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Thailand News Today – Thursday, May 14

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Tenants bailing out of pricey Bangkok offices amid pandemic

Bangkok’s high-end office district is looking more like a ghost town as the coronavirus pandemic seems to have many companies bailing out of their pricey office spaces.

Business owners have had a wake-up call from employees discovering the advantages of working from home.

A spokesperson from Phoenix Property Development and Consultancy says that…. “More companies may consider downsizing their workspace by letting people continue working from home, which has been proved to be an effective and economical alternative during the government’s lockdown.

Available rental space in Bangkok could rise from 60,000 square metres at the start of 2020 to over 200,000 square metres by the end of the year.

Defence Ministry to take legal action over anti-government slogan campaign

The Defence Ministry is vowing to take action after an anti-government slogan was projected onto various Bangkok monuments and buildings.

The buildings Included the Defence Ministry building itself, the Democracy Monument, at the Victory Monument BTS station and on Wat Pathum Wanaram.

Former members of the now defunct Future Forward party are taking credit for the campaign, which seeks to commemorate the anniversary of a bloody government crackdown that ended 3 months of protests in the capital in 2010. Over 100,000 people, supporters of former PM, Thaksin Shinawatra, and known as the “Redshirts”, had flooded into Bangkok, demanding elections be called.

Koh Tao residents caught without face masks made to do push-ups and jumping jacks

Officials on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand have come up with a novel way to punish people for not wearing face masks.

It’s still a legal requirement under the Covid-19 emergency decree when people are out in public.

Both tourists and Thais caught without protective face coverings are being made to do a series of push-ups and jumping jacks, much to the amusement of onlookers armed with smartphones. It comes after police on Koh Tao set up a checkpoint near the pier, with anyone violating the face mask stipulation being made to perform no fewer than 20 push-ups and 20 jumping jacks.

Thai carmakers slash production by 50% in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic could cut Thailand’s automobile production by up to 50%, according to the Federation of Thai Industries.

Thailand is the eleventh biggest carmaker in the world, producing more than 2 million cars last year. The FTI now expects only half that in 2020.

A spokesman says that exports to the US, Europe and Japan are the most worrisome, while demand is starting to return from China. Local demand is also down at least 60% according to the FTI’s numbers.

 

South Korea asks Thailand to remove it from list of “high risk” countries

South Korea is asking to be removed from Thailand’s list of “high-risk” countries. The list was drawn up in early March, when South Korea was second only to China for Covid-19 case numbers.

It now ranks 40th, and is considered one of the countries most successful at managing the outbreak. To date, none of the 7,000 Thai citizens, who have returned from South Korea, have tested positive for Covid-19.

Sp, the South Korean embassy in Bangkok is appealing to the Thai government to be removed from the list of countries considered high risk. It adds that being left on the list amounts to unfair stigmatisation and does not recognise South Korea’s success at containing the virus.

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