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UPDATE: 3,000 baht Phuket van fare for Australians tourists “all a misunderstanding”

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: 3,000 baht Phuket van fare for Australians tourists “all a misunderstanding” | The Thaiger

As a follow up of the complaint about an overcharged van fare of 3,000 baht from Phuket International Airport to Kata by two Australians, a meeting was held yesterday between the driver, the tourists and a representative from the Phuket Land Transport Office.

They agreed, in the end, that it was all “a misunderstanding”.

The complaint about the expensive fare went viral an even got to the desk of the Thai PM. PM Prayut Chan O-cha ordered all departments involved to investigate and prevent the overcharging of taxi and van fares in the future.

(The Thaiger notes that Phuket’s expats and tourists have heard this rhetoric for decades with ZERO advances in the systemic problems)

Meanwhile, a meeting was held at the Karon Police Station, where the media were barred from attending. Following the discussions, the Phuket Vice Governor, Supot Rodruang Na Nongkhai, reported that after investigating the story from the two Australian tourists, it appears that they negotiated the taxi rate at the airport.

Naruemon Jampathong was the tout in the negotiations, who approached them in the arrivals hall and called the van driven by Poompat Chankaew to take the pair to Kata. The Vice Governor explained that the tourists and the taxi driver told police different stories regarding the price. The tourists said they were offered at 3,000 baht ride while the van driver said he agreed on 2,000 baht (which is still 400 baht above the advertised and signed price for a private van hire for the journey).

However, Naruemon was found guilty of entering the airport without a permit and the AoT has fined him 2,000 baht for this transgression.

Regarding the amount for the van fare, there were further investigation as the two sides have offered conflicting stories.

He noted that the PM emphasised to make justice for this case, especially to the Australian tourists and also to prevent these types of incidents in the future. The taxi driver told the media that, as soon as he was made aware of the controversy, he rushed to Karon Police Station to report in person to the police that he only charged them 2,000 baht, which was the negotiated price and the passengers were willing to pay as they didn’t want to wait for the van to be filled up (with other paying passengers – usually charged 200 baht each, as advertised and signed around the arrivals area).

He insisted there was no mention of a 3,000 baht fare. However, in the end, police called the tourists and the driver for another round of talks. This time, according to police, both sides agreed that they negotiated for a 2,000 baht fare and the complaint was “all a misunderstanding”.

The taxi driver was taken by police to the airport to pay the fine for picking up passengers at the airport without a permit.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Charlie

    July 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    haahahaha of course it was, because they turned the driver in. i love Thailand.

  2. Avatar

    Jim

    July 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    The driver knew he wasn’t allowed to pick up a fare at the airport and then doubled the price! What misunderstanding? He was a scam artist and no one stuck up for the unsuspecting young tourists! Hum… Wonder why tourism is way down? Take a look at how you treat the few you have coming to Phuket now… Shameful!

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Bangkok

Army chief not planning a leap into political life

May Taylor

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Army chief not planning a leap into political life | The Thaiger

Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong will have to wait for two years after he retires before he can run for PM, the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam has declared – while Apirat himself claims it’s not even something he’s considering.

The Nation reports that Prawit Wongsuwan, another Deputy PM, had suggested that Apirat should be Thailand’s next PM, but Wissanu insists this could not happen immediately.

“Apirat is not qualified to be the prime minister because he is a government official and when he retires as Army chief, he will no longer be a senator. According to the Constitution, he has to wait for two years after he retires if he wants to take a position in the Cabinet.”

Apirat claims that a move into politics is not something he’s interested in at this time. Earlier this month, while speaking on the topic of national security, he controversially stated that he was opposed to the efforts to change the junta-sponsored Constitution.

This prompted academics and opposition politicians to accuse him of meddling in politics, with the PM having to defend him, saying Apirat just wanted what was best for Thailand.

Some are viewing Prayut’s defence of the Army chief as paving the way for Apirat to become his successor when his term in office ends.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Bangkok

Noble consort has Royal titles removed

May Taylor

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Noble consort has Royal titles removed | The Thaiger

The Nation reports that Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi has had her “noble escort” (Chao Khun Phra) title removed by King Rama X along with her military rank.

Yesterday, The Royal Gazette reported that His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua had recalled Sineenat’s Royal citing undesirable behaviour and disloyalty to the Royal Family.

It also reported that Sineenat had been opposed to the appointment of Queen Suthida and had also used Their Majesties’ names to issue orders that personally benefited her. It’s understood she also engaged in activities for which she did not have His Majesty’s approval, causing confusion among the general public.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Technology

The dangers of 5G – coming to a mobile phone near you

Tim Newton

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The dangers of 5G – coming to a mobile phone near you | The Thaiger

MONTAGE: The Thaiger

5G, the next generation of mobile phone technology is coming, within months here in Thailand. It will continue to roll out over the next few years, replacing the earlier 4G technology.

Along with any new technology there’s also valid concerns about potential health risk of this new, more powerful network. There’s also been a lot of misinformation and scare-mongering. So is there a looming 5G health apocalypse?

The key concerns, or claims, about 5G is that it’s a dangerous escalation of traditional mobile technology, higher energy radiation that delivers potentially damaging effects on humans. Some 5G decriers contend that the new network generates radiation that can damage DNA, lead to cancer, cause oxidative damage, premature ageing; disrupt cell metabolism and hosts of other diseases. There are articles citing research studies and even opinions by the World Health Organisation.

But first, some science.

5G is the industry standard that will supersede the current widespread 4G LTE standard, just as 4G took over from 3G. 5G just stands for the “fifth generation” in mobile cellular technology.

This standard is designed to be much faster than current 4G and 4GLTE technology. Simply, it will allow faster wireless internet everywhere for everything, as long as you’re in signal range of course.

The speed, and it’s a LOT faster, will allow virtual realtime connection, even faster that human reflexes, to provide more accurate and real experiences. For the new world of auto-drive cars, remote surgery, even gaming and other internet-of-things products and services, 5G will take the online world to the next level. Words like ‘latency’ will vanish as there simply won’y be delays.

5G is poised to deliver peak speeds between 10 and 20 Gbps – that’s 10 – 100 times faster than the current 4G services.

Health concerns

Concerns about 5G are just the latest evolution of decades of headlines about the dangers of electromagnetic radiation. We’ve seen controversies about everything from the health risks of Wi-Fi, smart metres, fluorescent tubes, overhead electric wires, even our mobile phones we use all day. So far there has been no conclusive studies about any of these causing reliable, repeatable, measurable or sustainable health concerns.

But the concerns persist, swirling around the internet and sparking off renewed concerns every few years.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity, for example, is a hypothetical disease in which certain people experience debilitating symptoms in the presence of radiation like mobile phones and Wi-Fi.

But despite thousands of people claiming these sorts of sensitivities for at least 30 years, extensive scientific studies have shown that people claiming to be afflicted with this ‘disease’, when blind-folded, are unable to tell or ‘feel’ when they’re in the presence of an electromagnetic field. The World Health Organisation now recommends psychological evaluation for people who continue with these alleged symptoms.

Beyond that, decades of studies have found no link between mobile phones, wi-fi and cancers, including brain tumours from holding your mobile phone to your ears when calling people.

The dangers of 5G - coming to a mobile phone near you | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: echo.net.au

RF or Radiofrequency Radiation?

At the root of all concerns about cell phone networks is radiofrequency radiation. RF could be anything from microwaves to x-rays to radio waves to light from your screen or light from the sun. Even when you turn on a light at home. It’s all electromagnetic radiation.

We walk through a sea of RF, all day, everyday, it’s impossible to escape – from the sunlight, to the power sources around our house, to the TV screens, to the electric kettles, microwave ovens and electric cookers in the kitchen.

In the RF spectrum there are ionising or non-ionising radiation, only the ionising radiation has the potential to interfere with breaking up chemical bonds.

Ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared light, and everything with a lower frequency – radio waves, power lines, FM radio, Wi-Fi and our mobile cellular services – these are all considered non-ionising radiation.

Frequencies above UV, like x-rays and gamma rays, are ionising.

The assistant professor of neurology at Yale and the editor of Science-Based Medicine, Dr. Steve Novella, says there’s been decades of misunderstanding about the ill-effects of lower frequency radiation.

“Using the term radiation is misleading because people think of nuclear weapons – they think of ionising radiation that absolutely can cause damage. It can kill cells. It can cause DNA mutations.”

“Most concern about mobile phone RF radiation is misplaced. There’s no known mechanism for most forms of non-ionszing radiation to have any biological effect.”

It’s not a tumour!

But researchers continue to conduct studies. A recent study was released by the National Toxicology Program, an agency run by the US Department of Health and Human Services. In this widely quoted study about cell phone radio frequency radiation, “scientists found that high exposure to 3G RF led to some cases of cancerous heart tumours, brain tumours, and tumours in the adrenal glands of male rats.”

But as RealClearScience points out in their response to the study, “the number of tumours detected were so small that they statistically could have occurred by chance (which may be more likely since they were only detected in male subjects).”

“The level and duration of the RFR exposure were well in excess of what any actual human would ever be exposed to, and in fact, the irradiated test rats lived longer than the unexposed control rats.”

“Experienced researchers look at a study like that and say that doesn’t really tell us anything.”

The dangers of 5G - coming to a mobile phone near you | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Asiatimes.com

5G risks

A common complaint about 5G is that, due to the lower power of 5G transmitters, there will be more of them around our towns and cities. The Environmental Health Trust contends that “5G will require the buildout of literally hundreds of thousands of new wireless antennas in neighbourhoods, cities, and towns. A cellular small cell or another transmitter will be placed every two to ten homes according to estimates.”

Despite the estimate being exaggerated, the contention is reasonable.

But skeptics caution you shouldn’t conflate asking the question with merely asserting that there’s a risk. The reality is that the power and frequency of the radiation is still less than light outside or even inside your office or home. You go out in the sun, and you’re bathed in electromagnetic radiation that’s far greater than these 5G cellular towers and transmitters.

The US FCC, responsible for licensing the spectrum for public use, says that 5G equipment, the signals from commercial wireless transmitters are typically far below the RF exposure limits at any location that is accessible to the public.

The FCC defers to the FDA concluding that the weight of scientific evidence has not linked mobile phones with any health problems.

But scientists will continue to test new networks as technology evolves, to make sure the technology we use every day remains safe. Research into radiation risks is difficult and often inconclusive, meaning it can take a long time to make real progress. But the research will continue as the technology evolves and new claims will continue to be made asserting dangers from 5G.

SOURCES: US FCC | World Health Orginisation | howtogeek.com | Real Clear Science

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