Thailand morning news for May 22

Thailand morning news for May 22

Thailand morning newsNSC to propose extending emergency decree until end of June
Thailand’s National Security Council is to recommend, to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), an extension of the state of emergency until the end of June, as Thailand records three new coronavirus infections today.
— Thai PBS News

Thai Government insists Thai Chana Covid19 tracing platform doesn’t access users personal data
The government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) insists that the Thai Chana (Victory) platform does not access users’ personal data or compile or track their shopping habits.
— The Pattaya News

Thai Airways to lay off 30% of its staff
“THAI will stop repaying all debt and start from scratch.” The government announced today that Thai Airways will have to dismiss more than 6,000 employees after entering into receivership proceedings and a debt moratorium of 200 billion baht.
— The Thaiger

Government claims they’re serious about northern air pollution
Thailand’s northern provinces, particularly Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, suffer mightily during the annual plantation burning season, infamously known as “smoky season,” when farmers there and in neighbouring Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia burn their fields in preparation for the next harvest.
— The Thaiger

Housing market set to post 15% decline
The pandemic is likely to cause the residential market nationwide to fall by 15% this year, in line with a forecast 5.5% contraction of GDP growth and a sharp drop in housing absorption rate, according to the Real Estate Information Center (REIC).
— Bangkok Post

Covid-19 update: 3 new cases including German man, no deaths (May 21)
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced this morning that 3 new Covid-19 cases were found over the previous 24 hour period, but no deaths, bringing the national total to 3,037 and leaving the death toll at 56.
— The Thaiger

Local SMEs set to make aircraft parts
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is helping SMEs expand into manufacturing aircraft parts for the maintenance and repair industry in a new venture.
— Bangkok Post

It’s time for monks to support the people: a survey of the urban poor through almsgiving (online)
Luckily, Wat Lat Pla Khao has chairs for people to sit and wait, while many other temples do not.
— Prachatai English

MPs eye castration as rape deterrent
Chemical castration has been proposed to prevent rapists from repeating the crime and better protect victims, said Pacharin Sumsiripong, an MP of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.
— Bangkok Post

Draft contract for Eastern Airport City and U-Tapao airport projects endorsed
Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee today approved the draft joint venture contract for the development of the 290-billion baht Eastern Airport City and U-Tapao airport project.
— Thai PBS News

Ensure accountability for Thailand’s 2010 political massacre
A decade after Thailand’s deadly crackdown against anti-government protesters, accountability for the political massacre remains elusive, said rights organisations on its tenth anniversary.
— Prachatai English/ Forum-Asia

Public Health and Education ministries prepare to reopen schools on July 1st
The Thai Ministry of Public Health has been coordinating with the Education Ministry to make preparations for the reopening of schools nation-wide on July 1st, to ensure the safety of students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
— Thai PBS News

Panasonic moving factories to Vietnam, 800 jobs to go in Thailand
Japanese appliance-maker Panasonic Corp said on Thursday that next year it will move its Thai-based production of refrigerators and washing machines to Vietnam, laying off about 800 workers.
— Bangkok Post

Thai Chamber of Commerce urges for all businesses to reopen, with proper safety guidelines
The Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates that a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic will cause 10 million Thais to lose their jobs.
— The Pattaya News

Ministry to cut THAI stake
The Finance Ministry will sell 3.17% of its stake in the financially-troubled Thai Airways International (THAI) to the state-run Vayupak 1 Fund, with the aim of stripping the airline of its state enterprise status.
— Bangkok Post

FTI seeks measures to counter Chinese dumping
The Iron and Steel Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is concerned cheap Chinese steel imports being dumped in the domestic market could jeopardise the local steel industry.
— Bangkok Post

Transport Ministry to propose Thai Airways reorganization board next week
The Ministry of Transport will propose to the Cabinet next week… committee members responsible for the restructuring of Thai Airways International via a bankruptcy court.
— Newsline (video)

Farmers reject chemical ban
A group of farmers on Wednesday vowed to renew a bid to obtain a court injunction to suspend a ban on paraquat and chlorpyrifos, due to take effect on June 1, claiming the ban will hurt productivity and adversely affect crop farming.
— Bangkok Post

2020 online trade set to hit B220bn
Thailand’s e-commerce, excluding business-to-business engagement, is expected to grow 35% to 220 billion baht in 2020, driven by the coronavirus outbreak, says Priceza, a price comparison shopping website.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand healthtech field set to grow: Report
THAILAND’S health technology (healthtech) industry is poised for growth as the government doubles down on digitalisation of the healthcare sector, industry analysts believe.
— The Business Times

Protest pressure builds as govt enters new phase
The government is bracing for a tough road ahead as political tension builds post-Covid-19 although it looks likely to survive the onslaught to complete its term in office, according to academics.
— Bangkok Post

Provinces maintain strict measures during “2nd phase”
Provincial administrations across Thailand continue to maintain strict COVID-19 prevention measures, despite the easing of the lockdown restrictions which took effect on May 17.
— Newsline (video)

April confidence hits in 11-year nadir
Thailand’s industrial confidence index stood at 75.9 in April, its lowest in 11 years, and a slight decrease across all sectors from 88 the month before.
— Bangkok Post

Interest rate cut to record low 0.5%
The Bank of Thailand cut the policy rate yesterday by 0.25 percentage points to a fresh record low of 0.5%, saying it is ready to use additional policy tools to soften the economic blow while downside risks to the country’s economy this year remain high.
— Bangkok Post

Loan decree debate timeline ‘too short’
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet will address parliament on why his government needs to issue three executive decrees backing loans of 1.97 trillion baht to pay for Covid-19 relief.
— Bangkok Post

Effort on IUU sees ships get sea room
The Department of Fisheries has a plan to allow the first batch of at least 20 trawlers to catch fish outside the country’s sovereign territorial waters by next year after a “yellow card” from the European Union (EU) over Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) was lifted last year.
— Bangkok Post

Government warns people of seasonal diseases and COVID-19
The Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned members of the public to pay extra attention to their health, as Thailand enters the rainy season amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
— Newsline (video)

Navy to finalise U-tapao deal
The navy will sign a contract next month with BBS Joint Venture to build the 290-billion-baht Eastern Airport City Project at U-tapao airport which is one of five megaprojects under the government’s infrastructure development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
— Bangkok Post

COVID-19 Border Closure Hits Cambodians Serving Thai Border Hard
Cambodia’s border restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic have taken a huge toll on the livelihood of citizens relying on commerce or migrant work in neighboring Thailand, workers and local leaders near the frontier told RFA on Thursday.
— Radio Free Asia

Prison governor dismissed for letting inmate have conjugal sex
The governor of a prison in a northern province has been dismissed for allowing an inmate have sex with his visiting wife.
— Bangkok Post

Survey finds shifts in spending habits
The spending habits and behaviours of Thai consumers are changing as new habits take shape across the globe.
— Bangkok Post

CSO network petitions Dept. of Health to ensure access to safe abortion during Covid-19 pandemic
Choices Network Thailand, along with a network of civil society organizations, went to the Department of Health (DOH) on 15 May to submit an open letter to the DOH Director-General calling for the DOH to ensure that women can access safe abortion services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
— Prachatai English

Thai soldiers move tents from disputed border area in Pailin
Thai soldiers agreed to remove tents from a disputed border area in Thailand’s Chanthaburi province and in Pailin province, an official said.
— Khmer Times

Prominent digital dissidents ditch Twitter over privacy, security fears
A number of Twitter luminaries say they’ve signed off for the last time and jumped ship to a more secure platform over concerns they no longer trust the California tech giant.
— Coconuts Thailand

Thai government urges the public to comply with contact-tracing system
The spokesman for Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Taweeslip Wisanuyothin, says it’s vital the public complies with the government’s tracking and tracing system if the virus is to be suppressed.
— The Thaiger

International postal services resume to some countries
Thailand’s postal service is resuming international deliveries to a variety of destinations as the Covid-19 situation in many countries has improved and many local and national governments have eased lockdown measures.
— The Thaiger

Pattaya Police bust illegal online gambling ring at Villa in Na Jomtien, almost twenty Thais arrested
The Na Jomtien police, led by Pol. Col. Prasert Suk Heng Suwan raided a villa in Na Jomtien late this afternoon following a tip from the Chonburi Information Technology Crime Suppression Center and discovered an illegal online gambling ring.
— The Pattaya News

Black May 1992 victims’ remains transferred awaiting memorial construction
On 17 May, the Committee of Relatives of the Black May 1992 Victims, including participants in the Black May incident and relatives, attended the annual commemoration at the Phreutsapha Prachatham Memorial, Santiphon Park, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Bangkok.
— Prachatai English

Mahasarakham University students demand 50% tuition fee reduction and COVID-19 aid for all
Students at Mahasarakham University are demanding a 50% reduction in tuition fees, saying that the University must help every student without having to prove need, because every student is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
— Prachatai English

Three cops face probe for alleged extortion
Three police officers from Provincial Police Region 8 are being probed after they were alleged to have made attempts to extort money from villagers in Surat Thani.
— Bangkok Post

BoI seeks to lure makers of medical equipment
As Asian supply chains reshuffle in the wake of the pandemic, the government is focusing its efforts to attract foreign investors in need of a new manufacturing base around the medical devices sector, a promising industry in light of the health crisis.
— Bangkok Post

Thai mall puts pedals in lifts to keep COVID-19 at bay
A mall in Thailand has swapped lift buttons for foot pedals in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as well as help restore normalcy and get shoppers spending again.
— CNA

Packaging, technology and water: Three key areas of focus for Thai food firms to survive COVID-19
Food and beverage companies have been advised to concentrate on packaging, technology and water use to help maintain production during and thrive after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, in the wake of a near 5% drop in exports.
— Food navigator-Asia

‘Jae Saiboon’ drug network busted
Three members of the Jae Saiboon (sister on the merit path) drug network have been arrested in Nam Phong district and 400kg of compressed marijuana seized in two northeastern provinces.
— Bangkok Post

Gov’t Reports Progress in Thailand’s Corona Vaccine
Vaccines for the coronavirus produced by Thai scientists are expected to be available next year, the government said Wednesday.
— Khaosod English

Anti-virus B50bn govt savings bonds sold out in a week
The government has sold 50 billion baht of savings bonds in a week as it seeks to finance steps to mitigate the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, the finance ministry said on Thursday.
— Bangkok Post

Officers demand 5 million baht bribe, hundreds riot – VIDEO
All claiming to be police officers, 3 men in Southern Thailand tried to extort a man for 5 million baht so he could avoid arrest.
— The Thaiger

Thai National Security Council says curfew may possibly be “loosened” in future phases
Earlier today, the Thai National Security Council announced they would support continuing the current Emergency Decree to the end of June, although any final official decision would not happen until a Thai Cabinet meeting on Tuesday of next week.
— The Pattaya News

‘Vaccine race’ can leave poor behind
The message is loud and clear and global: When a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, it must be easily accessible virtually free of charge to all the world’s population.
— Thai PBS News

Balancing act for Prayut as storm over party leadership looms
A leadership battle is simmering in the core coalition Palang Pracharath Party, with its influential chief strategist General Prawit Wongsuwan being pushed by his supporters in the party to replace current leader Uttama Savanayana.
— Thai PBS News

Pattaya City Council officially approves construction of waste disposal incinerator on Koh Larn, construction to start this fall
The Pattaya City council has agreed this week to officially move forward on building a garbage management waste disposal incinerator project on Koh Larn which will be ready to use in April next year.
— The Pattaya News

21 Thais from Saudi Arabia sent for quarantine
Twenty-one Thais returning home from Saudi Arabi arrived in Songkhla on Thursday and were sent to state quarantine facilities in their home provinces.
— Bangkok Post

40 year old man injured in Phuket shophouse explosion
Police in Phuket are blaming a gas leak causing an explosion that injured a man when he switched on the kitchen light at his shophouse home in the island’s east coast Rassada subdistrict early this morning.
— The Thaiger

Alibaba lures Thais with overseas sales
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is encouraging Thai businesses to use its platform to boost their sales in overseas markets as online sales have jumped during the pandemic.
— Bangkok Post

Minister Who Contests Preah Vihear Claim Dies at 67
Former Deputy Premier and Foreign Affairs Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, whose controversial tenure saw Thailand fighting a historic legal battle with Cambodia, died on Wednesday. He was 67.
— Khaosod English

19 kilograms of crystal meth, valued around 10 million baht, seized on Thai train
2 people are in custody and 19 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or “ya ice” has been seized after it was discovered in their bags on an express train from Bangkok to the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat last night.
— The Thaiger

Remembrances of Red Trauma (10) – On calling the Red Shirts “Red Buffaloes”
Linguist Saowanee T. Alexander talks about the evolution of the term “red buffaloes” that has been used to insult Red Shirts and supporters of Pheu Thai Party.
— Isaan Record

Queen Mother’s Royal Craft Project Now Available Online
Precious Thai ornaments crafted in a royal project were put on a website for online visits during the coronavirus pandemic.
— Khaosod English

 

 

Feature photo Spiew Skch 
This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo focuses on feeding those impacted by COVID-19 #FeedThePeople

 

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).

 

 

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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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