Thailand morning news for February 1

Thailand morning news for February 1

Thailand morning news

There’s No Stopping Thailand’s Baht
Last year’s best performer in emerging Asia has rallied another 4.2 percent versus the dollar this year, the biggest gain in the region, and what’s driving its advance include a slew of local and foreign factors.
— Bloomberg

Factory toxic emissions inspections to start Friday
The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) will start inspecting factories on Friday under a plan to control toxic emissions, focusing on plants burning coal, fuel oil and wood.
— Bangkok Post

Former head of Chula savings co-op jailed for 20 years
Sawat Saengbangpla, the 80-year-old former chairman of Chulalongkorn University Savings Co-operative, was sentenced to 20-years in jail on Thursday after being found guilty of money laundering linked to a lottery-investment scam.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

City deploys water-spraying drones to reduce smog
The Bangkok governor on Thursday launched a fleet of large drones to spray water into the air in an attempt to reduce the smog that is blanketing the capital region.
— Bangkok Post

Pattaya air quality suffering as well
Pattaya public health authorities are advising residents at the resort to keep up-to-date with news about Pattaya’s air quality woes. Report in The Pattaya News suggest that the 2.5 PM particulate matter was at its worst in the early morning hours and in the evenings.
— The Thaiger

Webmaster arrested for PM2.5 death post
A 37-year-old webmaster was arrested at home in Bangkok for a post claiming PM2.5 dust had killed a woman, and was charged with computer crime liable to five years in jail.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand BOI Exceeds Investment Targets by 43 Percent in 2018
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) announced that applications for investment projects submitted to the organization increased by 43% from 2017 to 2018, amounting to $28.2 billion USD, and surpassing the investment target set for the year of $22 billion USD by 25%.
— Cision PRWeb (media release)

‘Undemocratic’ label caused drop in ranking, Prayut says
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha admitted Thursday that the government’s “perceived undemocratic status” had a bearing on Thailand’s latest fall in an annual global corruption index.
— Bangkok Post

Economy grew steadily in December, says central bank
The economy grew steadily in December on private consumption and tourism with arrivals rising 7.7% over the same period in 2017, according to the Bank of Thailand.
— Bangkok Post

Applications for SME Provincial Champions open til Feb 10
The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) is now accepting applications for the “SME Provincial Champions” project, a continuation of last year’s business development program.

PM says ‘abandon cars’
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging people in Bangkok to abandon their cars and instead use public transport, saying the haze which has choked the capital is mainly caused by vehicles.
— Bangkok Post

Will Thai elections be fair?
On 24 March this year, at long last, Thais will finally be able to head to the polls to elect a government after more than four years of military rule.
— The Asean Post

TCEB sets up regional clusters for MICE industry
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is setting up regional clusters to develop professionals for the MICE industry.
— NBT World (video)

Twitter vague on preventing Thai election misinformation
Twitter says it is committed to preventing misinformation in elections around the world, but offers sparse details on specific elections like Thailand’s.
— Bangkok Post

Pheu Thai chooses three as PM candidates
Pheu Thai has chosen three as its prime ministerial candidates while pro-regime Palang Pracharath will officially ask Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to be its PM candidate on Friday.
— Bangkok Post

Inventors showcase their products
The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) is gearing up to showcase innovations on Thailand Inventors’ Day 2019.

Suvarnabhumi on Lunar traffic alert
Suvarnabhumi Airport is expected to be bursting at the seams with an estimated 2.6 million travellers expected to pass through the airport during the Chinese New Year holiday.
— Bangkok Post

Australian woman’s traumatic time locked in Thai detention for 12 days
Claire Licciardo knew Thai detention would be bad, but she never imagined how “horrific” conditions would be and the “blatant disregard” for humanity she saw.

Dept Environmental Quality presents awards to environmentally friendly organizations
The Department of Environmental Quality Promotion had handed out G-Green awards to businesses, schools and agencies that have contributed toward environmental friendliness.
— NBT World (video)

Alternatives to Chinese Money Sought For High-Speed Rail
Foreign loans for the Thai-Chinese, high-speed rail project will be minimal and not bound to China’s whims, officials said.
— Khaosod English

Focus on visitors from India, Asean
Tourism operators have suggested placing a greater emphasis on India and Asean, as the two markets could be rising stars for Thailand’s tourism industry over the next seven years.
— Bangkok Post

Thaksin-linked party open to any anti-junta coalition
The de facto leader of Thailand’s main opposition Pheu Thai Party has pledged to join forces with all groups that stand against the ruling junta in the country’s long-awaited general election on March 24.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Facebook to bar ‘foreign’ electoral ads for Thailand poll in March
Facebook will bar foreign-based election advertisements in Thailand in the lead-up to March elections, the company said Thursday, after being pilloried for not controlling election interference on the platform.
— ABS-CBN News

Suvarnabhumi expects 2.6M New Year tourists
Suvarnabhumi Airport is expected to be bursting at the seams with an estimated 2.6 million travellers expected to pass through the airport during the Chinese New Year holiday.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand: Current surplus beats estimates
Thailand’s balance of payments data for December today showed the current account surplus bouncing to over $5 billion in the month from $1.6 billion in November.
— ING Think

Thai party ousted in 2014 coup picks Thaksin loyalist for PM in elections
Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party, which was ousted from power by the military in a 2014 coup, on Thursday (Jan 31) picked a close ally of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra as its main candidate for prime minister in elections set for Mar 24.
— Channel NewsAsia

Battle to reduce plastic waste in Thailand
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.
— Khmer Times

PH dethrones Thailand as world’s heaviest Internet user
The Philippines has dethroned Thailand as the world’s heaviest user of the Internet.
— Tempo

Thailand faces tough job as Asean chair amid trade conflicts, forum hears
As Asean chair this year, Thailand must enhance the region’s cooperation amid growing US-China tensions that threaten to go beyond mere trade conflicts, international-relations experts said at a peace forum in Bangkok yesterday.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Govt holds exhibition on national strategy
The Thai government continues to build awareness of the national strategy of eliminating inequality, with the Prime Minister emphasizing that the country aims to build an equal society for the next generation.
— NBT World (video)

B14bn of hotel assets sold in Thailand in 2018
Hotel investment transaction volume in Thailand reached B14 billion in 2018. Whilst the volume is higher than expected and well above the five-year average of B13.2bn per annum recorded between 2013 and 2017, it failed to break the record of B17.1bn witnessed in 2017, according to property consultancy JLL.
— The Phuket News

Ex-Chula savings co-op chair sentenced to another 60 years
A former chairman of Chulalongkorn University’s savings cooperative has been sentenced to 60 years in jail for money laundering in relation to a lottery investment fraud.
— Bangkok Post

Appeal Court dismisses lawsuit against yellow-shirt protesters
The Appeal Court on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit against nine leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) over the group’s protest against the Samak Sundaravej government in 2008.
— Bangkok Post

Man held for fake pollution death report
Police have arrested a 36-year-old Thai man for allegedly running a fake news website that published a report about a ‘death’ after exposure to airborne particulates 2.5 microns in diameter and smaller. The story reportedly caused anxiety in the wake of PM2.5 dust blanketing Greater Bangkok.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Highlighting new destination development and tapping CLMV marketS
Thailand played host to SITE Global Conference 2019 in January, an annual gathering of over 300 incentive professionals from around the world,thereby affirming the kingdom’s growing role in the international incentive industry.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand Partners With Industry in MRO Training Pact
Thailand’s Ministry of Transport is pursuing collaboration with four foreign partners—Airbus, Triumph Aviation Services Asia, Triumph Structures (Thailand), and Senior Aerospace (Thailand)—in a bid to boost its aviation maintenance workforce and expand its MRO capabilities to cater to Asia’s aircraft boom.
— AIN Online

Thailand poised to break through 40 million arrivals in 2019
Thailand welcomed a record 38.27 million tourists in 2018. That’s up 7.5 percent from 2017 arrival figures. The Thai tourism ministry announced the figures this morning. In December, tourist arrivals amounted to 3.85 million. The ministry is also expecting the number of tourists visiting Thailand in 2019 to increase by another 7.5 percent.
— The Thaiger

PM claims wristwatch scandal not cause of Thailand’s downgrading in corruption index
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha this morning claimed that Thailand’s drop in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index rankings has nothing to do with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan’s wristwatch scandal….
— Thai PBS World

Bangkok Air Quality: BKK Governor calls for help as PM2.5 smog continues
PHOTO: Jor Sor 100 traffic radio – Bangkok Air Quality Bangkok’s governor is calling on experts to provide advice on how best to tackle the severe air pollution that blankets the city and is causing the wrong sort of headlines for the capital.
— The Thaiger

Mahidol award boosts cholera fight
Laureates say publicity from honour is helping save lives in developing nations.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Phuket Airport warns beachgoers to ‘keep clear’ of runway area
The security chief at Phuket International Airport is stepping up efforts to ensure people in public areas near where aircraft flow low while landing do not endanger themselves or others.
— The Phuket News

Phahonyothin road in Bang Khen district the worst affected area today
Phahonyothin road in Bang Khen district of Bangkok has surpassed Rama II road in Samut Sakhon as the worst-affected area from PM2.5 dust particles out of a total of 41…
— Thai PBS World

Lampang Police Chief Suspended After ‘Three-Finger Salute’ Incident
The top police official of northern Lampang province was suspended Thursday, weeks after an activist flashed an anti-junta hand gesture during a deputy prime minister’s visit there.
— Khaosod English

Govt urged to move people from high-salt diets
MORE THAN 22 million Thais suffer from ailments due to high salt and sodium consumption and each year 20,000 of them die from one of four main related diseases, costing the country huge losses estimated at Bt98.9 billion a year.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Airports of Thailand sets date for decision on terminal
Airports of Thailand (AoT) Plc will decide on Feb 20 whether to press ahead with the construction of a second terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport, its president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said on Wednesday.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand’s Central Group confirms US$200m investment in Grab’s Thai entity
Thailand’s Central Group, the country’s largest retailer, confirmed on Thursday (Jan 31) in a statement that it will invest US$200 million in a local entity of Singapore-based ride-hailing application Grab.
— Channel NewsAsia

Thailand eyes common economic opportunities for ASEAN member nations
Following Thailand’s assumption of the ASEAN chairmanship, the ASEAN Trade Promotion Association has stressed emerging economic opportunities for the region, despite the uncertain global market.
— NBT World (video)

Rice exports expected to drop this year
The Thai Rice Exporters Association reports that the kingdom’s rice exports this year will be down 14% on 2018 , the biggest decline in four years.

U.N. urges Asian countries to follow Thailand on fishing pledge
Asian countries have been urged to sign up to international standards on working conditions in the fishing industries after Thailand became the first in the region to make such a pledge.
— Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thailand emerges as Japan’s largest steel products importer
Thailand emerged as the top importer of Japanese steel products for the first time in 2018, as major Japanese companies have moved into the country.
— Bangkok Post

Fire Damages ‘Hell Money’ Shophouse in Chinatown
A shophouse went up in flames Thursday in Chinatown just as the community there was gearing up to celebrate Chinese New Year.
— Khaosod English

Rawai villagers caught up in romance scams
Five impoverished residents from Rawai in Phuket’s south, say they have been tricked into opening bank accounts that were used in romance scams. Facing arrest warrants over the scams, the five villagers have filed an appeal with the Royal Thai Police’s Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression for help.
— The Thaiger

CP Foods Brings Back Thailand’s Watershed Forest by Innovation
Charoen Pokphand Foods or CP Foods, Thailand’s leading agro-industrial and foods, joins hands with the Royal Forest Department and government agencies showcase “Khao Phraya Doen Tong” forest in Lopburi province where is the Thailand’s first-ever area of utilizing innovative methods to revive watershed forest and biodiversity.
— Khaosod English

Back to school for the elderly in Hua Hin
HUNDREDS OF elderly residents in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s district of Hua Hin reported at a special college yesterday, ready for classes in school uniforms.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

New measures for Phuket’s growing drug problem
Phuket’s drug ‘epidemic’ has not improved since new strategies were adopted to tackle the problem in November, 2018, according to Phuket Vice Governor, Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai.
— The Phuket News

Phuket’s the place for trances
UnKonscious, Asia’s biggest trance-music beach festival, is back with a second edition at the Paradise Beach Phuket on February 8 and 9.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Gen Prawit reviews programs in southern border provinces
The committee responsible for solving the southern border insurgency crisis has approved a program to install CCTV cameras and expand on the triangle urban development program for security, prosperity, and sustainability.

83 more illegal Myanmar migrant workers repatriated from Thailand
Another 83 illegal Myanmar migrant workers have been repatriated to homeland under the arrangement of the two countries’ authorities, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported Thursday.

Actor promotes Soi Dog charity
The famous actor from Channel 3, Thai-British Peter Denman, paid a visit to the Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket on January 28, to get to know more about the work they do and spend time with the animals. He has also been nominated to be one of Soi Dog’s brand ambassadors as well.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

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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