Thailand morning news for February 19

Thailand morning news for February 19

Thailand morning news

Thailand’s GDP Growth Exceeds Forecasts on Domestic Demand
Thailand’s economy grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter than the previous three months, as local demand helped to offset a slide in exports.
— Bloomberg

Army chief sees red over Pheu Thai’s defence budget cut plan
Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong on Monday said he strongly opposed the Pheu Thai Party’s policy to cut the defence budget by 20% — and use the money to instead promote young entrepreneurs.
— Bangkok Post (very annoying popups)

Khon Kaen leads way in haze battle
As provinces battle with hazardous haze, Khon Kaen shows it knows how to tackle the problem at its root. If successful, the northeastern province can be a role model when it comes to solving PM2.5 — particulate with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Usable water level in Khon Kaen’s Ubonrat reservoir alarmingly low
About a year ago, irrigation officials were discharging excess water through Ubonrat dam to increase reservoir capacity to ease flood problems in Thailand’s northeastern province of Khon Kaen.
— Thai PBS News

PM joins those hitting back at Pheu Thai party in defence of the military
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan have joined the chorus defending military spending and mandatory conscription against increasing criticism from anti-junta politicians, particularly Pheu Thai party’s prime ministerial candidate Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan.
— Thai PBS News

Thailand’s misstep on the way back towards democracy
Last week, Thailand’s upcoming elections took a bizarre turn when Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, was registered as a prime ministerial candidate by Thai Raksa Chart, a Thai political party affiliated with the exiled billionaire and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
— East Asia Forum

What can stop the baht?
The baht is looking to repeat its performance as one of Asia’s best currencies last year. Monday’s growth data will shed light on a key pillar of its recent strength and may help it stay in pole position at least through the first quarter.
— The Asean Post

Thailand Is Back to a Lower Growth Trajectory, Says Nomura’s Paracuelles
Euben Paracuelles, chief Asean economist at Nomura, discusses Thailand’s 4Q GDP results and what it means for the economy. He speaks on “Bloomberg Markets: Asia.”
— Bloomberg (video)

Autocratic bureaucracy is killing us
Big business won. Again. We should not be surprised nor disappointed at the government’s decision to support the weed killer paraquat which poisons the environment and makes us sick. We should be angry.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Phuket health officials, police unite to enforce Makha Bucha alcohol ban
The Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) has warned that health officials working together with police will enforce the nationwide ban on the sale of alcohol for the Makha Bucha religious holiday tomorrow (Feb 19).
— The Phuket News

Thailand govt’s adoption of advanced tech boost for local SMEs
A recent report noted that Thailand is in the process of gradually shifting from a manufacturing to a high-value, hi-tech manufacturing economy.
— Open Gov

Economy to grow by 4%: NESDC
THE THAI economy will grow by 4 per cent in 2019, propelled by private and public investments, the upcoming general election and private consumption, according to a forecast by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Pheu Thai fires up fervour in Isan heartland
Leaders of Thailand’s biggest opposition party campaigning on Monday never mentioned ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whose policies they espouse, nor the princess whose shock candidacy could see its ally banned from the March 24 election.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Thailand seeks Indian support for adoption of regional trade deal
Thailand is looking for India’s support in settling talks and concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of this year, according to Acting Commerce Minister Chutima Bunyapraphasara.
— Vietnam Plus

Thailand govt’s adoption of advanced tech boost for local SMEs
A recent report noted that Thailand is in the process of gradually shifting from a manufacturing to a high-value, hi-tech manufacturing economy.
— Open Gov

April 12 not a bank holiday
The Bank of Thailand on Monday announced that banks will not be closed on April 12, despite it being an extra holiday for government officials for the long Songkran weekend.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Australia police say they didn’t know Bahraini was refugee
Australian Federal Police did not know a Bahraini soccer player was a refugee who feared persecution in his homeland when the agency alerted Bahrain and Thailand that he was on a flight bound for Bangkok, a top police official said Monday.
— AP

Thailand, Laos hold talk on cooperation in immigration
Thailand’s and Laos’ immigration units held talk in Udon Thani province on security measures and cooperation in immigration affairs.

Agri Min winding down nation’s use of hazardous substances
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has indicated that it will calculate the existing quantity of three chemicals granted an extension of use by the National Committee on Hazardous Substances, and confirmed it has already begun to limit their importation.

Stuck in the middle over Araibi affair
Among those involved in the case of Bahraini refugee footballer, Hakeem al-Araibi, which culminated in his return to Australia, was Chatchom Akapin, director-general of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG)’s International Affairs Department,who admits staff were worried about how it would turn out.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

RID asks farmers to observe its water supply plan
The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has asked that farmers observe its water supply plan, after finding that 5.28 million rai of off season rice crops are planned in the Chao Phraya river basin, 10 percent beyond its intended supply.

Sri Lanka to present a sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree to bless the reign of King Rama 10
Thailand has arranged for a Gifting Ceremony of the Sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree as a kind gesture of goodwill to bless the reign of King Rama 10.
— NBT World (video)

Inside Thailand’s first legalised cannabis plantation
Thailand has become the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise the use of cannabis for medical purposes, and countries like Philippines and Malaysia are considering the same.
— Channel NewsAsia (video)

New ministry to be established to oversee science research
The Thai government is keen to establish a new ministry to boost science and innovation research.

Bangkok, capital of Thailand at the mercy of floods, brilliantly evoked in debut novel about its past and future
Bangkok Wakes to Rain should come with a mop. This teeming debut novel by Pitchaya Sudbanthad recreates the experience of living in Thailand’s aqueous climate so viscerally that readers will feel the water rising around their ankles.
— South China Morning Post

Temples prepare for Makha Bucha Day festivities
Temples across the country are preparing for Makha Bucha Day activities.

Decapitated head in river likely from suicide case
Provincial Police Region 1 chief Pol Lt-General Ampol Buarapporn on Monday explained that a decomposed human head found floating in Chao Phraya River near the Petra ferry pier in Samut Prakan’s Phra Pradaeng district on February 6 was not related to a murder case.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Automation, AI pressure factory labour market
The technological disruption caused by automated systems and artificial intelligence (AI) is pressuring the country’s labour market, particularly the manufacturing sector, say business operators.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

First Time Thailand to Host Miss World Pageant
Thailand will host this year’s Miss World Pageant for the first time, event organizers announced Monday.
— Khaosod English

More than 2,000 snakes seized in border sting
Mukdahan Wild Animals Checkpoint officials were joined by personnel from other agencies in confiscating 182 baskets containing 2,730 rat snakes and cobras – worth Bt1 million in total – about to be smuggled to Laos.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Scorcher 2019: Summer of Heat Ignites This Week
Summer officially begins Thursday and will be even hotter than last year, according to the national weather service.
— Khaosod English

Dart 18 World Championships gets underway in Pattaya
A sunny day marked the first day of racing in the Dart 18 World Championships at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya on Sunday, with the full scope of skills required for the spectrum of winds that filled in to 15 knots plus from the south.
— Pattaya Mail

6 billion baht request to Cabinet for sugarcane harvesters to reduce smog
Thailand’s Finance Ministry will seek cabinet approval for 6 billion baht, to be distributed by the state-run Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), for farmer cooperatives and community enterprises to buy sugarcane harvesting machines.
— Thai PBS News

Farmers’ joy: elephant damage now covered
THE CABINET has given its approval for farmers’ insurance to include intrusion by wild elephants that destroys their wet-season rice and maize.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Big data to serve up fresh choices to online shoppers
IN THAILAND in 2019, a transformation of the consumer market will be led by global e-commerce businesses, giving businesses both new opportunities and challenges.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Beyond Bangkok: Thailand promoting secondary cities
THE Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting that more visitors from the Philippines will be visiting the Land of Smiles in 2019 after a good showing in 2018, with an executive from the tourism authority said that they will be promoting secondary cities this year in order for tourists to discover more of Thailand.
— BusinessWorld Online

Thailand’s Transgender Candidate for PM
This former sports promoter could be Thailand’s first transgender prime minister.
— Bloomberg (video)

State-owned bank helps Thai farmers meet food safety standards
THE BANK for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has been successful in helping some farmers and community-based enterprises produce high-quality products that meet food-safety standards, Apirom Sukprasert, the bank’s president, said.
— Eleven

Corn farmers inks deal with two buyers
Farmers in Lampang province have struck a deal with the private sector in response to the government’s market-based production campaign.
— NBT World (video)

REPORT: Pursuing holistic water management solutions
Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Salikulya would not say directly if the plan to build the controversial Mae Wong dam in order to prevent floods and save the drought-plagued Lower Sakae Krang basin would be scrapped, but he affirmed that concerned parties had at least reached a “resolution” – for now.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Airbus scales back in the UK and invests more in Thailand’s new aviation maintenance hub
Uncertainty over Thailand’s political situation is apparently less of a concern for Airbus than the political uncertainties in the UK with Brexit looming.
— The Thaiger

Asean IP offices’ meeting in Bangkok focuses on advance regional trademark system
A regional trademark registration system was top on the agenda of a two-day meeting of Asean’s national intellectual property (IP) offices held in Bangkok, according to a press release.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thai-Khmer border guards in standoff weekend
Cambodian and Thai border authorities faced off in a heated confrontation on Saturday afternoon, when the Thai side allegedly attempted to use a tractor to remove over 6ha of cassava planted by Cambodian farmers near the border.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thai National Astronomical Research Institute tells netizens to look to the skies this week
Exciting things are happening in the sky this week, and no, it’s not smog-related. The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) today is inviting netizens to watch out for a pair of what they hope will be spectacular astronomical events this week: the Venus-Saturn conjunction and the Super Snow Moon (aka Super Full Moon).
— Coconuts (paywall)

50+ motorbike taxi drivers blockade southern border
50 Thai motorcycle taxi drivers have set up a blockade at the Thai-Malaysian border checkpoint to protest what they allege are unworkable, stricter immigration checks now imposed by Malaysian immigration officials.
— The Thaiger

Floral fair in the heart of Bangkok
This year, the annual Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair takes place at the Park of Nai Lert in the heart of Bangkok from February 21-24, 2019, from 09.00 – 20.00 hrs.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)


Feature photo Neil Shelley


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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