Monday.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

King gives funds for Pabuk damage
Revenue from the royally initiated winter fair running under the banner “Un Ai Rak Khlai Khwam Nao” will be allocated to support efforts to restore the damage dealt by Tropical Storm Pabuk in southern Thailand from Friday to Sunday.
— Bangkok Post

Gen Prayut-led live TV program raises over 131 million baht for Pa Buk victims
A live TV program which saw Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha personally take phone calls from donors raised more than 131 million baht to help victims of tropical storm Pa Buk which wreaked havoc on several southern coastal provinces over the weekend.
— Thai PBS World

Price war in auto segment emerges with 65% loss ratio
A fierce price war in the auto insurance business is likely to ease as the loss ratio has reached 65% of total premiums earned, says the Thai General Insurance Association (TGIA).
— Bangkok Post

GHB launches assistance for flood-affected customers
The Government Housing Bank (GHB) has issued six measures to help people affected by Tropical Storm Pabuk in the South. Budget of one billion baht will be spent on its projects for people affected by inundation in 2019.
— NBT World (video)

Ex-CDC spokesman clarifies 150-day window to hold poll
A FORMER spokesman of the now-defunct Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC), Chartchai na Chiangmai, yesterday confirmed that the 150-day period prescribed by the charter on holding the election only covers the casting of ballots, not the announcement of election results.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thailand announces $125m rural broadband subsidy
Thailand’s telecoms regulator NBTC plans to provide 4 billion baht ($125.2 million) worth of subsidies for fixed broadband services in border villages as part of its efforts to bridge the urban-rural digital divide.

SRT land near Khon Kaen rail targeted
Property development on plots close to the Khon Kaen railway station owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) should draw new demand and boost the economy in the province and region, say local developers.
— Bangkok Post

DPM Prajin stresses importance of technology to achieve 4.0 goals
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong has reasserted the government’s commitment to attaining the country’s 4.0 goals.
— NBT World (video)

Air pollution back with a vengeance in greater Bangkok
With the joy of the New Year holidays having just passed, the woe of air pollution has again struck people in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces this week.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

TMVS pushes Mice standards
More than 1,200 exhibition rooms and spaces are scheduled to be certified under the Thailand Mice Venue Standards (TMVS) within the next five years, the largest number in Asean.
— Bangkok Post

Future Forward Party: Poll Supports Ending Conscription in Thailand
Future Forward Party, a new progressive political party led by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a famous millionaire, ran an online poll regarding military conscription in Thailand. From 24-31 December 2018, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit posted an opinion poll on his facebook page with a message:
— Prachatai English

South still reels after Pabuk
THE DEATH toll from tropical storm Pabuk has risen to four, while three southern provinces are still reeling from its impact yesterday.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Drink drivers face hospital rehab stay
An upsurge in the number of driving offences during the New Year holiday period has prompted officials to keep violators under hospital care and/or surveillance to bring drink-driving under control.
— Bangkok Post

Marine Dept launches Facebook complaints portal, as dangerous Phuket speedboat complaint left floundering
The Marine Department of Thailand today (Jan 7) launched a Facebook page for people to file complaints about marine tour services, and especially marine safety.
— The Phuket News

Alleged Chai Nat child rapist “cannot buy his way out”
POLICE IN Chai Nat say it€™s impossible for a teacher accused of raping a 12-year-old schoolgirl to buy his freedom with a cash payment to the parents because the offence is ‘€œnon-compoundable’€, meaning it cannot be settled other than through a criminal process.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Shortages seen in six job fields
Skilled workers are a critical driver of business success. A shortage of capable staff has become a major challenge in many countries and could significantly affect economic growth.
— Bangkok Post

Normal life resumes in Songkhla after Pabuk passes through
Life has returned to normal in Songkhla following tropical storm Pabuk, which swept across the Southern region at the end of last week.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Download: The GovInsider Guide to Thailand 4.0
“We need to create cities that can be drivers of the economy”. This was the vision set out earlier this year by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. How will the nation achieve its aims?
— GovInsider

Operators urgently restore mobile networks in storm-hit areas
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has reported that major mobile network operators are urgently repairing telecommunications infrastructure in Nakhon Si Thammarat and nearby provinces affected by Tropical Storm Pabuk that weakened to a depression as it moved westward and entered the Andaman Sea.
— NBT World (video)

100,000 rai devastated by Storm Pabuk
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, large areas of rubber and oil palms, were destroyed when Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall in southern Thailand last week.

Govt to help medical facilities overcome language barriers
As part of measures to ease the expanded acceptance of foreign workers scheduled to start in April, the Japanese government is planning to help facilitate the use of tablet devices with translation functions at medical facilities. The step is one among a comprehensive package of support measures compiled at the end of last year to promote coexistence with foreign nationals.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Friends in Need of Pa Foundation supply survival kits
Representatives of the Friends in Need of Pa Volunteer Foundation, have traveled south to give survival kits to those affected by tropical storm Pabuk in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

China honours 13 Thai high school students for preventing Chinese man from suicide plunge into Chao Phraya
The Chinese ambassador to Thailand, Lyu Jian, on Monday presented certificates of honour to 13 students of Wat Suthiwararam School, who had used their Chinese language skills to stop a Chinese man from committing suicide by jumping from Taksin Bridge in Bangkok last month, the Thai News Agency reported via Twitter.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Two injured after collapse of under-demolition buildingÂ
A four-storey building in Bangkok’s Soi Ramkhamhaeng 51/2 area, which was in the process of being demolished, partially collapsed on Monday afternoon, resulting in injuries to two passers-by.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Cops arrest Malaysian nationals for illegal entry
Two Malaysian nationals were detained on Monday near the Thai-Cambodian border in Aranyaprathet district after it was discovered they had no entry stamps in their passports.
— Bangkok Post


Feature photo Craig McNicol

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo depicts the effects of Tropical Storm Pabuk on the Pier at Makathanee Resort on Koh Mak


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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