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Premchai wants to move the case to another court. The Prosector’s not happy.

The Thaiger

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Premchai wants to move the case to another court. The Prosector’s not happy. | The Thaiger

Haven’t heard much about the Premchai Karnasuta case in the past month? There have been moves behind the scenes to have the case moved to the Region 7 Criminal Court in Samut Songkhram province.

Thai PBS is reporting that the public prosecutor in charge of the Thungyai illegal hunting case has objected to the request of Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta to have his case transferred from Thong Phaphum provincial court in Kanchanaburi to the Region 7 Criminal Court’s anti-corruption litigation in Samut Songkhram province.

Region 7 special prosecutor of criminal litigation Mr Somjate Amnuaysawat told Thai PBS today (Thursday) that he wondered what was happening, saying the illegal hunting case was the primary case and could be tried separately from the bribery case in which Premchai and another defendant, Mr Yong Dodkrua, were already indicted at the court in Samut Songkhram.

He also pointed that since officials of Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary were based in Kanchanaburi province, he wondered whether it would be convenient for them to travel to Samut Songkhram to attend the hearings.

However, he said the Thong Phaphum prosecutor had already submitted his objection against the requested transfer of the illegal hunting case to the Thong Phaphum provincial court for consideration.

The Thong Phaphum court on Wednesday decided to submit Premchai’s request to the Appeals Court for consideration. The court also decided to adjourn the hearing scheduled Wednesday to August 27 when a ruling from the Appeals Court is expected to be announced in response to the request.

Meanwhile, former attorney-general Trakul Vinitchaipark wrote in his Facebook post that it has been 116 days since the illegal hunting case was exposed and it is steadily disappearing from the memory of the public.

Read more of the story from Thai PBS HERE.



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Thailand

Thailand’s hero of the day: Phitsanulok big-biker ‘Tik’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand’s hero of the day: Phitsanulok big-biker ‘Tik’ | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Itthiphon ‘Tik’ Petchphibunpong – Daily News

Kudos to Mr Big Bike, as he’s been nicknamed, the hero of the moment, who took matters into hand to help a family needing urgent help and was stuck in traffic in Phitsanulok in northern Thailand.

28 year old ‘Tik’, aka. Itthiphon Petchphibunpong, was riding his bike in heavy traffic when he was driving past car with a family whose daughter had passed out. Tik works for Sa-art Electric in the north of Thailand.

She was starting to foam at the mouth and they were worried they wouldn’t get her to the hospital in Phitsanulok in time.

Helmet-cam shows Tik parking his bike, knocking on the windows of cars around the family’s car to try and clear a path through the heavy traffic. But he realised this was going to be a slow process so he took the girl’s father to the hospital on the back of his bike as the cradled his sick daughter.

Watch the video on the link below…

https://web.facebook.com/tig1235/videos/2283241021994494/

They arrived in time and we’re happy to report that the girl is recovering after being transferred to another hospital. More than 2.4 million Thais have viewed the video and commented on the story of the latest Thai hero.

SOURCE: Daily News

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Southeast Asia

Bali flights cancelled as Mount Agung stirs again

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bali flights cancelled as Mount Agung stirs again | The Thaiger

Mount Agung, Bali’s active volcano, has erupted again, spewing ash and hot lava that ran down 3 km from the crater, causing authorities to cancel flights in and out of Denpasar.

Indonesia’s Center of Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) says the eruption was recorded at 19:30 Central Indonesian Time (WITA) and lasted for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

The eruption also threw smoldering lava and pieces of stone into the air, fell in areas around 2.5-3 km from the summit. PVMBG say the current alert level on Mount Agung is set at Level III.

Residents, trekkers and tourists are strictly prohibited to be around the red zone areas set at 4 km away around Mount Agung summit.

Bali airport has cancelled all flights following an eruption of the Mount Agung volcano that spread ash over the south of the Indonesian island.

A Mount Agung eruption in November in 2017 also forced the authorities to close down the airport for several days, hampering tourism in Indonesia’s popular island destination.

The volcanic disaster had forced over 43,000 residents in Bali’s eastern regencies to refuge in shelters. Dozens of elder refugees died in the shelters due to the ensuing eruption.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thai Life

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand

Tim Newton

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Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | The Thaiger

There will be bumps along the way between your visits to the beach, bar and immigration office (sometimes the bumps will be at the beach, bar and immigration office). Expat life is what you make of it here in the Land of Smiles. Moaning about it never helps but accepting the bumps is part of the adventure. Here are our Top Ten Hard Truths for expats in Thailand.

1. Visas can be a pain in the neck

You have plenty of options but the options never quite fit into your line of work or expectations. But between the Non-B visa, ‘Retirement’ visa, Education visa, Tourist visa, Elite visa and Smart visa, along with a few visa runs and trips to your local immigration office, you can usually fernangle a long-term stay in Thailand (yes, we know we used nick names for some of the visas).

One way or the other you will need to keep your paperwork up to date as the fines and penalties for over-stays and visa problems can be quite harsh and difficult to negotiate your way around these days. There’s plenty of good information on the net about visas but, despite what you read, interpretation may be different on the day you visit the local office and depending who you end up speaking too.

At the end of the day, ask yourself how difficult is it for Thai citizens to live in your country…

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

2. You call it corrupt, they call it business

You are a guest in a foreign country. Thailand has a long history of independence and hasn’t been tainted with a lot of western influence. Unlike Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. Philippines and India (just to list a few countries around Thailand), there has never been western colonisation of the Kingdom. And most Thais will be delighted to remind you of this proud fact. The down-side is that your perception of western efficiencies and customs are going to be challenged whenever you want to do just about anything.

There will be times when you will be asked, or invited, to put your hand in your pocket to get something happening – it could be a building project, a visa, getting your accounting done or getting a signature on a contract.

If you are running a business in Thailand you’ll be invited to ‘contribute’ more often than if you’re just living the single life here. Be shocked, be angry, be determined to point out your issues with corruption – it’s not going to change a system and business culture that’s been in place for generations and unlikely to change much during your time in the Kingdom.

The laws and penalties are changing but the customs will take generations to catch up.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Speaking of business…

3. Thais love paperwork

Thais and Thai bureaucracy loves paperwork. You will be bewildered by the amount of paperwork generated for the most simple tasks. We’ve decided that there must be a huge building somewhere in Thailand that just holds mountains of paperwork that will never, ever be seen again. Despite computers, modern banking and the concept of the ‘paperless office’, you will see paperwork generated at the expense of perfectly good trees in quantities difficult to imagine.

How about 32 A4 pages of paperwork for changing one brake disc on a 12 year old Honda Jazz? Watch in wonder as the photostat machines and bubble-jet printers churn out paper you probably can’t even read and get placed into files that will likely never be read by anyone else.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

4. Business can be an adventure and very challenging

Despite a US NGO voting Thailand as one of the best places to start a business in Asia (try and hold back your laughter), starting a business in Thailand can be 1) challenging 2) an adventure 3) bewildering 4) perhaps impossible. Or all four at once.

Free you mind of anything you’ve learned in the west about starting a business, jump onto Google and find a good local administration person or lawyer. Do it all yourself at your peril.

Just because the Thai GF can pour a beer or ‘knows someone’ is no guarantee that things will go smoothly. Running a Thai business never ever goes the way you plan. Ever. Between your visas, business registration, Labour Office, Department of this and that, accountants and your Thai staff, is a wall of red tape, twists, turns and WTFs that will test your resolve.

The effort is usually all worth it but you’ve been warned! Dot your ‘i’s and cross your ’t’s and check everything thoroughly before you sign a document. And then do it again.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

5. Two-tier pricing

Go to a small local restaurant in any holiday area and there will likely be several versions of the menu – one for locals and one for tourists – you’ve probably never noticed. Of course the menu for the tourists has the same food listed at higher prices.

Then go to any national park in Thailand and the entry price can be as much as 1000% higher for ‘farang’ and tourists. It’s just a fact of life, much-debated, and you probably just need to accept it. If you do confront a two-tier pricing issue from time to time get out your Work Permit or local drivers licence and the higher price is usually waived. But not always. Or start crying, that sometimes works too.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

6. Bar girls don’t love you

The 20-something bar girl with the short skirt and fetching smile probably doesn’t love you.

Whilst many westerners seem to gravitate to Thailand to indulge in the local pleasures of the flesh, a long term relationship and partner may take more time to cultivate than a round of expensive drinks and some small talk with a bar girl whose vocabulary will likely range between the cost of drinks and routine pleasantries… Ka. You’ll have better luck on Tinder or, heaven forbid, taking a lady out on a date and actually getting to know her.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

7. But that’s not how I did it last time!

Immigration rules, negotiating with police, business rules, road rule enforcement. The way you tackle some of these day-to-day little ‘impediments’ should be treated as a single adventure and not to be referred to in the future as the-way-things-are-done. Whilst Thailand has well-described rules, regulation and laws relating to just about everything, they are often applied and enforced in a way that may appear unfair or inconsistent.

The way police negotiate who was responsible at an accident may be different every time. It used to be folk lore that if if there’s any issue to be sorted out between a Thai and a foreigner, the Thai will always come out ahead.

From personal experience I would say that’s no longer the case but always be prepared to ‘wing it’ in any given situation. If there are going to be police or the law involved best to get someone speaking Thai, the local Tourist Police or someone in-the-know to help you wade through potential problems.

The 24 hour phone number for Tourist Police around Thailand is 1155.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

8. Don’t lose your cool

Stamp your feet, raise your voice, point at the absurdity of the situation over and over. I can guarantee it will make absolutely no change to the final outcome. Losing your cool will simply not help any situation and will likely inflame it further, to your detriment.

Ask for the manager, describe your point-of-view in exquisite detail on a sheet of paper, get out the finger puppets or turn to Google Translate – go for it. But do it quietly, with a smile.

Never lose your temper and try not to raise your voice because it’s just not the Thai way.

1) They will smile in silence whilst you point out that their website said something completely different

2) They will go and discuss the matter with other staff and come back to you with precisely the same answer they gave you in the first place

3) They will listen to your rant and think you are completely insane without actually saying so

4) They will simply walk away whilst you are just getting warmed up

5) They will get angry… you NEVER want that to happen, you’ll come off second best every time.

Jai yen.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

9. The road toll in Thailand is appalling

Despite their generally affable nature, great food and endless smiles, Thais don’t do the driving thing well. And it’s dangerous. Thailand has been listed as the most dangerous place in the world to drive. Currently Number 4 as reported by the WHO, 2019.

If you are in a car your chances improve a lot. If you’re older or female, the odds improve further in your favour. If you are on a motorbike but wear a helmet, you’ve also improved your chances of surviving Thailand’s roads.

Christmas/New Year and Songkran (Thai new year in the middle of April) are the times of the year when Thais wipe themselves off their roads in astonishing numbers and all the police checkpoints, Government media releases and changes to laws do little to curb the carnage.

The biggest contributor to this national disgrace is drunk driving with speeding coming a close second. Despite almost draconian laws on alcohol advertising the message about drink driving simply isn’t sinking in. Attitudes and a commitment to enforcement is slowly changing but it’s a long-tough road ahead for the people of Thailand to tackle their shameful road toll.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

10. Queues (or ‘lines’ if you’re American)

Queues and waiting in line are just a part of modern Thai life. Whether it’s waiting in the Immigration queue at the airport or your local office, at the local convenience store or at a public hospital, your wait is just a function of all the other systems that lead to inefficiencies and delays.

It might be well argued that it’s not only Thailand where queues have become a part of life but in Thailand many situations seem quit easy to fix, at least to the person waiting in line (who usually has plenty of time to contemplate solutions).

Even thought Immigration queues have improved over the past 12 months, you can still be waiting for an hour to get through immigration at any Thai airport if you arrive just after 5 Chinese or Russian charter flights. But it’s all managed with a smile once you get your moment in front of the camera for your photo and fingerprint ID.

Top 10 hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

So what can you do with many of these challenges? In most cases, keep smiling, take a deep breath and remember why you came to live in Thailand in the first place. Despite the thousand and one little annoyances and inconsistencies it’s still a wonderful place to live.

A few days on the ThaiVisa forum would make you think that all expats ever do is whinge and complain about life in the Land of Smiles. It’s a bad example of expat life and most of us find our way through these challenges with a bit of patience, grace, a good book or a smartphone with a full charge.

We are, after all, guests in the Kingdom of Thailand and it’s up to us to find a way around THEIR systems, as best we can.

There is an airport nearby, in most cases, with multiple flights out of the country if you’re truly aggrieved by any situation. Get some good local friends around you, do some research before you embark on any new task and keep an eye on your rear-view mirror.

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