Thailand morning news for February 20

Thailand morning news for February 20

Thailand morning news

Thailand tops global digital rankings
Thailand ranked No.1 for mobile banking users, second for ownership of cryptocurrency, and third in mobile commerce, according to the Global Digital Report 2019.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

$1.3 Million Bitcoin Scam Swindles Victims in Thailand. Are Tougher Crypto Regulations Necessary?
A virtual bitcoin mining farm in Thailand has allegedly scammed users out of 42 million baht (approximately $1.35 million), according to a report in the Bangkok Post.
— CCN (video)

Puea Chat insists Prayut must step down
The Puea Chat Party has joined a chorus of calls for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down to show his sincere belief in a free and fair election as he bids to return as prime minister after the March 24 election.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

Apirat urged to remain neutral
Politicians demanded Tuesday that the army chief remain neutral in the lead-up to the March 24 general election after he rebuked them for calling for defence budget cuts and revived an anti-communist song as a sign of his military fervour.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Cabinet endorses emergency fund
The Cabinet on Monday addressed a proposed ministerial regulation to do with emergency security funds.

Forest Act to be amended to encourage felling and growing of rare trees
LANDOWNERS will be able to cut down up to 171 reserved and rare timber species growing on their properties without having to seek permission from the authorities, once an amendment to the Forest Act is published in the Royal Gazette in the next two months.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

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

Army Gets 100M Baht Fund for ‘Border Emergency’
The government on Monday approved a 100-million baht fund to be used by the army in case of unspecified “emergency” situations at Thailand’s border.
— Khaosod English

Koh Lan to return B95m waste budget
Koh Lan officials will return 95 million baht to Pattaya City Council after they failed to remove 50,000 tonnes of trash from the island, leaving its inhabitants struggling with the stench and the risk of a “trash slide”.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Three major drug suspects arrested, ฿100m in assets seized
Police arrested three alleged members of a major drug trafficking gang and seized assets — including luxury houses and cars — worth about 100 million baht during raids on six locations in Bangkok early…
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Fostering sustainability in Thailand’s 2019 startup ecosystem
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2018 (GEI), Thailand is ranked 71st out of 137 countries (65th in 2017) and 15th out of 28 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (12th in 2017)
— e27

Thai Raksa Chart bigwigs back on campaign trail
Key members of Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) have ended their self-imposed break from political activities and hit the campaign trail on Tuesday to help local candidates woo voters.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

FAA lists 26 flaws in Thailand’s aviation standards that need rectification
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has identified 26 flaws in Thailand’s aviation standards during its recent inspection and has recommended that they be rectified if Thailand is to regain Category One status.
— Thai PBS News

Law to legalize marijuana for medical purposes takes effect
Marijuana, or “kanja” as it is known in Thailand, can now be grown legally and used in medical and scientific applicationswith the consent of the authorities concerned.
— Thai PBS News

NCPO determined to stem ‘fake news’
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered state agencies to issue immediate clarifications to counter distorted news in the run-up to the March 24 election.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

Unit transfers surge ahead of LTV limits
The number of housing transfers jumped in the fourth quarter last year, with the figure expected to continue rising in the first quarter of 2019 as buyers hurry to both buy and receive unit transfers to avoid new loan-to-value (LTV) limits applied from April 1, 2019.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

Apirat attacks Pheu Thai’s call to cut defence budget
Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong voiced strong opposition Monday to the Pheu Thai Party’s plan to cut the defence budget and use the money saved to promote young entrepreneurs.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

DFT: Exporters increase use of FTA, GSP benefits
The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) disclosed that Thai exporters had increased their use of benefits under free trade agreements (FTAs) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in 2018.

Rice insurance continues
The cabinet has approved a rice insurance scheme for the 2019 season worth 1.74 billion baht, aiming to cover 30 million rai of farmland.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

No drought this year, says irrigation dept
Enough water supplies until early 2020, says RID, as it readies measures to tackle problems.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Myanmar to welcome more than 640 refugees in Thailand
Myanmar will allow acceptance of more than 640 Myanmar citizens taking shelter at three refugee camps in Thailand third time, according to the Kayin State government.
— Eleven

Fostering sustainability in Thailand’s 2019 startup ecosystem
Undeterred by a slow start, startups in the land of smiles are growing rapidly and increasingly attractive.
— Yahoo News

Foreign investors upbeat over Thailand’s prospects
Foreign investors are still confident about Thai economic prospects, but fret over the connectivity between the current government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and related infrastructure developments, anti-corruption policy and the direction of free trade agreements (FTAs).
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

BoT reports 10 percent hike in gross profit
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced its operational returns for 2018, revealing profit of over 200 billion baht, 10.8 percent up on the prior year.

Thai junta pegs economic fortunes to China
After generals seized power in Thailand in a 2014 coup, they turned to Beijing to kickstart growth and buff up their vision of an innovative, developed country steered by wise leaders and buoyed by China-backed infrastructure.
— The Asean Post

PM ‘not opposed’ to paraquat ban delay
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he is not opposed to the Hazardous Substance Committee’s decision to delay the ban on paraquat, but stressed that the decision must be properly explained to calm the public uproar.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

Krabi drug raids net M16 rifles, 200k meth pills
PHUKET:: A series of co-ordinated raids at 23 locations across Krabi early yesterday morning (Feb 18) netted more than 200,000 methamphetamine pills (ya bah) and a slew of firearms, including three M16 rifles.
— The Phuket News

Superyacht arrivals reach a new record in Thailand
Asian governments have been hard at work improving the facilities and easing the regulations to attract more superyachts to cruise in the region and spend time in their marinas.
— Sea News

Lower 2019 forecast for Thailand GDP
On the back of increased risks to exports and government consumption and investment not accelerating as much as expected, Citi Research is lowering its 2019 and 2020 forecasts for Thailand from 4.0 to 3.8 and 3.9 to 3.8 respectively …
— The Business Times

More than US$1bn invested in Thailand’s food and beverage industry in the past four years
Thailand’s food and beverage industry has received investment of over US$1.6bn (THB$52.2bn) in the four year period from January 2015 to December 2018.
— Food

Farmers warn of rice bill strife
Farmers and activists are threatening to stage huge protests if the controversial rice bill, that they believe will seriously hurt local farmers, is not dropped.
— Bangkok Post

FPO rehashes bill to levy pollution tax
The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has dusted off a bill that enables the Finance Ministry to impose taxes and fees on polluters in a fresh effort to fight environmental problems.
— Bangkok Post

Aircraft manufacturers looks to SE Asia
Boeing Co. of the United States and other major international aircraft makers are moving to build manufacturing bases in Southeast Asia.
— The Japan News

PM Prayut invites people to create model moral communities
The Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has invited people to create model moral communities driven by community cooperation.

Fake grenade, practice grenade cause bomb scare in Bangkok
A fake grenade and a practice grenade were found at a power pole on a Bangkok soi, causing a bomb scare Tuesday morning.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

National assembly to debate controversial rice bill despite protests
Despite protests by some farmer groups and the Democrat party, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is determined to go ahead with its planned deliberation of the controversial rice bill in its second and final readings on Wednesday.
— Thai PBS News

Airport smokers kicked out of Thai terminals
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) says they strongly support Thailand’s move to ban smoking inside the passenger terminals of all its airports, to protect employees and non-smoking travellers from exposure to secondhand smoke.
— The Thaiger

Road fatalities halved when alcohol banned on major Buddhist holidays, safety centre finds
A ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks on Asarnha Bucha day and the first day of Buddhist Lent reduced road fatalities on those days by roughly a half.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Makha Bucha Day Around Thailand: Campaign Edition
Politicians aren’t taking Makha Bucha Day off. It’s election season, and that means continued campaigning – but with Buddhist traditions.
— Khaosod English

Power outage in Thalang
PHUKET: The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) Thalang office has announced that the electricity supply will be temporarily shut off in parts of Thalang on Thursday (Feb 21) as works are carried out on installing new high-voltage power cables.
— The Phuket News

Thailand’s BOI looks to inspire local businesses to enhance capabilities
Thailand has been experiencing a gradual shift from a manufacturing to a high-value manufacturing economy after the country has put its efforts into promoting the use of advanced technology, science, and innovation in parallel with the development of infrastructure and the right business ecosystem to drive economic development with targeted industries as the main catalysts.
— eGov Innovation

NLA backs special marshal unit for courts
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has passed a bill to establish a court marshal unit under the Courts of Justice. The new unit will police the court’s premises among other tasks
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Two Italians injured, one badly, as tourist elephant goes beserk
Two Italian tourists and a mahout were hurt, one serious, when a bull elephant giving rides at a tourist attraction in Phangnga suddenly went berserk, throwing three men off its back and then goring one…
— Bangkok Post

BAAC vehicle loan aims to cut pollution
The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has set up a 6-billion-baht loan for agricultural cooperatives and community enterprises to purchase vehicles used for production,…
— Bangkok Post

No quick gains seen from chairing Asean
WHILE THE Thai government has a list of up to 12 economic deliverables as it chairs Asean this year, business leaders are not sure its work this year will benefit the private sector in the near future.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Man dies instantly in temple fireworks explosion in Chaiyaphum
A 59 year old man, serving as a civil defence volunteer at a Chaiyaphum temple fair, has been killed instantly after picking up a seemingly half-lit giant fireworks pipe that then blew up in his face.
— The Thaiger

Usable water level in Khon Kaen’s main dam dangerously low
One of the north-east’s largest dams is running dry. And the dry season has just begun. About a year ago, Khon Kaen irrigation officials were discharging excess water through Ubol Ratana Dam (pronounced Ubonrat) to increase reservoir capacity to ease flood problems in Thailand’s …
— The Thaiger


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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