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UPDATE – Weather damages Ton Sai, some beaches remain closed

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Ton Sai Waterfall has been affected from the recent downpours while some beaches along the west coast remain closed.

Chief of the Nature and Wildlife Education Centre at the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area, Pongchat Chuahom, along with his team, visited Tonsai Waterfall which is a part of a popular trekking route and found some damage. However, there’s no report of serious danger.

The team conducted a thorough survey and found that there were some soil and stones which collapsed while some sandy sediment flew into the upper dam, the lower dam and in the stream. There was also a big tree lying across the trekking route.

However, the Chief insists that the route is still safe and available for trekking, with care, especially from now until September 26, a period which remains at risk of high downpours according to the Thai Meteorological Department.

Visitors are advised to contact the staff at the Nature and Wildlife Education Centre at the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area to check for any safety issue updates.

“We have cooperated with the local administration organisation to help remove the stones and sediment from the dams. The big tree on the way will remain as it is as it doesn’t affect the trekking activities,” said the chief.

Meanwhile, the beaches across the island still have strong waves with the monsoonal winds reaching 25 kph from the west. The beaches that are still fully closed for safety include Yanui Beach, Karon Beach, Kamala Beach, Surin Beach, Bangtao Beach, Naithorn Beach, Naiyang Beach and Maikhao Beach while the beaches that are partially opened are Nai Harn beach (1 spot), Kata Beach (3 spots), and Patong Beach (4 spots).

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

Kritsada Mueanhawong lives the news. He chases it and delivers it, fresh everyday. Nathan Thepbamrung is a Phuket native that translates the Thai news feeds and prepares them for Phuket Gazette.

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Phuket

A man was fished out of the Surin Beach surf today – whilst on-duty lifesavers watched

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PHOTOS: Pavida Anantarasmi

Witnesses at Surin Beach today watched in bemused confusion when a man, who was in difficulty whilst swimming off Surin Beach today, was helped back to shore. But not by one of the lifeguards on duty at the beach who stood at the shore and watched the rescue take place.

The incident happened around 11am when a man, later identified as from Lebanon, was swimming off the beach in an area patrolled by the employed lifeguards. There was no designated swimming area set aside by the lifeguards.

A local surfer, from The Philippines, noticed that the man was in difficulty and rushed to his assistance. The paid lifeguards watched from the shoreline and helped the man once he was back to shore.

A former lifeguard at the beach made the comment that the new lifeguards “don’t like to swim as they don’t have confidence or training.”

“They didn’t have any of the required equipment to attempt a rescue.”

The man was taken to the Thalang Hospital.

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Chiang Rai

Thai and foreign media warned off Mu Pa 13

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“Stay away.”

That’s the warning issued by the public relations office of Chiang Rai province after a correspondent of America’s ABC News conducted an interview with the youngest of the survivors from Tham Luang cave in defiance of advice of psychiatrists and child welfare officials. The film crew also visited the church for 14 year old Adul Sam-on where church members threw Adul a welcome home party.

Members of the Thai and foreign media have been asked not to interview any of the 12 Wild Boars young footballers or face legal that could lead to a six-month imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 60,000 baht.

The warning  was issued by the public relations office of Chiang Rai province after a correspondent of ABC News had an interview with one of the survivors from Tham Luang cave in defiance of advice of psychiatrists and child welfare officials.

Chiang Rai deputy governor Somboon Sirivet said that the governor had instructed officials concerned in Mae Sai disttrict and the parents of the 12 young footballers to make sure that the boys are protected and that they should not give any interviews to the media.

Parents of the 12 boys went to Tham Luang cave today to attend a religious ceremony to pay respect and show gratitude to the what they believe to be spirits protecting the cave for the safe return of  their children after being stranded deep inside the flooded cave for more than two weeks before they were safely rescued last week.

SOURCES: Thai PBS, The Chiang Rai Times

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Regional

Malaysian Mahathir government to look at reducing voting age to 18 from 21

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Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister and the youngest ever minister,  says the Malaysian government is planning to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18 before the next elections in 2023.

In an interview with Bloomberg in KL, the 25 year old Cabinet member said the government would ask the Attorney-General’s Office to look into what laws to be amended to reduce the voting age to 18 which would add an another 3.7 million voters or an increase of 25 percent from the election in May.

New Straits Times is reporting that voters aged 21-39 make up around 40 percent of the Malaysian electorate, twice the number of voters over 60, according to the Election Commission data.

“That means the youth vote block becomes bigger and stronger, and therefore, they cannot be sidelined in the Malaysian political scene anymore,” said Saddiq, a member of Mahathir’s political party.

“The youth care about two primary issues,” said Saddiq. “One is abut bread and butter issues, which is cost of living, affordable housing, good employment opportunities, and quality of life. The second is getting their voice heard in the nation-building process,” said the minister.

About 75 percent of younger voters backed the opposition, according to Ibrahim Suffian, the executive director of pollster Merdeka Centrem whick tracks voter sentiments. The Merdeka Centre estimated a voter turnout of about 81 percent for youths with urban areas of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor seeing more young people outplace their elders in casting ballots.

Syed, who has pledged to reshuffle youth associations to make sure they’re led by people under the age of 35, also wants to phase out political appointees in sports and give more attention to student programmes that involve coding, automation, and artificial intelligence.

Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (picture from Malaysiakini.com)

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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