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Olympics: Storm follows decision over Thai Boxer Kaew

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Opinion: He’s not the first to see injustice
The Nation
PHUKET: Veteran Kaew Pongprayoon is not the first and possibly not the last boxer to fall victim to controversial refereeing decisions, providing further evidence there is urgent need to change the International Boxing Association (AIBA)’s obviously flawed judging system.

China’s Zou Shiming was declared winner in the light flyweight final of the Olympic boxing competition. Ironically, it was the Thai fighter who was afforded the bigger applause from the Excel Centre crowd for at least showing more desire to box, while a round of boos accompanied the Chinese as he left the ring.

The incident undoubtedly did not do any favors for the world governing body AIBA, which has already been struggling to improve the image of a sport tainted by a series of debatable decisions. Such problems have become even more evident in the international arena, given a long list of well-publicised controversial results.

The most notable incident was in the 1988 Seoul Games when a young Roy Jones Jr had every right to feel he was robbed of a win against home fighter Park Si Hun. The statistics of the bout – 86 compared to 32 – were clearly in favour of the American, who went on to become a multi-weight world champion. One judge admitted afterwards that the decision was a mistake and all three judges ended up being suspended.

Curiously, despite being aware of a question mark hanging over the credibility of the sport, the AIBA still adopted a judging system for the London Games that barely made it more transparent. The score was shown at the end of each session, unlike in the previous Games in Beijing four years ago when it was displayed throughout each round.

What happened in boxing was in contrast to taekwondo, the discipline that has also faced questions about its integrity in the past. However, the controversy arising from some dubious officiating in the Beijing Games prompted the governing body, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), to overhaul its antiquated system of scoring punches and kicks by introducing electronic scoring and video replay. As seen in London, the trainer of each athlete now has the right to challenge a decision once in a bout, and the officials can then decide on a video review of the incident in question.

Indeed, there was a sign of what was to come in London when the BBC broke a story that Azerbaijan was alleged to have made an attempt to bribe AIBA officials in exchange for two gold medals. Even though the International Olympic Committee found no evidence of a bribe, the event – in the bantamweight bout involving an Azerbaijan fighter – did not do the credibility of the sport any favours.

Magomed Abdulhamidov initially won the fight, much to the surprise of people who watched the encounter in which the Azerbaijani was sent to the canvas six times by Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu. The result was then overturned and the referee from Turkmenistan, who officiated in the fight, was sent home.

Unfortunately, the Olympic boxing competition will again be remembered most for some questionable decisions rather than the boxing performance itself. The question is how long the sport will stay in the Olympic programme if such problems remained unsolved.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Illegal border crossings bringing in new Covid-19 infections

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 infected border hoppers cross borders like this one betwen Malaysia and Thailand (via Wikimedia)

Authorities are worried about illegal border crossings into Thailand bringing in the Coronavirus after 5 recent Covid-19 infections from such crossings. Bypassing all health and security checkpoints along the border, 5 Thai nationals were identified today as being positive for Covid-19 after they snuck into the country, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Authorities nabbed 2 after border crossings from Malaysia illegally on April 28 and May 3rd, while another snuck across the Burmese border into Tak on May 2. The last 2 came from Cambodia on Thursday across the Sa Kaeo border. All 5 illegal border crossers are now in state hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.

According to CCSA data in the first four months of 2021 a total of 15,378 people were arrested by Thai authorities while sneaking across borders. Even after security forces increased patrolling along the borders, people managed to sneak in from Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia. 6,700 of those who crossed the border were Burmese citizens, while another 1,700 of them were Thai nationals.

With nearly 400 lives lost to Covid-19 and over 83,000 people having been infected in the pandemic, the CCSA declared that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and National Security Council Secretary-General Natthapol Nakpanich agree that these illegal border crossers without Covid-19 screening are a serious problem.

Many Thai people work in Malaysia and as the pandemic drags on they are sneaking across the border, desperate to make it home to their family. Another recent case found illegal Burmese border hoppers in a taxi en route to Hat Yai after they crossed into Thailand from the Malaysian border. They were trying to travel incognito across Thailand in order to cross the border again back into their home country of Myanmar.

The dilemma is even worse at the Burmese border as the often violent protests following the February 1 military coup has been pushing much of the country into poverty, and creating refugees who are flocking to the border in hopes of crossing over to safety. Many are seeking to escape the conflict and find work in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Economy

Thailand Consumer Confidence Index hits record low

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Consumer Confidence index slips again to below the pre-pandemic record. (via CNN)

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has reported that the Consumer Confidence Index has hit another new record low of 46.0 in April. The Covid-19 global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and consumer confidence has fallen frequently to the lowest points that it has seen since 1998.

The president of the UTTC believes that consumers generally don’t feel like there has been much of a recovery for the economy since the global pandemic began and without a stimulating event to motivate economic growth, the index is expected to continue to fall further. The university estimated that if the third wave of Covid-19 continues past the end of May the economy can expect to lose 400 to 600 billion baht.

The UTTC president stressed that the government should hasten to step up relief measures and make sure they continue relief and economic stimulus throughout the pandemic to avoid economic catastrophe. He predicted that the economy and the Consumer Confidence Index will continue on a downward slope without any hope of improvement until the vaccine rollout gets well underway towards herd immunity, and new Covid-19 infections are decreased dramatically.

Today saw another 2,101 new Covid-19 infections and 17 deaths in Thailand. Vaccination efforts are continually being stepped up, but still remain woefully slow.

The Consumer Confidence Index first started falling last year, with a drop below the previous record low in 1998 in April of 2020, when it fell to 47.2. A few months later, by July of last year, it had recovered significantly, climbing back over 50. But by March of this year, the index had fallen again to 48.5. With April’s tumble of 2.5 points, the Consumer Confidence Index pushes once again to a new record low.

SOURCE: Thai Business News

 

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Thailand

Thailand searches for cow vaccine for lumpy skin disease

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: An example of a cow with Lumpy Skin Disease. (via newindianexpress)

Move over Covid-19 there’s a new disease sweeping the country as Thailand’s cow population is afflicted with a lumpy skin disease. The Department of Livestock Development is now working on procuring vaccines from overseas manufacturers to import and treat the cattle population in Thailand. The lumpy skin is caused by pustules that are the most visible symptom, perhaps more detectable than other bovine signs such as drooling, loss of appetite and drowsiness.

The cow disease is spreading in the North, Northeast, and Central Plains area of Thailand and has been found in 18 provinces total. First identified in Roi Et, it has now spread in Chiang Rai, Kalasin, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Pathom, and Nakhon Phanom. The first case of the lumpy skin disease was reported in Don Daeng village last month and on April 9th officials reported it to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The lumpy skin disease is found in cow pens and spread through flies, ticks, and mosquitoes, but the DLD says not to panic, it is not transmissible to humans. The department is distributing important information about symptoms and how the disease spreads to breeders and farmers in the area. They’re requiring the breeders to monitor their cattle closely and have imposed measures to control the disease in heavy hit areas.

To prevent the spread of disease in livestock, traders are being requested to not buy and sell cattle within 50 km from disease-stricken regions. And for farmers caring for cattle, the DLD recommends spraying insecticide in all areas to prevent transmission via insects. Finally, in case the cattle were jealous of traveling humans, the DLD is advising farmers to prevent disease spread by isolating any new cow that comes into their farms with a 28-day bovine quarantine where they should be kept under nets to keep insects away.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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