Thailand morning news for December 20

Thailand morning news for December 20

Thailand morning newsSecond victim claimed in horrific gang-rape
STATE agencies have become involved in a case in which an 11-year-old schoolgirl in Saraburi is alleged to have been by gang-raped by five youths on Sunday, after her father expressed concern that justice was not being served.
— The Nation

MPC raises policy rate to 1.75%
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the country’s policy rate from 1.5% to 1.75%, while the Bank of Thailand has readjusted 2018’s growth projection to 4.2%.

Supachai warns Thailand to prepare for a slowdown in global economy
THE GLOBAL economy is in dissarray with no clear direction, while the US-China trade war is having an adverse impact on investors’ confidence worldwide, warned Supachai Panitchpakdi, former director-general of the World Trade Organisation.
— The Nation

Industrial sentiment at highest level in 66 months
The Thailand Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) hit its highest level in 66 months in November as manufacturers increased production in readiness for the long New Year holiday, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
Bangkok Post

EC to check social media posts
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday welcomed a proposal for the poll agency to monitor use of social media platforms during the election campaign and curb misleading or false information in a timely fashion.
— Bangkok Post

Phuket Marine Chief oblique on Phoenix dereliction of duty charges, assures ‘no illegal tour boats’
The Acting Chief of the Phuket Marine Office, Wiwat Chitchertwong, was silent yesterday (Dec 18) on questions about marine officials being prosecuted for dereliction of duty for allowing the tour boat Phoenix to put to sea, in the wake of the investigation into the Phoenix sinking on July 5, killing 47 Chinese tourists.
— The Phuket News

YouTube host faces charges for criticising Thai princess’s Miss Universe dress
A popular YouTube presenter may be facing charges in Thailand after she criticised a Miss Universe dress that was designed by the daughter of the king.
The Guardian

Death sentences for police gang that killed teenager
Two policemen and a man were sentenced to death — and a police colonel and two others to life imprisonment — for killing a 17-year-old boy in Songkhla province and dumping the body in Trang in September last year.
— Bangkok Post

Netflix files a complaint with newly opened Thai anti-piracy organization
In order to better protect copyright from rampant piracy within the country, Thailand opened up a new anti-piracy agency called COPTICS earlier this week. With millions spent on its own content, Netflix has been quick to utilise the new department, becoming one of the first to file a copyright complaint.
Kit Guru

Foreign Minister claims no need for foreign organizations to observe polls
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has voiced that it is not necessary to invite foreign and international organizations to observe Thailand’s general election scheduled next year.
— NBT World (video)

10 millionth Chinese tourist this year arrives in Thailand
When He Wei Xin planned a trip to Thailand, she had no idea she was destined to become the 10 millionth visitor from China this year.
— Bangkok Post

EC ready to welcome foreign observers
Commissioner says practice has been in place since 2003, dismisses foreign minister’s oppositioninfluence agency.
— The Nation

VAT refund in 2020 budget
Value-added tax (VAT) refunds for next year’s Chinese New Year shopping will be funded by the 2020 annual budget, says the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) chief.
— Bangkok Post

Gen Prawit dismisses speculation about Mrs Yaowapa’s escape
Deputy Prime Miniser Prawit Wongsuwan dismissed speculation that Mrs Yaowapa Wongsawat, younger sister of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has slipped out of the country to escape probable criminal charges related to the controversial government-to-government rice deal with a Chinese firm.
— Thai PBS World

Thailand Halal Assembly 2018
Mr. Anan Suwannarat, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, recently chaired the opening ceremony of Thailand Halal Assembly 2018, one of the world’s most comprehensive Halal expositions and conferences, co-hosted by the Halal Science Center (HSC), Chulalongkorn University, and the Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT).
Bangkok Post

Phuket TAT chief strikes back at low tourism numbers claims
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office Director Kanokkittika Kritwutikon has struck out at claims online that Phuket is suffering an incredibly low number of visitors during the current tourism ‘high season’.
— The Phuket News

Dam claims hold no water: experts
ACADEMICS WARN that a dam newly approved for southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province will intensify conflicts between citizens and the authorities and destroy a bountiful forest ecosystem, while bringing no substantial benefit in terms of irrigation or flood prevention.
— The Nation

Transport Min calls for transportation connectivity
The Ministry of Transport has ordered the Department of Rural Roads to create connectivity in the country’s transport infrastructure.
— NBT World (video)

Auto output up, exports down
November automotive output and local sales were up but exports declined on economic problems in buyers’ countries.
Bangkok Post

Medical Marijuana Is Coming To Thailand
Thailand is taking steps to become the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana and is considering exporting the substance that’s currently banned there.
— Bloomberg

Government mulls private detention centres
The Justice Ministry expects to announce regulations to allow the setting up of privately run detention and rehabilitation centres for juvenile offenders early next year.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand can cash in on US-China trade war, but there’s no gain without pain
It’s an uneasy time for Asian nations as the rivalry between China and the United States intensifies and it remains uncertain whether they can resolve their trade war when the 90-day truce expires. In this special series the South China Morning Post explores how the China-US rivalry is affecting four countries in Asia. In part three, Laura Villadiego looks at Thailand.
South China Morning Post

Min of Labor issues five measures as NY gifts
The Ministry of Labor has introduced five measures in support of employers and employees alike, calling them New Year’s gifts to the people.
— NBT World (video)

Thailand raises key rate for first time in seven years
The Bank of Thailand, the nation’s central bank, has raised its key interest rate for the first time since 2011, in a move to ease growing financial concerns and potential market uncertainty related to the upcoming general election in February.
—  Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Three Russians detained in Thailand at the request of the US
Three Russian citizens have been detained in Thailand at the request of the United States in the last three years, head of the Consulate Department of the Russian Embassy in Thailand, Vladimir Pronin told reporters yesterday.
The Thaiger

Thailand Central Bank Delivers First Rate Hike Since 2011
Thailand’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2011, joining peers in the region in tightening monetary policy this year.

Nearly 90,000 farmers sign up for Pracharat maize farming project
Nearly 90,000 rice farmers in Thailand has enrolled in the Pracharat maize farming project designed to help the country combat water scarcity.
— NBT World (video)

Cybersecurity, data protection bills await NLA approval
The Cabinet has approved cybersecurity and personal data-protection bills for enactment by the National Legislative Assembly, paving the way for the country to enforce legal safeguards for the rapidly-growing digital economy and society.
The Nation

Thai arrested over refusing to return a tourist’s lost phone
A Thai man has been arrested for refusing to return a smartphone to a Russian tourist who dropped it on a South Pattaya road three days ago.
— The Thaiger

Media, police must better protect young victims: network
THE LAWYERS Network for Children and Youth (LNCY) has joined others in a call for media to better protect young victims in their news coverage.
The Nation

NBTC shutting down 2G to ease 5G entry
The telecom regulator is set to shut down the existing 2G network by October 2019 to give mobile operators more efficient network capacity and pave the way to 5G wireless broadband service by 2020.
— Bangkok Post

Prawit issues orders in bid for safer holidays
Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan on Wednesday ordered security beefed up to keep people safe during the New Year holidays.
The Nation

Next round of cashless card distribution on Friday
The Comptroller General’s Department will start distributing social welfare cards to those enrolled under the Thai Niyom Yangyuen campaign this Friday.

Use Ban Kanchanapisek as model for correctional facilities: agencies
BAN KANCHANAPISEK has successfully reduced the number of repeat offenders to 5 per cent compared to the average of 15 per cent at other correctional facilities.
— The Nation

Premchai ‘excited’ as he appears in court to face black-leopard poaching charges
Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta said he was excited when he appeared at court in Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pa Phum district on Wednesday to defend himself on poaching-related charges.
The Nation

Five tire producers join “Shop for the Nation” campaign
Five tire companies taking part in the “Shop for the Nation” campaign, collected tax break coupons at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on Tuesday.

Cabinet reveals new year ‘gifts’
A free internet connection, a free tour of 10 Bangkok temples, Bt40,000 funeral assistance and free emergency medical treatment for 72 hours at all hospitals are among the “new year gifts” that the cabinet has approved this week, said government spokeswoman Col Thaksada Saengkachan.
The Nation

Thailand’s first satellite-based rain algorithm
The daily forecast gives us an approximate idea of expected weather and rain. But now researchers have a new tool which will provide much more accurate predictions of precipitation around the Kingdom. The system will be an invaluable tool for water management and flood prevention.
The Taiger

STT GDC gives details of Thailand joint-venture facility
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) has released details of its partnership with Thailand-based industrial property developer Ticon, and the Bangkok data center the two will be building.

Prayut appoints temporary Amlo chief
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has appointed acting secretary general of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to the role. Prayut invoked Article 44 of the interim charter as the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order to appoint Gen Rungroj Saengkram, deputy police commissioner general, as the new Amlo chief for six months.
Thai Visa News

The Retail Market in Thailand to 2023: Analysis by Product and Distribution Channel with Key Vendor Profiles
The report has been added to’s offering.The analysts have predicted that the retail market in Thailand will register a CAGR of almost 7% by 2023.
Business Insider


Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Migrants Day, December 18.


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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