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Is the new Suvarnabhumi T2 design copied?

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Is the new Suvarnabhumi T2 design copied? | The Thaiger

by Phatarawadee Phataranawik

The new Suvarnabhumi Airport, much-needed, T2 project has become embroiled in claims of plagiarism and dodgy tender processes.

Renowned Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag’s winning “forest” design for Suvarnabhumi Airport’s new 35 billion baht passenger terminal is embroiled in a plagiarism controversy as well as added scepticism about the transparency of the design contest organised by Airports of Thailand (AoT).

The uproar arose after the original winner – SPAN Consultants and Sign-Tech Engineering Consultant Company, entering as “the SA Group” – was disqualified for failing to return the official AoT quotation form bearing its cost estimate.

The runner-up, Duangrit’s DBALP Consortium, was declared the winner last week amid claims that it had plagiarised the concept of Kengo Kuma’s Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum in southern Japan.

The design contract, alone, is worth around 329 million baht. The DBALP design had the assistance of several other agencies, including Japan’s Nikken Sekkei, EMS Consultants, MHPM, MSE and ARJ Consortium.

Four architecture firms tendered to design the new Terminal 2, which is part of the Bangkok airport’s third development phase. The others in the running were Varda Associates and the Beaumont Partnership.

If the DBALP proposal goes forward, construction of the 348,000 square metre T2 is scheduled for completion in 30 months and the terminal should be fully operational in 2021 or early 2022. It’s intended to accommodate more than 30 million passengers annually.

Is the new Suvarnabhumi T2 design copied? | News by The Thaiger
SA Group’s lotus-inspired design was disqualified for failure to return the official AoT quotation form bearing its cost estimate – PHOTO: SA Group

But the project could be delayed because the SA Group has asked the government and Administrative Court to consider the plagiarism claim. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed AoT to review the contest and make sure everything was above board. Prayut said after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the AoT must ensure there were no legal impediments that would delay construction of T2.

“The contest was conducted transparently,” AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn insisted in an official statement the same day, adding that the SA Group was disqualified only for lack of the quotation form, an oversight to which he said the bidder admitted.  However, the group has claimed it received no such form from AoT.

“The original quotation for design cost was an important document in the bidding process and our procurement staff had prepared and numbered them accordingly,” Nitinai said.

He added that the list of documents contained in envelopes given to the bidders was also made clear to them.

“There was no complaint from any bidder about not receiving all the documents,” he said.

Is the new Suvarnabhumi T2 design copied? | News by The Thaiger
The design by Varda Associates Company 

AoT has yet to sign a contract with Duangrit and his team, pending the review and consultation with experts and the public.

The Architects Council of Thailand affirmed on Friday that the design contest had met its regulations for single-step bidding. The contest, though, took place before the new Government Procurement and Supplies Management Act was passed, by which such bidding competitions are required to enter two rounds, covering conceptual design and construction design.

Is the new Suvarnabhumi T2 design copied? | News by The Thaiger
Kengo Kuma’s Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum in southern Japan. PHOTO: Kenho Kuma

Duangrit’s design is indeed similar to that of the iconic Japanese museum, but the Architects Council has not been prodded to take action on ethical grounds.

“We can’t say that he’s copied anything because we would first need to see all the relevant documents,” said Channarong Khanthong, the council’s second vice president.

“The investigation process would take time, but if we found him guilty of plagiarism, his proposal could not be used for the terminal.”

“I didn’t copy anyone else’s work,” architect Duangrit insists.

He said he spent over two months on the concept, drawing inspiration not from Kuma’s museum but from Thailand’s tropical forests.

Passengers would be greeted at the terminal by a lush landscape and huge waterfall, under a roof of modular components supported by overlapping wooden columns. It’s this last facet of the design that’s drawn comparisons to the Wooden Bridge Museum.

Critics say that Duangrit’s complicated design would make the terminal far more difficult to maintain than the SA Group concept.

Is the new Suvarnabhumi T2 design copied? | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation Weekend



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Bangkok-based Filipino visa service provider arrested over alleged fraud

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Bangkok-based Filipino visa service provider arrested over alleged fraud | The Thaiger

PHOTO: (left to right) Emily Fontanilla Fabe, Ronygene Esmeralda Atregenio & Ernest Rey Basilio Salarza 

The administrator of a Facebook group SWD Kapamilya Thailand (has more than 30,000 Filipino members), Ernest Rey Basilio Salarza (aka. Rhey Keen Ayala), was arrested yesterday (Tuesday) in Bangkok after the court issued an arrest warrant.

Basilio, commonly known as Rhey Keen Ayala, another SWD Kapamilya Facebook admin Emily Fontanilla and Best Care Provider owner Ronygene Esmeralda Atregenio (aka Nokie and Caroline Maxim) have also been charged with fraud under Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act.

At least nine Filipino have already been accused and arrested for posting allegedly fraudulent information to obtain funds by deception.

Many more victims are expected to file additional cases this week. The case started when Nokie of Best Care failed to provide visas and work permits to the Filipino victims. Each of them paid 33,000-38,000 baht to Best Care Provider.

16 Filipino victims have so far come out and sought help to get their money back. There were at least 30 victims who paid the same amount but never received the paperwork promised to them by Best Care.

Atregenio, aka. Nokie and Caroline Maxime are the owners of Best Care, while Salarza popularly known in social media as Rhey Keen Ayala is one of the company founders.

Meanwhile, Emily or ‘Em Fabe’ is the promoter of the company using her Facebook group SWD Kapamilya Thailand. Rhey Keen is also the administrator of Pinoy ADOBO Facebook group which is also being used to promote Best Care Provider.

A string of criminal cases under the Thai Computer Crime Act are also expected to be filed against Em Fabe and Rhey Keen for alleged libellous comments and personal attacks on Facebook against other Filipinos.

SOURCE: Pinoythaiyo.com

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Bangkok

Father tramples man after he touched his daughter’s bottom in Bangkok

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Father tramples man after he touched his daughter’s bottom in Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTOS/VIDEO:  Khanitnicha Chatnantakul

The father of a female student has hit and trampled a man after finding out he touched his daughter’s bottom while she was waiting for the father to pick her up in Ladprao, Bangkok last night.

A witness said that the girl waits for her father at a Soi not far from her house to pick her up every day after school.

A man who was standing nearby came closer to her and touched her on the bottom. She flipped around and asked him what he was doing. Then the man ran away. The girl called for help and a passing taxi motorbike followed the man.

The girl’s father arrived at the same time and approached the man, who was later identified as a migrant worker. The father assaulted the man repeatedly before calling police.

https://www.facebook.com/ladiesaomm/videos/10216493661512358/

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Thanathorn faces more charges from EC over media shares

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thanathorn faces more charges from EC over media shares | The Thaiger

Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the 40 year old leader of the new party, has cut short his trip to Europe over an ‘unexpected incident’

The Thai Election Commission yesterday unanimously resolved to press charges against Thanathorn over an alleged violation of Thai media shareholding rules.

Citing investigations by two EC panels, Sawang Boonmee, the EC deputy secretary-general, told a press conference that Thanathorn had allegedly violated the law by owning or holding 675,000 shares in V-Luck Media Company while registering as a candidate for the general election.

“Thanathorn’s share certificate number is from 1350001 to 2025000,” said Sawang, referring to the findings of two panels the EC had set up to investigate the case.

Thanathorn has been accused of contravening the electoral laws that state a shareholder in a media company is barred from contesting an election for member of parliament, according to the EC. The action is punishable by disqualification. The case was filed by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for Protection of the Thai Constitution, on March 25.

An EC source said the agency had yet to suspend Thanathorn’s right to contest in elections for one year or give him an “orange” card, as it was just an initial charge. Thanathorn will have seven days to give testimony or submit documents in his defence to the EC, Sawang said, adding his lawyers would also be allowed to witness the trial.

After the testimony, the EC will finalise the case as soon as possible in order to finish it before May 9 when it will announce the election results.

Thanathorn, whose party is tipped to win around 80 MP seats in the new lower house, was on the way back from his tour to Europe. He posted on his Facebook page yesterday that he had been notified to quickly return to Thailand to face an “unexpected incident”.

Future Forward secretary-general, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has questioned the EC’s decision, saying the poll agency needs to wait until Thanathorn is endorsed as an MP before it can question his qualification.

Meanwhile, Raksagecha Chaechai, secretary-general of the Office of Ombudsman, said the EC had until today (Wednesday) to submit an explanation to the office regarding a petition seeking an annulment of the March 24 election.

The office last week resolved to accept the petition filed by the now-defunct Thai Raksa Chart Party’s former MP candidate, Reungkrai Leekijwatana, who asked the office to submit its opinion to the Administrative Court or the Constitutional Court regarding whether last month’s election should be annulled.

Thanathorn faces more charges from EC over media shares | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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