Landmark Thai booze bill passes 1st reading

Smashing the hold of corporate Thai brewery conglomerates in the booze business moved one step closer last night after the Move Forward Party’s Progressive Liquor Bill sailed through its first reading in the Lower House.

The landmark bill, originally rejected by the cabinet in February, seeks to break the monopoly of corporate brewers and provide business opportunities for small-scale brewers and entrepreneurs. Last night it sailed through its first reading by 178 votes to 137, with 15 abstentions.

A 25 member committee has now been set up to scrutinise the bill over the next seven days, before it is resubmitted for its second and final readings in the House of Representatives.

Opposition’s Move Forward MPs cheered and applauded after the vote while Taopiphop Limjittrakorn, who had proposed the bill, was embraced warmly by a number of people.

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Taopiphop was arrested for producing his own craft beer without a license in 2017. He vowed from that moment he would become an MP and change the law. The 33 year old is making good on that promise.

Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat says the bill, as well as the Marriage Equality Bill, will pave the way for changes for the better in Thailand if they are passed into law.

“Passing the Progressive Liquor Bill can be viewed as achieving equality in business, as it will allow local communities to process their agricultural produce into alcoholic drinks. The passage of the two bills will send a message to the world that Thailand is on path to change for the better.

The 178 MPs who voted for the bill included a number from the government, including 23 Democrat MPs, 9 from Bhumjaithai and two from the Palang Pracharath Party.


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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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