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Govt warned of ‘fishy’ deals, like microphones for the Cabinet

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Govt warned of ‘fishy’ deals, like microphones for the Cabinet
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Almost half the local leaders from 600 communities surveyed by Master Poll wanted the government to cancel a plan to buy 89 high-tech microphones for the Cabinet room that cost about Bt100,000 each.

The poll conducted from September 11-13 released the results yesterday. It showed that 47.2 per cent wanted the project scrapped and 50.8 of respondents felt there was something fishy about the planned procurement of microphones costing Bt100,000.

However, 49.3 per cent of the public said they felt nothing was wrong with the purchase deal, 35.2 per cent supported it, 17.6 per cent said the plan should be cancelled and the official in charge of the project step down to take responsibility.

PM’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul said he did not want to see conflict among state agencies over the plan to buy the high-cost microphones, saying the deal was being checked by the committee to monitor state spending.

“I do not want to see state agencies passing the blame to one another. I have been trying to iron out their differences to bring about peace and unity to the Government House,’ he said.

He said that the government’s honeymoon period was over and it now had to rush to work.

Poll: public likes NCPO’s style

The PM’s Office has been assigned to arrange a meeting between the Cabinet and permanent secretaries from all ministries and provincial governors on Wednesday when the prime minister would inform them of the government’s policies.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the government to ensure transparency in spending state funds for all projects. He said the public wanted transparency most in the use of “central funds” which the PM and the Cabinet had the power to approve.

He warned Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha that controversies like that of the pricey microphone could create repercussions for his administration. The PM had better ensure the committee he appointed to check the planned procurement of the microphones made the truth prevail. He said the PM must ensure that no more such controversies are repeated.

Master Poll also revealed that people wanted the government not to fall into bureaucratic traps with 27 per cent voicing such concern, 20 per cent warned the government against becoming intoxicated with power, money or women – together with flattering civil servants, capitalists and close aides.

About 17 per cent suggested the government start work immediately to tackle pressing issues – while 34 per cent said the government needed no suggestions as it had performed well.

Asked why the public had accepted the junta seizing power, 57 per cent said people wanted the junta to heal national division, 32 per cent said it was needed to fight corruption, 7.4 per cent said to help solve economic problems.

About 84 per cent preferred the working style of the NCPO because the junta seemed to be seriously address issues the country faces. The rest said they preferred the government’s working style because its image was better than the junta’s among the foreign community, 78 per cent said they were most satisfied with the junta’s crackdown on hawkers on the beach.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Promise to vaccinate expats, Thailand “electric vehicle hub” | May 6

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Thailandโ€™s Food and Drug Administration has denied that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is already in Thailand, The Thai government has ambitious plans to turn the Kingdom into a Southeast Asian hub for the manufacture of electric vehicles., The Thai Hotels Association is urging the government to extend the domestic travel stimulus schemes, set to end on September 30 and Thai Meteorological Department is warning of thunderstorms around the country, particularly in northern and North East Thailand, until the end of tomorrow.

 

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Economy

Thailand increases durian exports to China by 14% this year

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Thailand has exported 14% more durian to China in this year’s first quarter over the same period last year. The Trade Negotiations Department Director General says Thai durian auctions in the first quarter secured 186 million, making up 88% of the total amount of Thai durian exports to world markets.

Last year, Thailand exported US1.5 billion worth of durian to China, a 78% increase from 2019. China’s share accounted for 73% of total Thai durian exports to world markets. 18 countries have free trade agreements for fruit with Thailand. Thailand is actively exporting fresh fruit with its top buyers being Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The most popular fruits are the national delicacy of durian, along with mango, mangosteen and longan.

Despite the increases in durian exports, farmers have been worried about Covid-19′s effect on the industry. Earlier in 2021 health authorities in China circulated a press release stating that imported cherries from Chile had been tested and found to have Covid-19 contamination. This statement prompted a huge drop in Chilean cherry prices. Thai growers are worried the same might happen to durian imports. As the seriousness of the Coronavirus in Thailand reaches new widespread levels, one instance of a durian container being linked to Covid-19 could spur a total ban on importing fruit from Thailand.

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SOURCE: MENAFN

 

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Bangkok

Hundreds of Thailand slums at risk of Covid-19 as many can’t afford to quarantine

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Stock photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis for Unsplash

Following the Covid-19 outbreak at the Khlong Toey slum neighbourhood in Bangkok, there have been more than 1,000 slum communities have been identified as having similar living conditions as the Khlong Toey slum, and are now communities at high risk advised to be under watch to prevent another outbreak.

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry’s Community Organisations Development Institute pinpointed 1,270 slum communities, saying that many are similar to Khlong Toey. Areas of top concern of a potential outbreak include the large community by Khlong Prem Prachakorn with more than 10,000 people as well as a community of around 5,000 to 10,000 people who live by the Yommarat Railway. Other slums of top concern include communities of more than 3,000 people in both the Ratchathewi and Wang Thong Lang districts.

Out of the slums pointed out by the institute, more than 200 residents in the 260 communities have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the institute’s deputy director Panthip Petchmak. 700 more people were ordered to quarantine due to close contact with an infected person.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht.

The institute is now working with community-level organisations to provide food, water, and supplements to those in poor neighbourhoods in an effort to keep people at home, preventing the spread of Covid-19.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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