Thailand morning news for February 5

Thailand morning news for February 5

Thailand morning news

60 days more: Australia wants Thai PM to intervene in al-Araibi extradition trial (video)
Australia’s highest ranking diplomat in Thailand has called for the country’s prime minister to immediately intervene in the detention and trial of Australian-based Bahraini refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi and “allow him to return to Australia”.
— AEC News Today

NEB to meet to discuss smog problem today as air quality improves
Thailand’s National Environment Board (NEB) is scheduled to hold a meeting today (Monday) to map out measures to cope with the smog problem in and around Bangkok as the Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported an improvement in air quality this morning.
— Thai PBS World

9 Thaksins, 2 Yinglucks Register to Run in Election
BANGKOK — Since its inception earlier this year, the Pheu Chart Party has been seen as a clone of Pheu Thai, the political powerhouse associated with former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
— Khaosod English

A third of expats may have to leave – Survey on new ‘retirement’ visa extension
Thailand’s farang forum, Thaivisa, has conducted two unofficial polls that indicate that many expats will be calling it quits and leaving the Kingdom. The polls are a response from the affected ThaiVisa audience, not indicative of the total expat population living in Thailand.
— The Thaiger

Eager election candidates flock to register for ballot numbers
Hopeful candidates flocked to designated registration centres across the kingdom on Monday, day one of the registration period for the March 24 general election.
— Bangkok Post

Registration for 5% vat refund extended to Feb 15
The Ministry of Finance has extended registration in its 5% VAT refund program until February 15, hoping to boost spending during the Chinese New Year.
— NBT World (video)

A struggle for rule of law: Detained Bahraini footballer catapults Thailand to centre stage
Mounting pressure on Thailand to release from detention soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi has not only refocussed international attention on alleged abuse of human rights and due course of law in Bahrain but also the apparent continued ability of autocratic and authoritarian regimes to enlist global police organization Interpol in efforts to silence critics.
— Modern Diplomacy

Thai E-Commerce Shoots Up To 3.2 Trillion Baht In 2018.
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) revealed that Thai e-Commerce grew the most in ASEAN with changes in consumer behaviour in 2018, estimating that the value would shoot up to 3.2 trillion baht.
— Thailand Business News

PPRP touts wider use of reform land
The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has vowed to push for a controversial land policy proposal that would allow farmers holding Sor Por Kor documents to seek commercial gains from their properties if it forms government after the March 24 election.
— Bangkok Post

Over 5,000 register on first day
Reports from all 350 constituencies show democrat and Phalang pracharat parties have highest number of candidates.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

TU strategy eyes startups, innovation
SET-listed Thai Union Group Plc (TU), the country’s global seafood conglomerate, has partnered with two establishments to set up “SPACE-F”, aimed at building an ecosystem for food tech startups and supporting the company’s business expansion into the non-seafood segment.
— Bangkok Post

Prayut launches ‘Asean Cultural Year’ with Thailand at helm
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-Cha yesterday launched Asean Cultural Year 2019 at Government House, as Thailand takes its turn chairing the 10-member regional grouping.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Canberra reiterates call for al-Araibi to be returned to Australia
Australia on Monday repeated its call that ex-Bahraini national footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, who faces a lengthy extradition process in Thailand, be returned to Australia as soon as possible on the grounds that he is a refugee and a permanent resident of that country.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Angry Reaction as Court Punts Hakeem Case to April
BANGKOK — A refugee footballer who refused voluntary extradition Monday to Bahrain was told to appear in court again in April.
— Khaosod English

Uncertain future stares at stateless Chiang Rai hilltribes
AMONG the hilltribes of northern Chiang Rai province, children typically grow up without Thai citizenship, resulting in unnecessary complications that dog them into adulthood.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thai central bank seen holding fire on Wed after Dec hike; economic risks increase: Reuters poll
Thailand’s central bank is all but certain to hold its key interest rate steady on Wednesday after December’s tightening, pausing to support a slowing economy in the face of growing external risks.
— Reuters

Thailand manufacturing PMI falls slightly in January
Growth in Thailand’s manufacturing sector slowed slightly in January as stagnating demand weighed on the industry, according to a survey.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Air in greater Bangkok now deemed ‘safe’ as smog lifts
Greater Bangkok was free of hazardous levels of toxic dust for the past 24 hours, but anti-smog measures were continuing, the Pollution Control Department reported on Monday.
— Bangkok Post

Scores of Thais arrested in Myanmar for illegal entry
Myanmar authorities asked to help find fugitives in major cases have detained 81 Thai nationals near the border with Chiang Rai province on charges of illegal entry.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

All cannabis-related patent requests rejected
The Department of Intellectual Property has rejected all requests for cannabis-related patents.
— NBT World (video)

‘Pai’ likely to be released soon
Activist Jatupat “ Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa may be released from prison soon after a military court dropped two illegal assembly cases against him and six other activists.
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

BAY forecasts 10% decline in new mortgages in 2019
New housing loans are expected to shrink by 10% this year, dragged by the central bank’s stringent mortgage lending rules and weaker condominium demand from Chinese buyers, says a senior executive at Bank of Ayudhya (BAY).
— Bangkok Post

Retracing their roots to Southeast Asia
About 400 people would be travelling to Thailand to retrace their cultural roots and also promote trade and tourism, at a first of its kind event in Bangkok on February 9 and 10.
— The Hindu

Peace in Southern Thailand hinges on discretion of both sides, says Rahim
The future of peace in Southern Thailand now depends on the discretion of both panels representing the Thai government and separatist groups, said Malaysian facilitator to the peace talks Abdul Rahim Noor.
— Malaysiakini

Is the durian boom harming Thai agriculture?
China’s burgeoning middle class has taken a liking to the Durian, and are now being supplied via a rapidly evolving transportation infrastructure within the Mekong region that delivers it to Chinese markets to sell for up to US$60 a piece.
— Fresh Plaza

NBTC mulls loans for telecom firms
he telecom regulator plans to use the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund (BTRDF) to provide low-interest loans to mobile operators as an alternative source of funding to expedite 5G-related investment.
— Bangkok Post

Better air quality brings Bangkokians out in force to celebrate Chinese New Year
People celebrated Chinese New Year on Monday amid better air quality in Greater Bangkok, as the Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported all areas of the capital as having safe levels of PM2.5 – airborne particulates no larger than 2.5 microns in diameter.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thailand to host 2019 Miss World Final
The Miss World Organisation (MWO) has today confirmed that the 69 th Miss World Final will be hosted in Thailand.

Candidates Register to Run in 1st Post-Coup Election
BANGKOK — Excitement spread Monday as dozens of candidates flocked to register their candidacies to contest the first successful election since 2011.
— Khaosod English

Chiang Rai’s Stateless Children Face an Uncertain Future in Thailand
Among the hill-tribes of northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, children typically grow up without having Thai citizenship, resulting in unnecessary complications that dog them into adulthood.
— Chiang Rai Times

Loss of wetlands could be devastating: experts
Damaging projects, ignorance of their importance a major threat to Mekong region.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Phuket Town residents warned over Chinese New Year fireworks
esidents throughout Phuket Town are being asked to pay extra attention to fire safety concerns amid the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, which will get underway tomorrow (Feb 5).
— The Phuket News

6 of Thailand’s international airports now prohibit smoking both indoors and out
That last, sad sanctuary for smokers in transit — the glass menagerie known as the smoking lounge — is officially gone from Thailand’s most important international airports.
— Coconuts (paywall)

Smart buses a priority for Democrats
The Democrat Party rolled out its policy platform Sunday, aimed at upgrading Bangkok residents’ quality of life, including a smart bus project to push for 5,000 electric buses in seven years, making Bangkok…
— Bangkok Post

Insurgents angry with attitude of delegation chief, want him replaced
Mara Patani, an umbrella organisation of insurgent groups in the deep South, has announced its decision to suspend peace talks with the Thai government and called for the replacement of the Thai delegation head General Udomchai Thammasarorat with someone more credible.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Bangkok Says More BTS Lifts Coming, Maybe by Next Year
BANGKOK — City Hall said Monday it expects to find a contractor by the end of next month to build 19 additional, court-ordered elevators for the BTS Skytrain.
— Khaosod English

Fire engulfs ‘sea gypsy’ village in Phangnga
A village of Moken people, known as sea gypsies, on the Surin islands in Khura Buri district caught fire Sunday night, leaving many villagers homeles
— Bangkok Post

Scores of Thais arrested in Myanmar for illegal entry
Myanmar authorities asked to help find fugitives in major cases have detained 81 Thai nationals near the border with Chiang Rai province on charges of illegal entry.
— Bangkok Post

Urgent : Japanese volunteer group rediscovers ancient temple in Yala
A group of Japanese volunteers has rediscovered the remains of an ancient pagoda temple atop a massive rock at the summit of Mount Thalaguruhela in Yala jungle.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Doctors warn against burning of joss papers
DOCTORS have urged people not to burn joss paper as offerings and limit incense-burning during Chinese New Year celebrations this week to prevent hazardous emissions.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

New integrated law on water distribution, usage readied
New laws concerning water distribution and water usage will be enforced in the next two years following the newly endorsed water-resources bill.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Illegal Chao Mai hotel demolition begins
A firm has started demolishing a luxury hotel that encroached on the Chao Mai National Park and forest reserve.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)


Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges Chinese New Year, 2019.


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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