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Happy Birthday Thaiger – One year old today

Tim Newton

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Happy Birthday Thaiger – One year old today | The Thaiger

Acute self indulgence today as we announce our first major milestone for thethaiger.com.

We’re one year old.

It was on August 1, 2017 that the fledgling Thaiger company took over the reins of the 23 year old Phuket Gazette and started posting under the new management. Only two weeks before we had received the keys to the toy box and started work on rebuilding the PhuketGazette.net website. HERE is our first article on August 1, 2017.

On August 1 we also started posting on the Phuket Gazette Facebook page, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram pages – over 200,000 followers as of the end of our first year.

Happy Birthday Thaiger - One year old today | News by The Thaiger

Our first website design when we launched on August 1, 2017

The Thaiger radio station had already been running since October 1, 2016 and had built up a strong following as the new English-speaking radio station in Phuket, in a very short time. In taking over the digital assets of Phuket Gazette, the plan was always to integrate, rebuild and rebrand.

At the time the Phuket Gazette had closed down its formidable local paper after a sterling 23 year old run – the old articles are still retained on The Thaiger website, a 23 year archive of Phuket lifeAll that was left was the digital side of the business and The Thaiger management could see the long-term website SEO and the high number of followers on its Facebook page as an excellent ‘next step’ for its growing media, radio and digital presence.

But it was in April this year The Thaiger revealed it claws and rebranded the website as TheThaiger.com along with all the other social media sites. The Thaiger was going national and so began the long journey to become a new force in English-speaking news and information in Thailand. Technically, changing over from PhuketGazette.net to TheThaiger.com was a nightmare to roll-out and we took quite a hit on web traffic to begin with – mostly predicted but it certainly hurt for a few months. Four months later we’ve not only clawed back that traffic we’re now up 73% on the traffic we had in the month before the changeover.

We also started our Thai-language news site and that remains an important area of growth for the Thaiger brand.

As we enjoy a slice of our first birthday cake we are proud to announce that we kicked over the 600,000 mark with pageviews for the month of July, well on the way to our target of reaching 1,000,000 monthly pageviews by the end 2018. This follows 20% growth in web traffic during April, 26% growth in May and 19% growth in June – all during the traditional quiet business months on the tropical island.

Along with The Thaiger FM radio, YouTube, three Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter we’ve more than doubled the ‘reach’ for Phuket’s listeners, readers and viewers in just 12 months. And now we’re taking on the national platform with our free classifieds, jobs and events listings, national property portal and comprehensive local, national and regional news and information.

We’ve made plenty of mistakes but we’ve made a few good decisions too and continue to try new and better ways of improving The Thaiger every single day. Our growing pains are the best pains to have and we’re learning as we continue to roll out new content and services.

For the rest of this year you will continue to see a rise in the number of articles posted – Phuket, national and regional – and better integration with our social media portals. The Thaiger radio will also continue to provide the best local delivered by passionate Phuket people.

The Thaiger will fight a few campaigns and truly appreciate the trust you’ve put in us to provide you with nimble, accurate news.

I would like to thank Noom, GN, Kritsada, Garry, Gerry and ‘Tank’, our current core Thaiger team. Also a very big thanks to Donna, along with Darren, Hayden, Alex, Colin, Jo, Sue, Tiya, Randy, Matty, Kamin, Jay, Dave & Christine. Also our sponsors and advertisers, most who have been with us since Day One as The Thaiger radio – they continue to grow along with The Thaiger.

To Sam for all your annoying grammar corrections, please keep it up.

To Bill for your counsel and guidance.

Our competitors for setting benchmarks we will exceed.

To D’Arcy Quinn and the other trolls that have made us better moderators and social media gurus.

And finally to the astonishing team at DBVentures who are our digital tour-de-force, the reason we look great online, the reason we’re kicking digital ‘arse’ and a great team to work with.

Happy Birthday to all the Thaiger team and everyone who has clicked, listened, watched, read The Thaiger and commented in the past 12 months.

Cue ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ thanks…

Tim

Grow with The Thaiger and growl with The Thaiger by advertising with us. Click HERE to make magic happen.

 



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

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now CEO and writer for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He presented for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and provides stories for Feature Story News as the south east Asian correspondent.

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Business

“Government stimulus package for Thai economy is unsustainable”

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“Government stimulus package for Thai economy is unsustainable” | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Wikipedia

Anusorn Tamajai, an economist from Rangsit University, says he expects the proposed package to make little difference and has declared it unsustainable.

The package, which should be approved this week, is worth 370 billion baht and includes cash handouts for farmers and low-income earners, grants for children, incentives for domestic travelers, and tax incentives for small businesses.

It’s hoped to stimulate the economy by 3%, in the wake of domestic uncertainty and the ongoing US-China trade war. Last week, the Finance Minister said the aim of the package was to prevent growth sliding below 3% in 2019.

However, economist Anusorn Tamajai has his doubts.

“Short-term spending as part of populist policies will not help much, as the Thai economy is monopolised by big business.”

He adds that most spending by low-income groups will end up as revenue for large businesses. However, he agrees with the plan to reduce the tax burden for small and medium-sized enterprises, which could lead to more private investment.

The government plans to offer generous tax reductions for those who import machinery to upgrade their production with a five-year depreciation allowance. The state-run Government Savings Bank and Krung Thai Bank will also provide combined soft loans worth about 100 billion baht.

The government also plans to direct a number of other state-run banks to provide soft loans to farmers and lower income groups, which Anusorn warns may not be sustainable as its effectiveness relies on public confidence in the future.

Thai governments often resort to state-run bank lending, quasi-fiscal measures that usually increase the burden for banks but translate into a burden for tax payers later.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Plastics

Calls for total ban on use of single-use plastic bags

The Thaiger

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Calls for total ban on use of single-use plastic bags | The Thaiger

PHOTO: World Wildlife Fund

The death of baby dugong Mariam, which was found to be caused from problems associated with plastic bags blocking her digestive system, has brought about renewed calls for stricter control, or a complete ban, on the use of single-use plastic bags.

Marine scientist, and vice dean of the Faculty of Fisheries of Kasetsart University, Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, told Thai PBS that the recent campaigns to reduce the use of plastic bags “was not enough”.

The campaigns, much touted as ‘environmental Community Service Initiatives’, have been perfunctory and, whilst the ‘savings’ in plastic bag use sound massive, they are in a tiny proportion of the actual single-use plastic bag use in Thailand.

The Charoen Pokphand Group, owners of Thailand’s 7-11 franchise, Family Mart stores – 51% owned by the Central Group and 49% by Japan’s FamilyMart Uny Holdings – and Central Pattana, the operators of the biggest number of shopping centres around Thailand, could do a LOT to take single-use plastic bags out of the system but have so far been reluctant to do more than just pay lip service to the problem.

Dr. Thon suggests that single-use plastic bags should be banned, beginning next year, as was done in New Zealand, or a fee should be imposed for their use. He also says that the plan to reduce the use of plastic straws, due to begin in the next three years, should be brought forward to next year.

Dr. Thon admitted that he was shocked to learn about the sudden death of Mariam, and that several pieces of plastic were subsequently found in her intestine. The plastics ultimately resulted in the septic shock that killed her.

He disclosed that members of more than ten rare marine species, including sea turtles and whales, had died this year by becoming entangled in fishing nets or from eating plastic waste, including the case of a pilot whale which was found to have 85 plastic bags in its stomach.

He also cited the case of a leatherback sea turtle, which was found dead on a beach in Rayong province last month. Veterinarians found two plastic bags in its stomach, one plastic wrap for bread and five small pieces of plastic.

Thammasat University’s vice rector Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, meanwhile, appealed to the Thai public to stop using plastic bags “so that no more marine animals will die from eating plastic bags or pieces.”

“About 80% of the 2,000 tonnes of garbage dumped into the sea each day come from the rivers.”

“The garbage, including plastic waste, dumped into natural inland waterways find their way into the sea.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS

The Thaiger would like to call on Thailand’s main retailers to initiate a total ban on single-use plastic bags.

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Crime

UPDATE: 9 Chinese arrested over 5 billion baht fraud case

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: 9 Chinese arrested over 5 billion baht fraud case | The Thaiger
On Saturday The Thaiger reported that nine Chinese nationals had been taken into custody after travelling to Thailand in order to avoid prosecution for crimes in China. They were wanted by Chinese authorities for alleged crimes in China. Read that report HERE.

We now have some further details…

Out of the 9, 5 were male and 4 were female. They were involved in a case that, according to Chinese counterparts, had affected the Chinese economy by forging contracts. After receiving the information from Chinese police, a Thai investigation team started to search for the 9 Chinese individuals who had sought refuge in Thailand.

The nine had opened an online selling business that they used to cheat victims in China. The suspects worked together in creating fake businesses and accounts that cheated online transactions systems to their advantage in defrauding customers. Their actions allegedly defrauded the Bank of China resulting in damages valued over 5 billion baht.

The 9 suspects will be prosecuted including having their visas revoked before being deported back to China. All 9 suspects will be blacklisted to prevent them from visiting Thailand again.

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