Thailand morning news for May 22

Thailand morning news for May 22
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Thailand morning news

Planning unit cuts growth forecast
The government’s planning unit has lowered its full-year GDP growth forecast to 3.3-3.8% from 3.5-4.5% after the economy grew at its slowest pace in more than four years in the first quarter.
— Bangkok Post

Bhumjaithai to join a coalition but only if its “free kanja” policy is accepted
Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul has made clear that his party will join the coalition that commands the majority in the House of Representatives but on the condition that the alliance accepts the party’s policy to legalize cannabis (kanja) and its products.
— Thai PBS News

Cabinet refuses lower Map Ta Phut returns
On Tuesday the cabinet dismissed a proposal by the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office and Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) to reduce returns on investment for bidders for the third phase of the Map Ta Phut deep-sea port.
— Bangkok Post

Ganja amnesty finds 10% have valid cause
About one in 10 of the 20,000 people who registered as being in the illegal possession of cannabis to treat medical ailments were found to have diseases that justified the use of the narcotic, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday.
— Bangkok Post

Regime is here to stay
In the aftermath of the March 24 general election, horse trading for cabinet seats among politicians has been ongoing as the two opposing camps make last-ditch efforts to form a coalition government.
— Bangkok Post

Bloomberg Index Votes Thailand as Having Worlds Least Miserable Economy
News agency Bloomberg has again ranked Thailand as the least miserable country economy on its World’s Most Miserable Economy index.
— Chiang Rai Times

Thanathorn faces fresh legal challenge over ‘loan’
The Election Commission (EC) has been asked to act against Future Forward Party (FFP) leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit for yet another controversy in connection with a 110-million-baht loan he allegedly gave to the party wrongfully.
— Bangkok Post

Construction begins on Thailand’s ‘largest hyperscale data centre’
Construction has commenced on what is set to become the ‘largest hyperscale data centre’ in Thailand, located in Ramkhamhaeng, Bangkok with an expected opening date of 2021.
— Channel Asia

Thailand’s economy slows amid export slump and political gridlock
Thailand’s economy continued to slow in the first quarter as the U.S.-China trade dispute hit exports and political uncertainty hangs over the nation.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Warns against dengue fever
Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is asking parents and teachers to eliminate breeding grounds of the Aedes larvae at houses and schools to prevent dengue fever from spreading during the new school term after it was found that, in the first five months of this year, there were more than 20,000 dengue fever patients and more than half of them are students.
— NBT World (video)

Spat seen hitting Huawei sales
Huawei smartphone sales in Thailand will plunge as phone buyers start to shun the brand and switch to rivals after Google announced it was suspending business with China’s top mobile phone maker, dealers and experts warn.
— Bangkok Post

FDA will not extend marijuana amnesty deadline
Today is the last day for people who possess marijuana for medical purposes to register for amnesty with the authorities, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the registration period will not be extended.
— NBT World (video)

Prayut scoffs at ‘Dhanin for PM’ article
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has brushed aside a South China Morning Post article claiming that billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, will be named prime minister in a coalition government.
— Bangkok Post

Abhisit calls quit talk ‘groundless’
Former Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has denied media reports he will resign as an MP if his party joins the pro-regime Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to form a new government.
— Bangkok Post

Reduce social disparity and increase access to state services
Elderly care is one of the various activities that the SBPAC has driven to promote the rights and efficiency of the elderly in the area by joining with religious leaders and Ponao elderly institution as it is an educational institution that people of retirement age choose to study and live to learn how to read Quran, listen to the doctrine and behave according to religious principles.
— NBT World (video)

Police seize haul of weapons, drugs in post-Songkran blitz
Police Region 8 yesterday put on display 193 firearms as well as more than 310,000 meth pills and more than 2.3kg of crystal meth, all seized in a post-Songkran anti-crime blitz from April 20-30 and May 11-19.
— The Phuket News

Pheu Thai turns to Thaksin’s son to woo Democrats and Bhumjaithai
With time running out, and desperate to form a majority pro-democracy government, the Pheu Thai party has resorted to enlisting the help of Mr. Panthongtae Shinawatra, the only son of…
— Thai PBS News

Panel puts Egat’s LNG import plan on hold
The Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) has sent back a plan from the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to import 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the country’s power generation.
— Bangkok Post

Scot who helped put 3 on Thai death row accused of selling women into sex
A Pattaya police volunteer from Scotland whose testimony helped send three people to death row is now wanted in Thailand on allegations he sold women into the flesh trade.
— Coconuts (paywall)

First palm oil purchase contract to be signed tomorrow
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand is signing the first purchase contract among those for a total of 200,000 tons of palm oil for use in the production of electricity tomorrow. Such purchases will raise the raw palm price by three baht per kilogram in favor of palm growers.

Neglect blamed for broken Najomtien sewage pumps
Broken pumps caused the sewage spill that blackened a Sattahip District beach, Najomtien officials said. The filter is part of a 124-million-baht project built by the subdistrict to connect its sewer lines to Pattaya’s waste-processing plants. But the system was neglected for a year and broke
— Pattaya Mail

Q1 GDP growth falls to weakest in more than 4 years, outlook murky
Thailand’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than four years in the first quarter, and by less than expected, thanks to a drop in exports and public investment.
— Bangkok Post

PPRP eyes coalition allies
The pro-regime Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) is stepping up its efforts to win over the Bhumjaithai and Democrat parties to ensure a PPRP-led coalition government materialises before parliament convenes…
— Bangkok Post

YC-backed dahmakan raises US$5M to roll out its chef-cooked food delivery in Thailand, Malaysia
By vertically integrating the entire value chain from food production to delivery, its mission is to make food delivery affordable for office workers dahmakan, a Y-Combinator-backed cloud kitchen startup in Malaysia, today announced the closing of over US$5 million in Series A round of funding with …
— e27

2019 SeaWeb Seafood Summit agenda features Thailand field trips, new session formats
A diverse group of seafood sustainability advocates, leaders, and stakeholders will convene in Bangkok, Thailand next month for the 15th edition of the SeaWeb Seafood Summit, for what promises to be the most experiential iteration of the event yet, according to conference organizer Diversified Communications.
— Seafood Source

Yala’s authorities watching out for untoward incidents during Ramadan season
Yala’s authorities have implemented security measures during the Ramadan season in the southern border province by setting up road checkpoints for persons and vehicles to prevent unrest and raise public confidence.

Chanthaburi Governor opens project for continuing His Majesty the late King’s work to develop Khlong Thung Phael reservoir
The government, private sectors and local people have jointly developed the area around Khlong Thung Phael reservoir, Chantaburi province, in accordance with the project to continue His Majesty the late King’s work.

Water situation at Na Jomtien Beach improving
Following the discharge of wastewater into the sea at Na Jomtien Beach in Sattahip district, Chon Buri province, the situation has started to return to normal, with the water level rising and the stench subsiding, as the local municipality considers closing the sluice gate.

Thailand leads ASEAN to discuss FTA with China
The trade war between China and the United States has led to an increased US import tax of 25 percent which affects global trade and Thai exports to the US. The Ministry of Commerce has devised a solution to the problem by seeking enhanced cooperation between ASEAN and China.

Private US museum faces legal action for Thai artifact smuggling
The US Homeland Security Investigation Office has appointed an attorney to take legal action against a private museum in San Francisco for alleged involvement in the smuggling of several artifacts…
— Thai PBS News

Increasing opposition to government withdrawing Philip Morris lawsuit
The Thailand Health Promotion Institute has joined anti-tobacco advocates in opposing the recommendation from the Foreign Ministry that the Thai government withdraw the 60 billion baht lawsuit against Philip Morris,…
— Thai PBS News

Minister to push for two more Mekong bridges
The Transport Ministry will push for a 4-billion-baht investment in two new bridges over the Mekong River linking Thailand with Laos.
— Bangkok Post

‘I Fought, I Lost’ : 5 Activists Reflect on 5 Years of Junta Rule
Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the May 22, 2014 military coup that brought current junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha to power.
— Khaosod English

Soldiers sent to live with local people in deep South
The Fourth Army Region plans to send soldiers based in three southern border provinces to live with local people in villages to ensure their safety and reduce insurgents’ influence in the area.
— Bangkok Post

5G: Welcome to instant wi-fi and the internet-of-everything
5G will change everything. What 2, 3 and 4G have improved on, 5G will revolutionise and open up even more online possibilities.
— The Thaiger

Banks, insurers lead the way in RPA
Robotic process automation (RPA) is gaining momentum inside banks and insurance companies as part of digital transformation, says the global research firm IDC.
— Bangkok Post

New megamall to occupy 400 rai at Klong Toey port
The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) said it only plans to use about half of a 900-rai area at Klong Toey port, and hand the rest over to a real-estate project to facilitate a new landmark by the Chao Phraya River.
— Bangkok Post property

PM promotes Thailand Fruit Festival 2019: The World’s Most Delicious Fruits Fair
The Prime Minister has helped promote Thailand Fruit Festival 2019: The World’s Most Delicious Fruits Fair, stressing Thailand’s capabilities to become the global tropical fruit trading superpower.

Thailand, Taiwan to hold “Two Wheels Asia 2019”
Thailand and Taiwan are jointly organizing “Two Wheels Asia 2019”, an international exhibition and conference of the motorcycle, electric bike and bicycle industry. The event is aimed at promoting Thailand’s industrial sector and strengthening the country’s competitiveness in the global market.

International Fireworks Festival this weekend
The International Fireworks Festival returns to Pattaya Beach May 24-25 with music and pyrotechnics. The effusively-named “Grand Magnificent Spectacular Celebration” will kick off each day at 5:30 p.m. with fireworks, refreshments booths and photography corners. The May 24 schedule calls for a …
— Pattaya Mail

Hundreds start 256km walk to support medical marijuana
About 1,000 people started a long walk from Phichit province to Suphan Buri province on Tuesday to raise funds for research and development into medical applications for marijuana — and to call for the general public’s right to grow it as a medical herb.
— Bangkok Post

Has Michelin Ruined ‘Modern’ Thai Food? Laureates Weigh In.
Instagrammables, fancy plating, Michelin stars – some see them as marketing tricks that standardize the Thai food scene, others as a classy boon to uplift and update the country’s culinary heritage. Thai chefs, farang restaurant proprietors, and a food expert diverged in views on …
— Khaosod English

Ramps give disabled easy access to trains
After having been in service for nearly nine years, the Airport Rail Link has finally begun using portable wheelchair ramps to help disabled people board and alight from its trains.
— Bangkok Post

Pattaya preps sewers for rainy season
Pattaya workers cleaned up sewers and sucked out drainage pipes to prepare for rainy season.
— Pattaya Mail

Coronation Day Designated as New Holiday
The government on Tuesday announced May 4 as a public holiday to honor His Majesty the King’s formal coronation, bringing the total number of holidays to 19.
— Khaosod English

Toon Bodyslam to Run for Isaan Hospitals
The rock star behind a charity run that raised over a billion baht for hospitals in 2017 will return for a new fundraising campaign in the northeast, organizers said Monday.
— Khaosod English

1.46 million welfare cards to cover Airport Rail Link fares
Today is the first day for 1.46 million state welfare card holders to use their card to cover payments for Airport Rail Link fares via Krung Thai Bank’s EDC machines at all eight stations.

Ministry of Commerce expands palm oil, rubber markets to India
The Ministry of Commerce has led a delegation to penetrate the export markets for lowered-priced rubber and palm oil to India which has over a billion population and all levels of consumers. A major Indian tire manufacturers has assured to buy Thai rubber products within this year.

Phoenix goes up for auction, starting price 900,000 baht
The notorious and ill-fated tour boat Phoenix, which sank off Phuket last July killing 47 Chinese tourists, is among 48 items that the Anti-Money Laundering Office will auction off this Wednesday at its head office.
— The Thaiger

Swashbuckling Version of Twelfth Night to Invade Bangkok Stage
A Shakespearean comedy is coming to New Phetchaburi Road – but with a swashbuckling twist. The Bangkok Community Theatre is putting on an 18th-century pirate version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, directed by Ethan Oulton and featuring an expat and Thai cast.
— Khaosod English

Gov’t to Amend ‘Anti-Buddhist’ National Anthem MV
The government on Tuesday said the national anthem’s official music video will be edited to comply with complaints from a Buddhist group.
— Khaosod English

Man threatens suicide over soldier’s ‘adultery’ with wife
A 66-year-old man put a cutter to his throat in a bid to seek justice from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over the conduct of a soldier based in Roi Et who allegedly committed adultery with his wife. Police later overpowered the man.
— Bangkok Post


Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22.


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. Due to The Nation‘s habit of hijacking urls and diverting them to promotion pages we no longer include it in our clippings.


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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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