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Thai Government seeks public opinion on civil same-sex union bill

The Thaiger

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Thai Government seeks public opinion on civil same-sex union bill | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

The Thai justice minister is insisting that draft legislation for civil partnerships of same-sex couples won’t be rushed and that the department is waiting for public feedback on the proposal.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin says the process will take time as it requires “careful deliberation to prevent any misunderstanding”.

Somsak made the comments yesterday whilst chairing a forum on the Bill. The Bill was agreed in principle on December 25, 2018 and relevant departments are now working on a final draft. The Bill will need to be passed by the new Lower House but there is no timeline on the legislation reaching the House at this stage.

The Justice Ministry is holding public forums to evaluate public opinion on some of the legislation’s contentious issues.

• The Bill stipulates conditions for terminating registration of civil partnerships.

• The Bill fails to include the right for same-sex couples to adopt children or the right to receive state welfare benefits, even though same-sex couples have the right to adopt children under the existing Child Adoption Act.

• Those who register for civil partnership must be a minimum of 17 years old and obtain their parental consent. 

• Feedback on the Bill must be sent back to the Council of State by next month for a final draft to be prepared for Cabinet.

Speaking in the third person, Somsak said “The Justice Ministry will neither rush nor put the brakes on the Bill.”

The Civil Partnership Bill doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry but it would grant partners the legal right to jointly own and manage assets, and to give or receive inheritances.

Activists, on both side of the argument, are critical of the Bill. On one side same-sex GLBT proponents say it doesn’t provide same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. On the other, critics say the Bill would reduce the ‘value’ and ‘values’ of marriage in Thailand.

But supporter say the Bill is a first step towards equality in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Transport

Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces

Anukul

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Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: corporate-office.business

… but not quite as many as before, so far. The Director General of the Department of Land Transport says that more people have been using the inter-provincial buses services after the government recently easing Thailands’ lock down situation.

He says…

“Although some long distance services are still not in operation to comply with the night time curfew, many inter-provincial routes of around 300 kilometres are open and have seen many commuters.”

“The department will gradually add buses to facilitate increased use and maintain social distancing.”

The department has announced that there were just under a million passengers per day using public buses running between Bangkok and nearby provinces from March 1-25, (the period before the State of Emergency).

  • 141,240 passengers per day taking buses between the capital and other provinces,
  • 9,128 using buses between provinces,
  • 2,379 using buses within a province.

Reports have revealed that after the emergency was effective across the nation from March 26 to May 1, there was a decrease in the number of passengers with 472,210 passengers per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 4,090 from the capital to other provinces, 5,612 on inter-provincial routes and 2,156 passengers between provinces.

After the lockdown was eased on May 2 up to today, the number of passengers has increased to 508,490 per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 6,000 from Bangkok to other provinces, 9,020 on inter-provincial routes and 4,020 passengers between provinces.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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North East

Udon Thani temple blaze claims abbot’s life

Jack Burton

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Udon Thani temple blaze claims abbot’s life | The Thaiger
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A famous forest temple in Issan’s Udon Thani province caught fire yesterday, claiming the life of its abbot. The temple has long been associated with the late Maha Bua Yannasampanno, thought by many of his followers to be an Arahant (someone who has attained Enlightenment) and a master in the Thai Forest Tradition.

75 year old Phra Ajarn Sudjai Thanthamano had served as the abbot of Wat Kesornsilakul, popularly known as Wat Pa Ban Tad, since the death of the Maha Bua in 2011.

Police were notified of the blaze at 1:37pm. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find flames engulfing the abbot’s living quarters. Monks, novices and citizens were trying to put out the flames and rescue the abbot, who was trapped inside.

The fire brigade sprayed water to control the flames. When the blaze subsided, monks rushed to bring the injured abbot out. He was taken to a van and rushed to Udon Thani Hospital but died on the way. The van then took his body back to the temple.

Although it destroyed the abbot’s quarters, firefighters were able to control the blaze before it could spread to any other areas of the temple. Police cordoned off the area pending the collection of forensic evidence, as followers began arriving at the temple after hearing of the abbot’s passing.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

Thailand’s property market set to experience brokerage megashift

Bill Barnett

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Thailand’s property market set to experience brokerage megashift | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett

It’s clear that Thailand’s real estate sector is expected to undergo a megashift as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and search for a ‘new normal’, if that’s even possible. That said, one of the country’s leading PropTech groups FazWaz says the crisis has only accelerated dynamic charges to the sector that have been bubbling to the surface over the past two years.

“Big data and virtual seamless transactions are recurring trends whose time has come”, according to FazWaz CEO Brennan Campbell.

“The current crisis has created a great wall between property buyers and sellers can easily be demolished through a complete overhaul of the legacy brokerage transaction process. “

FazWaz, who are a PropTech start-up under Thailand’s BOI (Board of Investment) technology development platform has methodically pursued an enhanced big data platform by focusing on creating a forward-looking property transaction model. 

Over the next few months the next domino to fall is a new FazWaz product using online data to create dynamic property valuation, which can be used by financial institutions, developers and prospective buyers in obtaining real-time appraisals. 

Commenting on the new business model Campbell says that it’s time for reality to bite.

“The old method of real estate valuation in Thailand, that requires an arduous paper chase, walking around neighbourhoods, staring at ‘for sale signs’, and looking back versus looking forward, makes zero sense.” 

Big data allows FazWaz to understand dynamic demonstrated trends 24/7 and uses algorithms that can predict future values. Thailand’s shifting property landscape is seeing lines blur between primary and secondary sales. This is magnified even more, given both rely on market valuations as a lever for transactions. A recent FazWaz deep dive into the Phuket real estate sector showed a market value of properties for sale in excess of 100 billion baht.

Lessons learned in the current crisis, that is moving away from traditional brokerage, has prospective buyers taking virtual tours of property (VR) instead of going to show units. VDR (virtual data room) is also becoming a new standard in the transaction process. It has been accelerated into the due diligence process by sheer necessity. Add in the use of big data for AVM (automated valuation model) property valuations is clearly a more accurate methodology given emerging market volatility. 

As Thailand’s property sector goes into reopening mode, and the long journey towards recovery, Campbell weighs in with “the new path is one that the industry has not been on before, big data doesn’t sleep, nor do disruptors to the sector. Ultimately PropTech will change the sector in ways you cannot even imagine today.”

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