Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette: Thai women courted; Hopewell back in public eye; PM in Japan;

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Gazette: Thai women courted; Hopewell back in public eye; PM in Japan; | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Pheu Thai, Democrats take different paths in wooing women voters
PHUKET (The Nation): Both parties cite the importance of women, their roles in taking care of families and their forming a key part of the workforce.

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, the two parties’ attempts to woo them come in markedly different forms, with one providing loans for women to invest, and the other offering solutions as to how they can rid themselves of existing debts.

The first objective of the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s Women Empowerment Fund scheme is to provide a lending resource at zero or low interest.

Under the scheme, a group of women can propose a project to their local funding committee with a view to receiving a loan.

The other objectives include funding job training and a network for women’s protection, as well as “promotion of understanding of women in all aspects.”

About 100 million baht has been allocated under the scheme for each province. Yingluck said during her recent visit to Udon Thani that it would be the first province where the project would be launched.

The government’s scheme basically follows the Pheu Thai’s policies touted during last year’s general election campaign, and the idea is very similar to populist policies launched during Thaksin Shinawatra’s administrations.

The idea is that people can get out of poverty if they have some capital to start up a business. They might be in debt initially, but the money provides them with the opportunity for advancement.

Although more than 4 million people have reportedly registered under the scheme, the Four Region Women network recently submitted proposals to the government asking for cancellation of the registration process, which is open until the end of this month, saying that all women should be eligible to join automatically.

The network also requested transparency and said government officials must stay away from the fund’s management. Under current rules, the fund will be managed by an elected committee.

As for the Democrats’ approach to help the female population rise out of indebtedness, MP Rachada Dhnadirek said: “We are not providing money. We provide education and moral support, as we believe these two things will salvage women out of debts.”

She said that merely lending money would not really solve the problem, as the cycle of indebtedness could then return at any time.

Providing moral support, she added, was also very important. Some people, who are not in debt due to investment, might not be able to overcome their vices, such as the perceived need for luxuries.

Democrat MPs during the past weekend held a workshop titled “Women Beat Debts”, at which 60 women with debt problems shared their experiences, learned about basic financial management, and were given advice on what they had to do to get out of debt.

Speakers and advisers of the Democrat Party’s programme gave advice to all of the participating women on a case-by-case basis.

Rachada is one the Democrat MPs who had run such a project in their constituencies for more than a year before the programme was upgraded to become an official party scheme.

Democrat MP Jermmas Chuenglertsiri said more than 150 people had told her they wanted to take part in the next programme that accepts only about 50 participants each time.

Many of them mistakenly thought that the Democrats would provide direct financial assistance, whereas the focus is on moral support and education.

Considering that women outnumber men by 32 million to 31 million in the Kingdom, it is a good sign that political parties are attaching more importance to them. But eventually, female voters will decide which of the parties’ policies they prefer.

Collapsed platform brings abandoned Hopewell back in public eye

PHUKET (The Nation): Getting on for 20 years, the public had been largely trying to ignore the controversial abandoned project between Hopewell (Thailand), which is a subsidiary of Hong Kong based Hopewell Holdings, and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) – that is, until the collapse of part of the construction last Thursday.

The incident involving a collapsed platform section has brought to the surface four key issues.

First, Hopewell (Thailand)’s demand for compensation of 12 billion baht for unfair trade practice after the SRT cancelled the contract, leaving the project partially constructed. The amount claimed is not only to compensate for the partial construction, but also because the government now plans to use the construction to proceed with the Red Line commuter train project.

Second, the SRT in turn is seeking Bt200 billion in compensation from Hopewell in return for business opportunity losses from land development along the 26-kilometre Bang Sue-Rangsit route, as well as benefit-sharing from the project.

Third, there are the SRT’s costs in having to pay a surcharge to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) after missing loan repayment as scheduled under the contract. So far, the agency has had to pay a surcharge of Bt33 million.

Finally, the pending ruling will delay Red Line route construction, as Hopewell and the SRT have not been able to reach a compromise.

In particular, the prolonged wait for the appeal court ruling has undermined foreign investor confidence as regards the operation of government megaprojects. Investors could now be reluctant to join hands with the government, or they would have to add the risk cost into such projects.

From the Hopewell side, however, now is a good time to attract more attention to the drawnout case, as the group needs to achieve compensation for its business loss in Thailand.

On the other hand, the SRT wants to end the case without having to make any payment, arguing that it was Hopewell that had breached the agreement. This would allow the agency to proceed with the Red Line commuter rail route, which is now behind schedule as construction was due to begin last year.

Red Line construction is scheduled for completion by 2016 at an investment of Bt75.54 billion.

The SRT inked the Bt63.87billion loan agreement with Jica in March, 2009. It had to repay the first instalment of the loan last year, but this was delayed due to the problems surrounding the project.

The first-phase construction contract of the Red Line, to establish the central station and maintenance centre, is being negotiated by the SRT and a joint venture between SinoThai Engineering and Construction, and Unique Engineering and Construction, which had offered the lowest bid at Bt31 billion. However, the Cabinet approved a lower budget of Bt27.17 billion for the first phase.

In 2008, an arbitrator ruled in favour of Hopewell, ordering the SRT to pay Bt12 billion in compensation. Of the total, Bt9 billion is to compensate for the construction cost, Bt2.85 billion for land utilisation, Bt38.7 million for the cost of the bank guarantee issued at a 7.5-percent interest rate, and Bt500 million for the guarantee itself.

However, the SRT petitioned the Office of the Attorney General to forward the case to the Administrative Court, seeking that the court nullify the arbitrator’s ruling.

The case is still pending a final ruling by the Administrative Court, besides which the SRT also wants a decision on compensation of Bt200 billion from Hopewell for business opportunity losses.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



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

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Thailand News Today | Changes to quarantine, ‘adult content’ ban continues | March 5

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand News Today | Changes to quarantine, ‘adult content’ ban continues | March 5 | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Public Health Minister is chairing a meeting next Monday, where a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles is on the agenda. Anutin says those who’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

In related news…. From next month, foreign visitors to the Kingdom will be able to experience the delights of “area quarantine”, after the government confirmed the scheme for 5 provinces. Following a meeting with the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Minister confirmed that Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Surat Thani, which includes Koh Samui, have been chosen to pilot the scheme.

P**nhub and other adult websites are remaining blocked in Thailand as they apparently “conflict with good morals for upstanding citizens”. The Thai Government says the websites encourage “poor moral standpoints and can affect youth in a negative manner”.

The Acting Minister of Digital Economy and Society and current Minister of Culture says that the decision that was made by the previous office holder will be upheld. The decision also includes keeping other popular adult websites blocked as the Thai Government has labelled them to be “obscene”. But the move to ban adult content has brought protests with those disagreeing saying such sites are a part of freedom of expression.

A houseowner in the central province of Ang Thong, central Thailand, has discovered 3 skeletons on his land that are thought to be over 3,000 years old. 54 year old Somkiat Briboon says this most recent discovery isn’t the first, as the first lot of bones was found last year after preparing his 17 rai plot of land to be rented out for sugarcane farming.

The Thai PM says he’s ordered an investigation into allegations that the military has been using fraudulent social media accounts to aggravate the ongoing unrest in southern Thailand. Facebook has announced the removal of 185 accounts and groups that it has accused of “information-influencing”, targeting audiences in the deep south of the country, where Muslim insurgents continue to fight for independence. The PM says he’s tasked the Defence Ministry with looking into the matter and explaining it to the public.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk

Avatar

Published

on

Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk | The Thaiger

A group of pro-democracy protestors, on an almost 250 kilometre walk, are expected to reach the outskirts of Bangkok today. The group has been walking for 17 days, starting from the Thao Suranaree statue in Korat province’s Muang district to protest the imprisonment of 9 pro-democracy demonstrators who are being denied bail.

The demonstrators imprisoned include 4 protest leaders from Ratsadon named Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Morlum Bank” Saraiyeam. The 247.5-kilometre march, named “Walk Through the Sky: Bring Back the People’s Power,” started on February 16. Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, from the student-led protest group Ratsadon, is leading the walking protesters and says they have been held in jail without bail since February 9.

The 4 are facing charges under Article 112, which prohibits lese-majeste, or the defaming of the Thai Royal Monarchy. Lese-majeste carries a jail sentence of 3 to 15 years. They are also facing charges of sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, which carries a jail term of 7 years, as they are accused of organising pro-democracy rallies.

“The ignition and the fuel for the walk is simple. They have started to incarcerate our friends while denying their bail requests, which made it impossible for us to do nothing.”

The court has denied the demonstrators bail requests 4 times now, citing that their release would create more unrest.

Pai said he emphathises with the detained protestors as he has been imprisoned for lese-majeste before. He says he spent 2 years and 6 months in prison for sharing a BBC Thai’s biography of the monarch on Facebook.

“When I was in jail, there were people outside who were protesting for my release so now that my friends are in jail by an unfair law while being denied their right to political expression, I must come out and do something.”

“A walk is a type of a fight against injustice and we choose to fight this way in order to peacefully spread the words about police brutality, the uses of various laws to silence dissidents, the plights of the poor and the mismanagement of the government’s covid-relief measures and natural resources.”

The walk-in protest group is expected to reach Zeer Rangsit in Pathumthani around 5:30 pm today and will camp out near the department store before marching at the Bang Khen intersection tomorrow. On Sunday, the march is expected to end at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

Avatar

Published

on

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 days ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism1 week ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism1 week ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending