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Langkawi ferry bursts into flames – passengers safe – VIDEO

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Langkawi ferry bursts into flames – passengers safe – VIDEO | The Thaiger

by Bernama/The Star – Asia News Network

A passenger ferry travelling from the Kuah Ferry Terminal to Kuala Perlis in Langkawi island in Malaysia had to be evacuated after the passenger cabin filled with choking smoke. All the passengers were rescued by a nearby tour boat and local fishing boats.

“The ferry stopped in the middle of the sea and we saw smoke from the engine compartment filling up the passenger area.”

Nor Atiqah Norman Shah of Melaka, who was rescued after the ferry caught fire last night (Monday), says passengers saw three crew members running from the engine section to meet the captain.

“Three times I asked them why the engine compartment was filled with smoke, but they ignored me. Then the passenger area on the left side and near to the engine section caught fire.”

“The whole compartment was filled with smoke and that was when we were all ordered to go to the front and exit the ferry,” she told Bernama at the Kuah Ferry Terminal.

Nor Atiqah says she and her eight family members, as well as other passengers, started scrambling to save themselves.

“Some had time to wear life jackets, some didn’t. We were then transferred to two fishing boats and a tourist boat which had rushed to our rescue,” said Nor Atiqah, who works at a private firm in Gelang Patah, Johor.

Nor Atiqah and her family, who have been here since Saturday for holidays, said all their bags and purchases went up in smoke.

Meanwhile, Suhidah Suib said the whole thing happened so fast that she too did not have time to save any of her belongings.

“The moment the ferry left the terminal, there was already a strong smell of fuel. Then the ferry stopped and it seemed like it was going to go back to the Kuah terminal.

“There was thick smoke and the back of the ferry caught fire. We were told to get out and I got into a fishing boat.

“At that time, there was a huge fire on the ferry and we even heard explosions,” said Suhidah, who was visibly shaken by the incident.

At the Kuah Ferry Terminal, various government agencies like the Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force, and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency assisted the victims.

They were also provided with food and drinks prepared by several hotels.

Langkawi District Civil Defence Force Training and Disaster Operations officer Lt Azamshah Aperal said 49 victims left for Kuala Kedah on the 6pm ferry while two more were being treated at the Sultanah Maliha Hospital.

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Politics

Piyabutr warns Army Chief’s remarks will deepen national divide

Greeley Pulitzer

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Piyabutr warns Army Chief’s remarks will deepen national divide | The Thaiger

The Future Forward Party secretary-general says that Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong’s remarks on politicians, academics and national security could deepen the political divide in the country and spark a “clash of generations”.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul made the remarks at a seminar where he spoke on “homeland from the democratic perspective and the role of the people in building the nation”. The seminar was held in response to Apirat’s special national security speech on Friday.

During his speech, Apirat warned of the continuing threat to Thailand from communism and dissidents. He claimed some former communists had become politicians, and some had become academics but the “communist ideology chips were still implanted in their heads”.

He also cited threats from information warfare and propaganda, and the spread of fake news, which he saw as a collaboration between former communists and “foreign-graduated leftists and unethical scholars”.

Meanwhile, in his speech Piyabutr emphasised respect for difference of opinion, human dignity, rights and liberty.

“National security is equal to the people’s security”.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Events

Tour De France comes to Phang Nga – L’Etape Thailand on October 27

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Tour De France comes to Phang Nga – L’Etape Thailand on October 27 | The Thaiger

PHOTO: L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour De France

Thailand will be the first country in ASEAN to attract the world-class cycling event to Thailand for local and international cyclists to experience a challenging and scenic ride on a course comparable to the world’s most popular cycling event, The Tour De France.

The event is being held around Khao Lak in Phang Nga on October 27.

“L’Étape by Le Tour De France” will be an organised participation event allowing amateur cyclists to face the same challenges and race conditions as if they were riding in the Tour de France. Additionally, there will be activities and an Expo including a travelling Tour De France museum to welcome newcomers to the event.

L’Étape by Le Tour De France is one of the most popular events operated by Tour de France and been held in 11 countries over five continents. Its founding event, L’Étape du Tour, started in France in 1993, and expanded in the 2010s to the US, Australia, UK, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil and others. In 2017, there were about 50,000 participants.

Tour De France comes to Phang Nga - L'Etape Thailand on October 27 | News by The Thaiger

Here is a list of the Khao Lak events in Phang Nga…

The race 159 KM Super Early Bird (Limited)
• The race 159 KM (Individual)
• Thais baht 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 159 KM (Group 5 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 159 KM (Group 8 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 159 KM (Group 10 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 70 KM Super Early Bird (Limited)
• The race 70 KM (Individual)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners THB 2,600

The race 70 KM (Group 5 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 70 KM (Group 8 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 70 KM (Group 10 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

Tour De France comes to Phang Nga - L'Etape Thailand on October 27 | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Finance Ministry approves stimulus package to spur tourism

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Finance Ministry approves stimulus package to spur tourism | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Among other things, the TAT are organising some big concerts over the last three months of 2019. Some of the 50,000 that attended the BTS ‘Love Yourself’ stadium concert in Bangkok in April 2019.

The Finance Ministry has now approved a stimulus package for the last three months of the year to boost Thailand’s tourism sector. The aim is achieve a 3% growth rate.

The Thai Tourism and Sports permanent secretary Chote Trachu says the purpose is to increase the total tourist arrivals for the second half of the year to 20 million, with the aim to reach the year-start projections of more than 40 million tourists to Thailand for 2019.

Tourist arrivals for the first eight months of the year totalled 26.5 million, generating 1.3 trillion baht of revenue, according to official figures from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. For the remaining four months of the year, Mr. Chote said there would likely be another 13 million tourist arrivals, with expected revenue of 750 billion baht.

Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yutthasak Supasorn says that events have been planned to boost tourism for the final months of 2019 including World Cannabis Festival, Super GT, a Tour de France cycling competition and concerts featuring famous bands such as Tomorrow Land and EDC.

Meanwhile, last Thursday, the World Bank slashed Thailand’s economic growth projection for 2019 to 2.7%, down from an earlier 3.5%, because of the contraction of the country’s exports.

In its latest “East Asia and Pacific Economic Update”, the World Bank said today the 2.7% GDP forecast for Thailand is the lowest among ASEAN’s developing countries. The Washington-based institution also cut Thailand’s GDP growth forecast for 2020 to 2.9% from 3.6%.

The World Bank’s report attributes the lower GDP growth outlook to an export slump in the first half of the year, the global economic slowdown and fallout from the US-China trade tensions. The World Bank also says “the Bank of Thailand has limited scope to tackle the baht’s strength, but the currency’s climb is a sign of investor confidence in the country’s economic fundamentals”.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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