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What if Phuket’s roads took you?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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What if Phuket’s roads took you? | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Over the last decade the number of well-known, and often very well-liked, expats who have perished on Phuket’s deadly roads seems to have increased at an alarming rate. Indeed, the most recent case has given me cause to revisit a topic nobody likes to speak about, yet the failure to address it could lead to some rather horrible consequences for your loved ones should the unthinkable come to pass. For every case we read about, where a long-term expat or tourist has passed away, there is almost always a loving family left behind, including, often, small children.

What is not usually thought about is that if proper protection has not been put in place, the mourning of the loss of the deceased’s loved ones is just the beginning of their nightmare. Being a single mother in the West is hard enough, but most often the earnings potential of a local mother in Thailand is simply not sufficient to continue to support a family with the same standard of living they have become accustomed to. International education costs being what they are, the difference this could make to the future of a small child could be enormous.

Sadly, most often a very inexpensive life insurance policy can mean the difference between a child’s future needs being met, or a mother struggling to get by in the midst of a tremendous loss, yet very often people do not put one in place. Unfortunately, many advisers in my industry are simply not very interested in the topic because it doesn’t pay as well as investments, yet in any highly regulated jurisdiction these protections are required to be in place before the conversation about investments is even allowed to begin.

Human nature also makes most people avoid doing anything about it because we naturally would like to believe car accidents or cancer are things that happen to other people and not us. Thus, we are quite happy to plan for retirement, but not for an untimely demise. The sad thing is that it is the ones we love, not ourselves, who will suffer if this comes to pass.

One common objection I have heard often here in Thailand is that many expats are afraid their wives will kill them if they put a big life insurance policy in place. Unfortunately, while I think many are just maybe a tad bit too jaded, this is something many out there actually fear. Putting aside my own feelings that if you really feel that way about your partner, you likely have no business trusting them to mother your children, you can set up a trust as beneficiary and ensure the money goes towards education or set a reasonable budget for living expenses and so on.

I like to look at life insurance, as well as health insurance, as the one time in my life I really hope that I am making a losing bet. If you have loved ones you care about, especially if there are small children in the picture and your partner does not have the earning potential to adequately meet their education needs, please do them a huge favor and get yourself covered.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expatriates around the globe, focusing on UK pension transfers. Faramond UK is regulated by the FCA and provides advice on taxation and pensions. He can be reached at david.m@faramond.com or 085-335 8573.

— David Mayes

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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