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“We could move the capital”, says Thai PM

Maya Taylor

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“We could move the capital”, says Thai PM | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Bangkok.com

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says that one possible solution to overcrowding in Bangkok would be to move the capital.

He floated the idea yesterday, while speaking at a seminar called, “Connecting Thailand with the World”, hosted by the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council in Muang Thong Thani, just outside Bangkok.

“There are two possible approaches to moving the capital. The first is finding a city that’s neither too far nor too expensive to move to. The second is to de-centralise the urban area to outer Bangkok to reduce crowding.”

The PM notes that de-centralising the urban area to outer Bangkok would conserve the capital’s important landmarks, while moving government and business facilities to the outer suburbs. This would reduce the number of people needing to travel into the capital for business, thereby easing traffic congestion.

He says moving the capital is merely an idea at this stage, with a lot more research needed to determine its viability and the economic and social impact it may have. However, he adds that it is a possibility under his administration.

“Past governments were never able to pull this off, fearing it would cause irreparable conflict in society. The first priority now is to establish mutual understanding among the people to make sure they and the government are on the same page.”

The PM’s suggestion follows an announcement by the Indonesian president earlier this year that the country’s capital would move from Jakarta. However, to date, no new location has been announced.

SOURCE: The Nation

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Politics

Poll reveals Thais hope President-elect Biden will be a “good leader”

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Poll reveals Thais hope President-elect Biden will be a “good leader” | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Suan Dusit Poll has revealed that most Thais hope that the President-elect Joe Biden will be a good leader of his country. The opinion survey, by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, was conducted online on November 13 through November 18, in which 1,038 people responded with their opinions throughout the country.

A majority of Thais, almost 90%, responded that they were interested in the US Presidential election outcomes and were following the news regularly. About 58% responded as moderately following the elections and almost 32% highly interested in the elections. Only about 10% of respondents said that they were not interested in the elections.

Of those who responded as being interested in the election, their reasons were largely due to the fact that they felt the elections have a large impact on the world economy, with almost 74% of poll’s respondents agreeing with that reasoning. About 61% of respondents said the reasons they were interested was because the US is a world superpower, while about 49% said they were merely interested in who would be the winner.

The elections come at a time when Thailand is grappling with an unstable political situation, as protesters against the government are pushing for constitutional amendments. Almost 61% of respondents pointed to this intersection of politics, citing the democratic election of a country’s leader by the people could be applied to their own country’s politics and society. About 57% of the people said they were highly aware of the issues surrounding the right to vote with around 53% citing the democratic electoral system in America was of interest.

However, only 48% said they felt Thailand’s economy would be better after the US election, with 47% believing it would stay the same. A mere 4.5% said they thought the Thai economy would be worse after the election.

Regardless of their reasoning for being interested in the elections, about 65% of respondents wanted whoever was elected as the next US President to be a good leader both at home and on the international stage. 62% wanted the new leader to forge friendships and good relations with other countries and almost 58% wanted him to refrain from taking advantage of and suppressing other countries.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Politics

Grammy executive files lèse-majesté complaint against Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul

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Grammy executive files lèse-majesté complaint against Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul | The Thaiger

A lèse-majesté complaint has been officially filed against Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, one of the leaders of the Ratsadon ‘People’s Movement’. She was the first to read the, now infamous, 10 point manifesto at the Thammasat University in April, and then in a more public forum at a Democracy Monument protest in early August.

Nitipong Hornak, a songwriter and judge on Thailand’s Got Talent. He’s also a founder and major shareholder of GMM Grammy Entertainment, is behind the complaint. It was presented to the police Technology Crime Suppression Division on Friday afternoon.

Ms Panusaya has been present and active in almost all of the main protests, and been arrested twice. She is currently out on bail.

It hasn’t been disclosed which incident Mr Nitipong has cited in his official complaint. But Ms Panusaya was the first person to publicly read out the 10-point manifesto of a Thammasat University group calling for reform of the monarchy at the university in April.

The prime minister threatened protesters with “the full force of the law, including the lèse-majesté law – Section 112 of the Criminal Code. Back in June, the PM announced that HM the King had expressed his desire for the Government not to use the law against the Thai people.

“His Majesty the King does not want to use Thailand’s strict lèse-majesté laws, which make it a crime to insult or criticise the royal family, but Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says people should still be careful what they say about the Thai monarchy.”

The Thai Government has routinely used the newer Computer Crimes Act, and the national security law for charges such as sedition, which carries jail terms up to seven years. Up until August this year any criticism or commentary about the Thai monarchy were extremely unusual, if not taboo in polite Thai society. The current round of protests are unique in their open discussion, and criticism, of the Thai Monarchy. They are demanding that the role of the Thai Monarch be covered under a revised Thai constitution.

 

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Protests

Red shirt leader says self-serving government has no interest in protecting the Monarchy

Maya Taylor

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Red shirt leader says self-serving government has no interest in protecting the Monarchy | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A leading government critic from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship has slammed what he calls the government’s insincere claims of protecting the Monarchy. Red-shirt Jatuporn Prompan says the administration of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is only out to protect itself and cling onto power.

He says yesterday’s rejection in Parliament of the draft charter amendment submitted by rights group iLaw is proof nothing will be done to solve the current political impasse, meaning activists have no choice but to keep the pressure on through political protest. He hit out at a claim by some MPs and senators that the iLaw bill was aimed at bringing back a certain former PM, (Thaksin Shinawatra).

Jatuporn says the rejection of the bill is an attempt by the government to cling on to power. He has also accused the authorities at Tuesday’s protest of deliberately allowing pro-establishment royalists to attack anti-government protesters. He says the move was intentional, in order to provoke violence and justify a further extension of the emergency decree and a possible coup.

He says he doesn’t believe there will be any amendments to the existing 2017 constitution and accuses the current administration of being more interested in protecting itself above all else.

“The government and the Parliament are not sincere in defending the monarchy. The votes in Parliament only prove that they are more interested in saving their own skins, not the Monarch’s.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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