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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Restraint urged on Preah Vihear ruling; 10 hurt as train derails; Fundraiser for typhoon victims; Realty growth continues despite woes

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

Govt urges restraint on Preah Vihear ruling
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The government and military have held back on making definitive comments on the Preah Vihear case, waiting to see what transpires from a meeting with their Cambodian counterparts.

As villagers living along the border cheered and welcomed the restoration of peace after the International Court of Justice’s verdict, heavy discussion took place on Facebook. Some calculated the loss of land to Cambodia after the World Court’s verdict on the promontory of the Hindu temple. A few postings were about the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area, which will be jointly developed by Thailand and Cambodia.

The court on Monday ruled that the vicinity of the Preah Vihear Temple in accordance with the Annex I map was under the sovereignty of Cambodia. The territory in question does not correspond to the disputed 4.6 square kilometres, and its exact dimensions remain unclear.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Deputy Defence Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha pleaded that Thai citizens first think about Thai-Cambodian relations rather than the disadvantages inherent in the verdict, while urging politicians not to use this for political gain.

The Thai-Cambodian joint committee will convene as soon as possible, Yingluck said after the Cabinet meeting yesterday. Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul will hold talks with his Cambodian counterpart and when they are ready, the committee will meet. For now, soldiers are guarding their posts until the joint committee reaches an agreement.

PM Yingluck brushed aside the question of how long it would take to find out how much land Thailand would lose to Cambodia under the redefined promontory.

Regarding foreign media reports that Thailand had lost land to Cambodia, she said it was not a matter of win or lose, but this was a win-win ruling for both countries. “Two neighbours live together without a fight or violence. This should be what all want,” she said.

Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thailand had not lost its land, as the “small area” that the court ruled on was not yet specified. He said that while all were free to comment on the verdict, people should be careful, with the knowledge that one bad word could provoke a war.

“Soldiers are fully deployed to the South and disaster relief … We can’t afford another fight.”

Late on Monday, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong told reporters in The Hague: “We could say we both win the judgement. By asking the court to interpret the 1962 judgement, Cambodia has only one will – to settle the dispute with Thailand peacefully and to have Thailand stay as a good neighbour. We are close to each other, we cannot stay away,” he said.

Surapong and Yuthasak arrived in Bangkok from the Netherlands yesterday, while Virachai Plasai, Thai ambassador to The Hague, will return today. Led by PM Yingluck, all of them will testify before Parliament today and take questions from MPs and senators.

Saying the translation and interpretation of the verdict was under way, Surapong said it was important that all Thais had a single message, for the peace of both nations. He noted that this understanding would facilitate Thai-land’s stand at the joint committee meeting.

“These [efforts] are to allow both countries to move forward. We must preserve our relations with Cambodia, as our co-existence will be forever. People of both nations are happy with the verdict,” he said.

Professor Chaiwat Khamchoo of Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of political science urged that Thais to maintain unity and not drag the Preah Vihear issue into politics. He said the case went to the court again because it was politicised at home. The university on Friday will host a seminar on the ruling, with Ambassador Virachai as a speaker.

10 hurt as train derails in Udon Thani
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A train with 50 passengers on board derailed in Udon Thani’s Muang district yesterday morning, injuring 10 passengers.

Three carriages of the Bangkok-Nong Khai train ran off the track in Moo Mon sub-district at 5.30am, with one carriage plunging into a ditch. The train departed Bangkok at 6.20pm Monday.

Among the injured, eight were passengers while two were railway employees. Udon Thani Train Station chief Sukhum Suwancharoen said the train reached Udon Thani at 5.10am, before derailing while heading towards Nong Khai.

While railway officials were investigating the scene to determine the cause of the derailment, the passengers were taken by bus to Nong Khai Station 50km away.

Fundraiser for Haiyan victims organised
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The government will hold a special event Wednesday to raise funds for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, Government Spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi said Tuesday.

The event will be broadcast via NBT and Radio Station of Thailand at 8.30pm. He encouraged all people to donate.

Phillipines was hit by the super typhoon last Friday. One of the strongest tropical storms on record, Haiyan tore through the centre of the archipelago killing an estimated 10,000 people in one city alone and destroying homes, roads and bridges.

Recent reports indicate that 9.8 million Filipinos have been affected.

Realty growth continues despite political woes
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The political conflict has not yet thrown a wet blanket on the real estate industry as residential demand is still sizzling, according to Pruksa Real Estate Plc.

“The property market continues to grow at 5 per cent in the last quarter of this year thanks to the high demand in the market in the first nine months,” Thongma Vijitpongpun, CEO of the leading residential developer, said yesterday.

However, if the political unrest tends to take a long time and affects the economy, that will have an impact on the market next year, he said.

“We have to take time to forecast and set our strategy for next year by monitoring the country’s political situation for whether it will be a short-term or long-term conflict. If long term that will impact our business estimates for next year. If not, we will maintain our growth. Right now we cannot say what our business plan will be next year,” he said.

However, the company is studying issuing debentures worth Bt6 billion-Bt7 billion next year to prepare for expansion, said Edward Cooper, chief financial and risk officer.

The company aims to maintain financial sustainability and control its cost of funds at not over 4 per cent. Its cost of funds is presently only 3.7 per cent – lower than other property firms in the market.

The company has revised its presales target for this year from Bt35.42 billion to Bt39 billion-Bt41 billion and its revenue target from Bt33.97 billion to Bt36 billion-Bt37 billion after realising presales of Bt36.92 billion in the first 10 months and revenue of Bt25.26 billion in the first nine months, which is up 35 per cent from the same period of last year.< — Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Economy

Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Thailand

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals

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Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

2,044 new Covid-19 cases and 27 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,320 active Covid-19 cases. 1,170 Covid patients are in critical condition including 367 on ventilators.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 78,855 Covid-19 infections and 363 virus-related deaths.

Out of 27 new fatalities, patients were ages 30 to 90. Most of the deaths were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Several contacted the virus from family members.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New cases Total cases since April 1
Bangkok 869 16,917
Nonthaburi 201 3,032
Samut Prakan 165 2,902
Chon Buri 89 3,128
Samut Sakhon 69 1,299
Surat Thani 60 1,035
Pathum Thani 39 1,099
Chiang Mai 33 3,180
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 32 607
Nakhon Pathom 29 746
Ranong 29 329

 

Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toei 46
Pathum Wan 24
Bang Khae 24
Lat Phrao 13
Ratchathewi 10
Pom Prap Sattru Phai 9
Bueng Kum 9
Phasi Charoen 8
Bang Khun Thian 8
Din Daeng 8

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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