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Thai fined $6,000 for defaulting on Singapore national service obligations

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Thai fined $6,000 for defaulting on Singapore national service obligations | The Thaiger

by The Straits Times – Asia News Network

PHOTO: Ong Wee Jin

A Thai national, registered as a Singaporean when he was just a year old, but never lived in Singapore, has been fined S$6,000 for defaulting on his national service obligations in the Lion City.

24 year old Ekawit Tangtrakarn, an application engineer, committed the enlistment offence before he ceased being a Singaporean on his 22nd birthday.

Before handing down the sentence, Singaporean District Judge John Ng said the Thai embassy had provided an official letter to confirm that Ekawit is a Thai national and has served his military service in Thailand.

“Thailand is and has always been his home,” the judge added.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mansoor Amir had told the court that according to the Ministry of Defence, this was the first time that a defaulter had returned to Singapore to face the charge after he was no longer eligible to serve NS, due to being neither a Singaporean nor a permanent resident.

Defence lawyer S. Radakrishnan, speaking to the media on behalf of the family on Tuesday, said Ekawit’s mother Genevieve Lim, a Singaporean, was very thankful to the judge for the fairness shown in sentencing.

The family, which has been in Singapore for about five months, was relieved the ordeal was over and will return to Bangkok as soon as Ekawit gets his passport back. It had been impounded while the case was pending.

Mr Radakrishnan also said that Ekawit’s maternal grandmother is living in Singapore, and his past visits here were to see her.

According to The Straits Times, on August 28, Ekawit pleaded guilty to an offence under the Enlistment Act after he remained outside Singapore without a valid exit permit for 5½ years.

DPP Mansoor said that he had surrendered voluntarily and that one of the reasons for his return was to avoid any trouble should he need to travel to Singapore.

Madam Lim, whose husband is  Thai,  gave birth to Ekawit in Thailand in 1993 and he was registered as a Singapore citizen a year later.  She later had discussions with Singapore’s Central Manpower Base (CMPB) regarding her son’s NS obligations.

Ekawit ceased to be a Singapore citizen on Oct 17, 2015, as he  failed to take the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty (Oral) within 12 months of turning 21.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, minors who are Singapore citizens by descent/registration must take the Oath within 12 months on reaching age 21 years to remain as Singapore citizens.

Ekawit obtained his degree at Bangkok’s Thammasat University in May 2016 before returning to Singapore two months later.



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Southeast Asia

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet

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Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ new 88-passenger Mitsubishi Regional Jet is testing the skies just as rivals Embraer and Bombardier are moving to sell off their manufacturing operations for jets with up to 160 seats to Boeing and Airbus.

At stake, particularly in the market for jets with fewer seats, is US$135 billion in sales in the two decades through 2037, according to industry group Japan Aircraft Development.

More cities in Asia and Europe are seeking to link up with each other and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first airliner built in Japan since the 1960s, began certification flights last month in Moses Lake, Washington.

With fewer seats and smaller fuselages, regional jets are a different class of aircraft from larger narrow-body planes such as Boeing’s 737 or Airbus’s A320. The MRJ has a range of about 3,220 kilometres. The seating is 2+2 instead of 3+3 in a small Airbus or Boeing single-aisle jet.

After spending at least US$2 billion over more than a decade, the manufacturer is looking to get its jet certified and start deliveries to launch partner ANA Holdings.

Mitsubishi initially planned test flights in 2012 but blew past that deadline because of production difficulties. Now, the company, which makes ships, nuclear power plants and aerospace components, expects to have the plane ready for customers next year, a timetable that will test the company, said Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani.

Mitsubishi Heavy is not the only Asian manufacturer betting that it can build aircraft cheaper and more efficiently. Commercial Aircraft of China (Comac) has a new regional jet in service, while Korea Aerospace Industries is studying whether to develop a 100-passenger aircraft.

“The aviation market in Asia is expected to grow further in the coming years and there will be demand for these aircraft,” said analyst Lee Dong-heon at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

“The shift in the regional aviation segment we have seen over the last year or so has opened opportunities.”

“The MRJ is fully capable of competing in the market.”

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | News by The Thaiger

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North East

Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew

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Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew | The Thaiger

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.

Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.

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Southeast Asia

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!

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Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport! | The Thaiger

by Philippine Daily Inquirer – Asia News Network

Without a choice, with nature instructing her to lay the eggs on the same spot she’d emerged as a baby turtle, the poor reptile made the runway its nest on Maafaru island.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.

The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).

“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.

The airport,  which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.

Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place - it's now an airport! | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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