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Thai PM at the crossroads

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Thai PM at the crossroads | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

With the election looming (5 months away) the Thai PM is being forced to declare his cards and his intentions to run as  a political party member, or not.

According to The Nation, Prayut Chan-o-cha appears to have made up his mind to take a risky political journey after publicly admitting for the first time yesterday that he was “interested in political work”. He says his future will depend on “how people see it”.

But the PM remains tight-lipped as to which political party he is leaning towards and run as its PM candidate. Observers and the media are pointing to a new outfit called Palang Pracharat. If all the speculation is correct, the party plans to nominate Prayut as its PM candidate and certain government figures are expected to join it as well.

Commentators say preparations have been made for Prayut’s comeback as PM, including favourable new laws and regulations, along with recent political moves. In a Suan Dusit poll yesterday the PM also came out on top when Thais were asked who they wanted to be PM following the next election.

Prayut has been under pressure to reveal his plans. Staying silent about his political future will see him being pestered by the media and critics, while making his political plans clear risks attacks from politicians who see him as their rival.

Either way, the pressures on him will only increase as the time ticks closer to the proposed poll date.

Another question has emerged as to whether the former Army chief should step down as NCPO leader. His continued tenure could be seen as taking the limelight – a luxury not afforded to his potential political peers.

When asked about the matter by a Government House reporter yesterday, he responded with a clear “No”.

Prayut had earlier refused to answer reporter’s questions about his political future, saying that if he clarified it early, he risked getting attacked early. It’s best to be seen how the Thai PM will react when under the same scrutiny as other politicians.  Berating the media and swatting away unpleasant questions won’t play well against his more seasoned political performers.

Meanwhile, assuming Prayut is going to run as a politician in the forthcoming election, the verbal stoushes have already begun…

Korkaew Pikulthong, a Pheu Thai Party politician and key red-shirt leader, yesterday called on Prayut to come to power through election the next time.

“That way is dignified,” he said, obviously referring to the fact that Prayut took power through a military coup.

“General Prayut has all the power mechanisms in his hands and has an advantage over all the political parties. So it is not difficult for him to enter politics,” he said.

Governing as an elected PM is another matter. Korkaew noted that Prayut would no longer have post-coup power, but would instead face scrutiny by the parliamentary opposition and the media.

Watana Muangsook, another key Pheu Thai figure, said yesterday that Prayut had an advantage over fellow politicians by refusing to step down as NCPO leader, while prohibiting political parties from campaigning.

“I am not surprised with what he said. He has made it clear from the beginning that he wants to be in power, but is afraid of contesting an election,” Watana wrote on Facebook.

Prayut was not alone yesterday. PM’s Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakool said he has developed an interest in politics after having worked in the government over the past few years.

“I am happy we have been able to help people. In the future, we may continue offering benefits to the people,” he said yesterday.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana yesterday also voiced his interest in politics. He said he was weighing his opportunity to continue his political work.

Uttama and Kobsak are expected to take key positions in the pro-Prayut Palang Pracharat Party, which is scheduled to convene its general meeting this Saturday. The picture will be clear when the party selects its executive members and announces its election plan.

Thai PM at the crossroads | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Plastics

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | The Thaiger

By the end of 2019 Thailand will be free from three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics.

Then by 2022 four other types of single-use plastics will also be banned – lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws – according to a road map approved by the Cabinet.

The Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 also includes an ambitious plan for Thailand to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2027 in various forms, including turning waste into energy.

The Cabinet has acknowledged the road map and assigned the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to formulate a draft action plan for plastic waste management, so it is in line with the 20-year national strategy.

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

The Cabinet also called for clear details on related agencies’ role in the integration of the work for managing plastic waste, which will also get huge participation from the private and business sectors. The related state agencies should create various mechanisms to propel this forward such as creating a good understanding among agencies, continuously implementing a public relations campaign via social media to achieve the set goals, the Cabinet instructed.

The work procedure must consider lifecycle plastic-waste management so steps are taken from the very start: with plastic products designed applying the “Eco Design” approach, manufacturing and post-consumption disposal which will include garbage separation, transport and storing, recycling and proper disposal.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thais generate as much as 1.14 kilogram of garbage per head per day, contributing to the 27.04 million tonnes of waste per year.

One person uses approximately eight plastic bags a day – or 500 million plastic bags per day for the whole nation.

Most of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans, accounting for 16% of garbage in the seas.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

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Infamous ‘large’ passenger dies in Koh Samui

The Thaiger

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Infamous ‘large’ passenger dies in Koh Samui | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Sun

A 200 kilogram tourist, who forced flight crews to wipe his bum as he moaned with pleasure in January, has died on Koh Samui.

The American, who hasn’t been named, died whilst staying on the Gulf island due to an undisclosed illness. But he has left an indelible memory in his wake.

At the same time, as the news emerged about his demise, EVA Air were putting plans in motion to ban the oversize traveller from flying with their airline ever again.

The man shocked readers is January when he was accused of forcing cabin crew to strip him in a cramped airline toilet (remember this guy weighed 200 kilograms) and wipe his bum while he “moaned with pleasure”.

The incident occurred on an EVA Air long-haul flight from LA to Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport and was covered extensively on world media.

Infamous 'large' passenger dies in Koh Samui | News by The Thaiger

A flight attendant, who on the same flight, described how the passenger boarded the plane in a wheelchair and then insisted on having three adjoining seats in economy class due to his size. He then demanded to use the plane’s business class lavatory, as he couldn’t fit into the economy toilets.

But (put down your food if eating) while in the toilet, he demanded cabin crew strip him down so he could relieve himself, saying he had an arm injury that prevented him from doing it himself.

“I told him we couldn’t help him, but he started yelling. He told me to go in there immediately and threatened to relieve himself on the floor. As the passenger’s genitals were now exposed, one of my colleagues brought a blanket, which I used to cover his modesty.”

“But he very angrily slapped my hand away, saying he didn’t want it and only wanted me to remove his underwear so he could use the toilet.”

Infamous 'large' passenger dies in Koh Samui | News by The Thaiger

The flight attendant who ‘assisted’ the man should be awarded lots of medals and a lifetime supply of latex gloves

The passenger then asked crew to wipe his bum for him leading him to groan as the chief attendant fulfilled his request while wearing three pairs of latex gloves.

“He said: ‘Oh, mmm, deeper, deeper,’ and then accused my chief attendant of not properly cleaning his backside, requesting that she do it again,” recalled the attendant, who was holding onto the passenger to keep him steady.

She said the attendant repeated the action three times before the man said, “You can pull my pants back up now.”

The two female flight attendants involved, who both said they were traumatised by the incident in January, are both on extended paid leave.

The Sun.co.uk, reporting this story, says that “Party island Ko Samui – the second largest island in Thailand – is known for its prostitution and seedy nightlife.”

Despite the source, the incident has been widely reported by ‘respectable media’ on January 20 this year, and the large man has indeed passed away on Koh Samui.

SOURCE: The Sun

Infamous 'large' passenger dies in Koh Samui | News by The Thaiger

‘The Sun’ confuses Koh Samui with Walking Street

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Thailand

Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018 | The Thaiger

The latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) released by Hotels.com reveals no sign of a slowdown for the global travel industry. Prices are up for overnight accommodation by 3% globally in 2018 across every regional index, except for the Pacific region, including Thailand.

Hotel.com has 85 websites in 34 languages, and lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels and B&Bs, and some condos and other types of commercial lodging.

Travellers to and around Thailand paid an average price of 1,720 baht a night for their domestic accommodation last year, a 7% drop compared to 2017, and paid the same average price of 4,437 baht a night for international accommodation in both 2018 and 2017.

The growth in travel comes despite global uncertainties including Brexit, California wildfires, South African drought and Japanese earthquakes. Travellers also showed resilience and renewed confidence in destinations touched by unrest: Paris, Egypt, Turkey; regions experiencing currency fluctuation: South America; and areas affected by natural disaster: North America.

Despite the overall growth in global accommodation prices, average prices paid for domestic accommodation in Thailand have decreased, with average prices for international beds remaining stable.

SOURCE: The Nation | Hotel.com

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