Thailand News Today | Government releases online questionnaire for foreigners


If you ever wanted a chance for your voice to be heard about Thailand – and judging from our comments section, a lot of you really, really do – now is your chance! The Thai government has released an impressively-catchy named survey “Foreigners’ Awareness, Confidence in Important Government Policies, and Perceived Image of Thailand.”

The thoroughly titled survey was put together by the PR department of the Thai government in order to gather the opinions and ideas of foreigners about a variety of topics concerning Thailand today. Don’t get too excited though: the questionnaire is only multiple choice and on topics that the government decided are important to Thailand and Thai tourism.

There are no write-in answers where foreigners, tourists, or expats can rant and ramble about their particular pet peeves in the Kingdom. Save that for the Thaiger comments section.

The questionnaire about Thailand claims that all responses are completely confidential, save for the fact that it’s a Google form that requires you to sign in with your email.

In the questionnaire are also several questions to gauge how foreigners feel about different aspects of Thailand.

They asked if Thailand’s public health could be raised to a world-class level, if Thai culture could be spread on a global scale, and if those surveyed considered Thailand a developed economy with a good standard of living.

One question asked specifically if Thailand is a country that promotes democracy. Another asked if there’s a free market that promotes fair competition.

The last few questions were more feel-good questions about whether those who responded to the survey feel like Thailand is a special country with which they feel connected.

If you’d like to play around with the form, we’ve linked to it:



Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed claims he is about to jump ship and join another political party.

If rumours circulating Parliament are to be believed, the Thai supremo is going to join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. But, the Thai PM denied that the newly emerging political party had approached him to be its leader in the upcoming election next year.

Prayut affirms his allegiance is with the Palang Pracharat Party. Saying that “The party supported me to become prime minister, didn’t it? I remain with the PPRP in the next election. I still stick by my word.”

Ruam Thai Sang Chart was founded by Seksakon Atthawong, a former aide to the prime minister.

The party came to national attention last year. Political observers believe it has been set up as an alternative to the Palang Pracharat Party, should the ruling party encounter any legal trouble.

A number of high-profile politicians have joined the party, including Gen Prayut’s adviser Peeraphan Saleerathaviphak, who was a former Democrat and Palang Pracharat member, former Democrat politician Akanat Promphan, and former Action Coalition for Thailand Party secretary-general Duangrit Benjathikul Chai Rungruang.

Pirapan is reported to have applied for party membership on July 28 while Akanat, and Duangrit enrolled on Monday.



The Nok Air plane that skidded off the runway in Chiang Rai on Saturday night still hasn’t been removed. Mae Fah Luang Airport in northern Thailand announced that the airport will remain closed for two more days and this time plans to reopen on Friday, August 5, at 10pm.

The airport announced the suspension of all flights in and out of the airport on Sunday morning after Nok Air flight DD108 from Bangkok came off the runway during landing and got stuck in the mud on Saturday night at around 9pm.

Last night, August 2, Airports of Thailand and Chiang Rai Airport released a joint statement to announce that flights would not be resuming on August 3 as planned. The statement said the airport needs two more days get the Boeing 737-800 away from the side of the runway. Flights will resume on Friday at 10pm.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand – or CAAT – classed the incident as “severe.” Despite the requirement of cabin crews to evacuate “crashed” planes in 90 seconds, the 164 passengers on board were kept on board for more than one hour, sparking outrage among passengers and the public. The engine was turned off and passengers were stuck inside the hot plane with no lights or air conditioning, according to one passenger’s complaint.

Nok Air released a statement explaining that the poorly executed evacuation was due to the cabin crew following the “highest safety procedures.”

The incident has caused major disruption to travel. Mae Fah Luang Airport has a single runway, meaning no flights are coming in or out for a duration of (at least) six days. The airport usually sees 36 flights take off every day, facilitating a daily average of 4500 – 5000 passengers.



Another round of “peace talks” between the Thai government and rebel groups in Thailand’s Deep South were wrapped up yesterday, with The Barisan Revolusi Nasional – one of the most active and and well established insurgent groups in the south – considering Thailand’s request of a three month ceasefire for the duration of Buddhist Lent.

The Thai government proposed a 108-day ceasefire between August 15 and November 30.

Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and parts of Songkhla province – covering the area of the historical ‘Patani’ kingdom – have been plagued by intermittent violent attacks between government forces and “rebels” or “insurgent groups” since the insurgency took off again in 2004. Since then, more than 7,000 people have been killed and 13,500 more injured in violence in Thailand’s Deep South. However, the roots of the South Thailand insurgency go much further back in history.

The BRN did not agree to the Buddhist Lent ceasefire straight away, and are still negotiating some aspects before reaching a final agreement. However, the idea of a ceasefire is certainly on the table.

During Ramadan, between April 3 and May 14 this year, the BRN and the Thai government observed a successful 40-day ceasefire in which both sides kept their promises of a violence-free religious holiday.

However, the Patani United Liberation Front (PULO) – another major historical insurgent group – did not observe the Ramadan ceasefire. PULO carried out twin roadside bombings in southern Thailand during Ramadan which killed a villager and injured three police officers. PULO claimed responsibility for the attack, citing the group’s exclusion from peace talks in Kuala Lumpur as the reason behind it.

Chief Thai negotiator Gen. Wanlop Raksanoh said PULO are welcome to request an invitation to the next round of peace talks from the Thai government



Yesterday, the fourth out of the five original charges filed against “Red Bull Heir” Vorayuth Yoovidya expired. The charge of reckless driving causing death is the only one that remains.

Vorayuth – the grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yuwittaya – became a fugitive after speeding through the Thong Lor area of Bangkok in his Ferrari, running over a police officer and dragging his body through the road, resulting in his death.

Boss still hasn’t faced justice for the crime which occurred 10 years ago. As time goes on, his arrest warrants are expiring one by one.

Yesterday, Deputy Spokesperson of the Office of the Attorney-General revealed that the criminal charge against Vorayuth for “cocaine use” had expired earlier than expected due to revisions made to Thailand’s Narcotics Act.

The change to the law halved the arrest warrant’s limitation from 10 years to five years, causing Vorayuth’s charge for “cocaine use” to automatically expire. The charges of “driving too fast” and “driving recklessly causing damage to property of others’ ‘ expired back in 2013. The charge of “driving away from an accident without providing assistance” expired in 2017.

At present, “reckless driving causing death” is the only charge remaining against Vorayuth. Under Section 291 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, reckless driving causing death is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. The charge will expire on September 3, 2027.

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