Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Chalerm chides ice cream gang; Gov’t pushes B2 trillion loan; Liquid cigarettes inflame health officials

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Chalerm chides ice cream gang; Gov’t pushes B2 trillion loan; Liquid cigarettes inflame health officials | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Chalerm warns Yingluck of her ‘ice-cream gang’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A disaffected Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung yesterday warned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that she was setting her government up for an early demise thanks to her new “ice-cream gang”.

Chalerm was apparently referring to Yingluck’s young aides.

After reporting for work at the Labour Ministry for the first time since the Cabinet reshuffle, Chalerm spent more than an hour complaining about his transfer. He previously held the post of deputy prime minister.

After briefly addressing senior Labour Ministry officials, Chalerm said he was sorry about being removed from his previous position because he was doing so well in fighting drug trafficking.

“I have the right to ask why I was transferred when I had always performed well,” he said.

Chalerm went on to say that his sarcastic comment about being former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s slave was only meant to have a dig at the opposition Democrat Party. He said Yingluck had invited him to meet Thaksin in London in 2006, where he was asked to join the People Power Party.

After that he was put at the helm of the Interior Ministry for eight months until the so-called “gang of four” took over and started influencing the Cabinet. In this case he was referring to former PM Samak Sundarvej, Thirapol Noprumpha, Newin Chidchob and People Power Party secretary-general Surapong Suebwonglee, who apparently tried to wrest power from Thaksin.

“And now there’s an ‘ice-cream gang’ at Government House,” he said.

Chalerm added that Yingluck should have veteran politicians around her so she can be shielded from political attacks.

“Now, she has only dogs around her and she will face her demise as prime minister as nobody will respect her,” he said.

He went on to say that measures to control the southern unrest had failed partially because he had only taken over the responsibility in November and had not been given enough power or funds.

He also attacked Thawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, for ignoring his demand that he publicly announce that Chalerm had evidence proving that the Barisan Revolusi Nasional was behind the May 1 attack.

Six civilians were killed in the attack, and foreign media have been blaming Thai soldiers for it.

He also claimed that Thawee and the “ice-cream gang” had told Yingluck about his inability to ease the situation in the South, which is why she chose not to give him the task to oversee national security.

Bt2-trillion loan bill does not violate charter: Govt
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The government yesterday vowed to go ahead with the enactment of the Bt2-trillion loan bill, rejecting a legal-reform panel’s claim that the bill is unconstitutional.

Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana said the bill does not violate Article 169 of the Constitution as claimed on Wednesday by the Law Reform Commission of Thailand (LRCT) headed by former attorney-general Kanit na Nakorn.

“The bill does not violate the charter because the loans will not be state funds,” Phongthep said. “Moreover, similar borrowing has been done by several governments – the Bt2-trillion bill will not be the first of its kind.”

On Wednesday, Kanit told a press conference that the bill would definitely violate Article 169, which requires that state funds be disbursed in line with budgetary procedures. He reasoned that the Finance Ministry is a state agency and any loans it obtained should be regarded as state funds.

Kanit also warned that the bill would violate the people’s rights, because parliamentarians, who represent the people, will not be allowed to monitor the spending on the transport-infrastructure projects for seven years.

The bill would empower the Finance Ministry to borrow Bt2 trillion, which would be off the budget, to implement transport infrastructure projects. Phongthep said it was not true that Parliament would not be able to monitor the spending.

“The legislative branch can ask questions or raise recommendations or submit motions to the government to answer. The opposition can even hold a no-confidence debate against the government regarding the spending,” Phongthep said.

The deputy prime minister added that while the bill is being deliberated by the House of Representatives, it will already have been checked by the legislative branch.

“Although the coalition has a majority of MPs, there are also opposition MPs. The bill will also be checked by the Senate, and the government has no senators. So, the bill will be checked before the government will obtain the loans. The legislative branch will still be able to monitor it after the loans have been obtained,” Phongthep said.

The bill has passed its first reading and is being vetted by a special House committee.

Chief coalition whip Udomdet Ratanasathien, a Pheu Thai MP from Nonthaburi, said the opinion of the LRCT would have no impact on the vetting of the bill, which is almost complete. But Udomdet said the government should heed the warning of the commission, which was set up by the government.

“I think the government should ponder and reach a decision on the opinion of the LRCT before the bill is sent back to the House for the second reading in about a month,” Udomdet said.

Sanguan Pongmanee, a Pheu Thai MP from Lamphun, said the panel could only suggest legal reforms; it did not have the authority to change or improve the laws, which rested with Parliament.

While the LRCT was within its rights to comment on the constitutionality of the Bt2-trillion bill, it had no place evaluating whether the investments were worthwhile, the MP said.

Meanwhile, the so-called Group of 40 senators threatened to submit a petition to the Constitutional Court against the government if the Bt2-trillion bill clears Parliament.

“We believe the issue of the loans will become a cause that will topple the government. We believe the government cannot survive past April 2014,” said Prasarn Maruekapitak, one of the 40 anti-government senators.

Ministry aims to control sale of ‘liquid cigarettes’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Public Health Ministry is seeking legal action to control the illegal import of liquid nicotine in the form of shisha sticks, known locally as “baraku”, which seem to be very popular among celebrities.

It is believed the fancy cigarettes have several addictive substances.

Dr Nopporn Cheanklin, deputy chief of the Disease Control Department (DCD), said his agency had asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to list liquid nicotine as a controlled product under the Psychotropic Substances Act, which requires importers to first register it with the FDA before selling in the market.

“This way we will know the number of importers and the amount of imported liquid nicotine that will be sold in the market,” he said.

He was speaking at the national academic conference entitled “Tricky Marketing and Promotion of Tobacco Companies” hosted by the Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre.

Since the electronic shisha sticks ar

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Thailand

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27 | The Thaiger

Last day of the week. Thought we’d go outside. Bad idea! Welcome to Friday’s Thailand News Today.

Royal Thai Army denies claims about Twitter campaign to spread pro-government propaganda

Following a shutdown of 926 Twitter accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army, documents were leaked of what appears to be a contract between the Army and a private company supposedly hired to spread pro-government propaganda.

But Thailand’s Army chief is denying the claims and says the Army never hired a company to spread pro-government propaganda through the over 900 Twitter accounts.

Last month, Twitter announced that it had suspended 926 accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army for violating the social media company’s “platform manipulation” policies.

A report by an independent Cyber Policy Centre says the Army used Twitter to “cheerlead” with pro-government propaganda. The report says the Army used Twitter to criticise the now disbanded Future Forward Party and neutralise criticism after February’s mass shooting where an Army soldier killed 30 people and injured 57 others.

Former WTO director cautions against re-opening Thailand too quickly

The former director general of the World Trade Organisation has issued a caution against Thailand throwing open its borders too early.

Supachai Panitchpakdi says Covid-19 is still very much a threat, pointing to other countries that appear trapped in a cycle of restrictions and lockdowns. He said that the cycle in many Western countries is not just damaging their economies, it’s also leading to more infections and deaths and prolonging the time until the affected countries can restart their economies. He warns that re-opening Thailand’s borders too quickly could have long-term negative impacts for the Kingdom.

Within Thailand there is a polarised view as to whether Thailand should be broadly re-opening its borders or not. Successive polls show that the Thai population is, generally, suspicious about re-opening too soon, especially whilst parts of the rest of the world are still trying to contain their infection rates. On the other hand Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industry has been decimated with millions unemployed.

Bangkok’s canal boat services go electric

A new electric passenger boat service started operating on Bangkok’s Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem today. The klong traverses the eastern side of Rattanakosin Island.

The Thai PM launched the service at the Hua Lamphong Railway Station Pier, and was a passenger on the first boat ride this morning.

There’s seven electric fibreglass boats in the initial service, each carrying 30 passengers.

The boats can run for four hours per charge at a speed of 10-15 kilometres per hour. There’s solar roof panels to help power the electric outboard motors.

The new e-boats operate from 6am-7pm, with a boat departing every 15 minutes. Good news, passengers can travel for free for the first six months of the service.

Thailand’s English level drops for the third year – English Proficiency Index

English skills in Thailand have dropped for the third year in a row with an English language proficiency score considered to be “very low.”

In the past year, Thailand’s ranking dropped from 74 out of 100 countries to 89, according to the 2020 English Proficiency Index by EF Education First. The index is based on test results from 2.2 million adults from 100 countries and regions.

Thailand scored 419 out of 800, which is considered “very low.” Thailand ranks 20 out of 24 countries surveyed in Asia and 7 out of 8 countries in Southeast Asia, just ahead of Myanmar in last place.

According to the report, the lack of English proficiency in Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka hampers access to jobs in the tourism industry which makes up more than10% of their economies.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Crime

9 arrested for allegedly embezzling more than 2.8 billion baht from Railway Club Cooperative funds

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

9 arrested for allegedly embezzling more than 2.8 billion baht from Railway Club Cooperative funds | The Thaiger
Line Today

Police arrested 9 people involved in the Railway Club Cooperative, including the former chief, on collusion charges for allegedly approving loans behind closed doors to embezzle a total of 2.8 billion baht from members’ funds.

Officers from the Central Investigation Bureau have been investigating since June 30 of last year. Investigators say the suspects approved loans without calling meetings for the roughly 2,300 cooperative members and used falsified documents to take out loans of about 15 million baht each.

When reviewing loan approvals made between January 2012 and November 2016, investigators say they found loans given to a hotel, housing estate, resort and property project. They say loans were also used to buy luxury cars and other valuables.

Officers from the bureau along with the Department of Special Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Office recently raided 26 locations in Bangkok, Phetchaburi, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi. Officers seized a total of more than 10 million baht as well as luxury cars.

The 9 suspects face charges of colluding in theft, falsifying documents, using fake documents and money laundering. Along with arresting the cooperative’s former chief executive, 70 year old Boonsong Hongthong, police arrested committee members 49 year old Pimpa Rodrassamee, 31 year old Orchanok Sa-ngadsap, 59 year old Weerachai Srisawat, 69 year old Surat Srisawat, 37 year old Prapat Srisawat, 44 year old Supakit On-aree, 63 year old Preecha Thanapairin and 40 year old Natyanit Mahachot.

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

Protected hornbill dies from gunshot wound, 2 suspects in police custody

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Protected hornbill dies from gunshot wound, 2 suspects in police custody | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: เผด็จ ศิริดำรง

A protected great hornbill died after 5 days of medical treatment for a severe gunshot wound. 2 suspects are now in police custody and officers have seized a .22 calibre rifle, according to Thai PBS.

A tourist found the injured bird near the Khiriphet waterfall on Koh Chang. The hornbill, known in Thai as a nok nguek, was treated at the Nuern Plub Wan animal hospital in Chon Buri. The great hornbill’s condition rapidly deteriorated and veterinarian Phadet Siriadmrong says the hornbill suffered brain stem death.

The great hornbill, Buceros Bicornis, is listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. According to IUCN, hunting his substantial threat to the great hornbill.

Hunting poses a substantial threat to the species. Because of its predictable behaviour when regularly visiting the same feeding sites, it is easily targeted by local hunters.

Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act prohibits hunting preserved or protected wild animals. Those found guilty of violating the act could face up to 4 years in prison and a fine up 40,000 baht.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Bangkok Post | IUCN

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 | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12

Thailand News Today | PTT pays out, Revised visa requirements, Protester’s asylum | Nov 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PTT pays out, Revised visa requirements, Protester’s asylum | Nov 11

Thailand News Today | Thai official positive, Head-butt latest, protest letters | November 10 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Thai official positive, Head-butt latest, protest letters | November 10

Thailand News Today | Golf STVs, Russian head-butted, protest latest | Nov 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Golf STVs, Russian head-butted, protest latest | Nov 9

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending