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NCPO chief Prayuth invited to take the Ice Bucket Challenge

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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NCPO chief Prayuth invited to take the Ice Bucket Challenge | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

NCPO chief Prayuth invited to take the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The “Ice Bucket Challenge” fund-raising activity has gone viral in social media, to the extent that even junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been challenged to take the plunge.

Surabot Leekpai, aka PleUm Vrzo and the son of former premier Chuan Leekpai, poured freezing water on his own head and challenged Prayuth to do likewise.

Top executives who have already taken the challenge and made donations include Advance Info Service (AIS) chief executive officer Somchai Lertsutiwong, True Corp president and CEO Supachai Chearavonon, DTAC (Total Access Communication) CEO Jon Eddy Abdullah, Dell Asia regional director for Indochina Anothai Wettayakorn, and ARiP chief executive Pathom Indarodom – organiser of the annual “Commart Thailand” computer fair.

Pawoot Pongvityapanu – managing director of e-commerce operator Rakuten Tarad.com – Siwat Chawareewong, the CEO of digital marketing agency M Interaction, Thai Samsung Electronics content marketing manager Jakrapong Kongmalai, Google Thailand country manager Ariya Banomyong, and the company’s marketing head, Pornthip Kongchun, have also taken part.

Meanwhile, celebrities taking the challenge include actor Jirayu Tangsrisuk (aka James Ji), actress Araya A Hargate, in addition to Ichitan Group chairman Tan Passakornnatee and former transport minister Chadchart Sittipunt.

Social-media users follow and spread news about the activity in Thailand using the #IceBucketChallengeTH hash tag.

Started in the US, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” involves dumping a bucket of freezing water onto one’s head to raise awareness and money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease.

In doing so, participants get an idea of how ALS sufferers feel, make a donation – and then have to challenge three other people publicly to do the same within 24 hours.

Among global celebrities who have taken part in the challenge are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Gone viral

The campaign has now gone viral throughout Thailand’s online community.

American writer and director James Gunn posted a video on Facebook of him pouring ice water on his head with the caption, “I answered the ALS Ice Bucket challenge laid down by Dave Bautista, Mikaela Hoover and Larry Fitzgibbon (AND I donated.) Now I challenge Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker and the entire country of Thailand! #ALSIceBucketChallenge”.

In the video, he said he was currently in the Kingdom.

A similar campaign in the IT sector was kicked off in Thailand on Saturday by Isriya Paireepairit, co-founder of the tech blog Blognone.

The rules have been changed so that the participants can choose to donate to any charity.

Isriya made a donation to the crowd-funding website taejai.com, which raises money for various social causes.

AIS’s Somchai donated to the same website, while Abdullah chose the ALS Association and Operation Smile (Thailand) on behalf of DTAC.

Abdullah accepted the ice-bucket challenge from Pawoot Pongvitayapanu. He and DTAC employees took the challenge and made a donation to the two charities through the “Bright Smiles & Happy Hearts” campaign.

He then sent out challenges to Sigve Brekke, executive vice president and head of Telenor Asia operations, Nation Group chairman Suthichai Yoon , and all DTAC employees.

“DTAC participates in this campaign, as we have a strong commitment to society and see this challenge as a good activity that encourages people to donate to charitable organisations. Hence, we gladly accepted the challenge and passed it on to others in society,” said Abdullah.

True’s Supachai donated Bt1 million for the ALS Foundation and challenged four others: Kittisak Sriprasert, managing director of CAT Telecom; Chutinant Bhirombhakdi, executive vice president Singha Corporation; Google Thailand’s Ariya; and Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund, presenter of TrueMoveH.

Dell Asia’s Anothai said: “No fear and no hesitation, I took a challenge from [Nation TV host] Prajya Aura-ek immediately for #IceBucketChallenge and I will donate US$50 [Bt1,592] to ALS Association for #StrikeOutALS.”

Anothai challenged Somsak Pejthaveeporndej, president of The Value Systems (ECS Thailand), ARiP CEO Pathom Indarodom, and Dell Corp (Thailand) country manager Thaneth Angkasirisan.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Business

500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies

Greeley Pulitzer

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500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies | The Thaiger

Roughly 36% of Thailand’s corporate equity is held by just 500 people, highlighting wealth inequality in the Kingdom, according to a study released by the Bank of Thailand’s research institute.

Each of these 500 amass some 3.1 billion baht (102 million USD) per year in company profits, according to the report from the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research. In contrast, average yearly household income in Thailand is around 10,000 USD.

A report out this week from the Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Thailand’s Rangsit University also pointed to divisive and polarised politics being another root cause of the economic divide.

Thailand’s private sector is dominated by tycoons running sprawling conglomerates. According to the World Bank, the gap between the mega-wealthy and the rest of the Thai population of 69 million is among the many economic challenges for Thailand. According to Bloomberg, the perception of a divide, exacerbated by an economic slowdown, is a major political fault line.

“Magnates arise in Thailand from institutional factors that privilege certain businesses,” said the executive director of PIER, author of the study.

The institute said Thailand needs to promote competitiveness to reduce profits from monopoly power and bolster entrepreneurship to create a more equitable distribution of corporate wealth.

The research is based on analysis of 2017 Commerce Ministry data on the 2.1 million shareholders in Thai firms, and was funded by the University of California San Diego.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care

The Thaiger

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Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care | The Thaiger

The majority of respondents to a Super Poll survey, say that they are still waiting to see where they will put their future support. For now they’re saying they neither support the Government or Opposition, preferring to wait to assess their performance.

Super Poll conducted the survey on 1,069 people from a wide range of occupations nationwide between October 1519.

The director of Super Poll, Noppadol Kannikar, says that one interesting finding was that 67.2% of respondents admitted that they prefer not to take sides, with the Government or Opposition, because both are currently under-performing and they want to wait to assess their performance.

But 16.9% of the respondents are supportive of the coalition Government, compared to 15.9% who oppose it.

On the question of Government spending, the survey showed 65.9% want quality health care as their top priority, 59.8% want good and secure jobs, 54.3% want security for their lives and property, 50.8% want increased road safety, 48.2% want government help for small and medium-size enterprises and 37.0% want government to provide them with housing.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thai Life

Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2019)

The Thaiger

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Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2019) | The Thaiger

…in English, in no particular order.

This post is mainly for newbies, tourists and people-interested-in-Thailand. Locals already have their home favorite news sources. But all these Top 10 do it well, in their own way. All are trying to navigate their way through the labyrinth of modern media, some better than others, whilst punching out daily news. We think they’re all stars because doing media in Thailand, in English, is a tough gig.

These are all news and information sources and the list doesn’t include the myriad of excellent blogs around – a topic for another Top 10.

1. Bangkok Post

Traditional news, still delivered as a daily newspaper, but with an expansive and thorough website. It’s been going since 1946 and reported on a coup or two, or three. As far as making the move into digital media is concerned, Bangkok Post is doing it better than most. Editorially it has has taken a, mostly, neutral political stance with a few exceptions. But, as newspapers go, it walks down the middle fairly reliably. It is currently the leading English language news portal in Thailand and deserves its position on top.

2. The Thaiger

Please indulge us as we put our own website and news in the Top 10. The Thaiger, only running as a national website since April 2018, remains the fastest growing English-speaking online-only news and information site in the Kingdom (according to the ‘stats’).

The Thaiger curates the news and chooses topics it believes will be interesting, important or newsworthy, in English, Thai and now Vietnamese too. The Thaiger bought out the Phuket Gazette’s digital assets in August 2017 but now has a national and regional focus, whilst continuing to pay homage to its home turf in Phuket. Currently has the second highest readership of any English-speaking news website in Thailand.

3. The Nation

The Nation was the other major daily coming out of Bangkok, well for 48 years anyway, was a lot newer than Bangkok Post when it started up in 1971. The Nation took a more partisan line, famously turning its editorial voice against PM Thaksin Shinawatra. In latter years the paper struggled with circulation and was taken over by Sontiyan Chuenruetainaidhama, founder of conservative outlets T News and INN News. Falling circulation and advertising revenues eventual killed off the printed daily version. Final issue June 28, 2019. The Nation changed their domain name (suicidal) and continues as an online-only news source with an excellent coverage of local Thai politics.

4. ThaiVisa

Used to be the biggest and most popular news website in Thailand (in English). If it moves or breathes, you’d find the story on ThaiVisa. It’s full of news copied and pasted from partners who agree to share their news on the site. It’s also famous, or infamous, for its hugely popular forums where keyboard warriors dispense their opinions and wisdom on everything, usually tearing just about everything in Thailand to shreds. Whilst it was once the biggest English-speaking news website in Thailand for a decade it is now being challenged by new sources moving into the same web space. Plenty of info, a lot out of date, about visas and other snippets about living in Thailand.

5. Khaosod English

Fresh, selective, well-written and a rising star in real Thai english-language journalism. An offshoot of it’s much bigger Thai-language sister. To the point, original stories with a modern journalistic spark. They tend to choose their stories and provide excellent insight when they do. Original and deserving of your daily read.

6. Coconuts

Most would agree that when Coconuts started it was the best and cheekiest news blog for its time. Actually covering all of South East Asia, it’s Bangkok blog was a daily log-on for most hip expats. Now they’ve taken the brave ‘paywall’ option (because people want to pay for good journalism they say) which seems to have killed off some of their web traffic but the company says they will persist with the subscription model. In our opinion it’s lost a bit of its verve but it’s still a healthy and reliable daily read for Thailand and the region. Singapore it its most popular location, Thailand is third.

7. Thailand News

A shameless aggregator, they copy and paste headlines and a few paragraphs with a link to the original story. Designed to rank in Google, the site is still in its early days. To avoid any copyright issues, the stories usually include a photo library ‘look-a-like’, instead of the real photo from the story. For all we know the entire site could be run by cleverly-coded robots.

There is no sign of a human touch anywhere. Rather than a contributor to the world of Thai journalism, the site is just a parasite using everyone else’s news. Bottomline, it’s nicely set up and has, well, most of the stories around Thailand, all in one neat package.

8. Chiang Rai Times

Chiang Rai Time is a local website that is regularly updated, nicely laid out, aggregates most of the main international stories and has plenty of local news relevant to the residents of northern cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. You may notice a similarity with The Thaiger as they used the same WordPress theme – we’ll take it as a compliment. There’s also Chiang Mai City Life which is a bit less ‘newsie’ and has plenty of northern lifestyle info in addition to the local news.

9. The Pattaya News

Whilst the rest of Thailand does things one way, Pattaya does things differently, in every aspect, including its media. But The Pattaya News does a better job than most with daily content, some original, and translating stories from Thai media. Easy to navigate, clear and readable, unlike a lot of others!

10. Thai PBS World

A government news agency but has demonstrated its independence over the years. As a website it’s had more face-lifts than Joan Rivers but remains solid, reliable and surprisingly (especially as it’s run by a quasi-military government) unbiased. Also tends to cover stories the other news sources don’t.

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