Thailand Video News | Cabinet shake-up plants seeds for cannabis reform, India and Thailand to launch cross-border QR payments

In this Thailand video news, Alex and Jay cover the stories across Thailand. Beginning with Thailand and India have announced plans to revolutionise cross-border payments with the introduction of QR code technology. Meanwhile, amidst political maneuvering, Thailand’s Cabinet reshuffle hints at forthcoming changes in cannabis legislation. However, not all news is positive for Thailand as its flagship carrier, Thai Airways, grapples with public backlash over service failures in its business class. Elsewhere, the Royal Thai Navy prepares for potential evacuations from Myanmar amidst escalating conflict, highlighting regional instability. Amidst these challenges, the looming threat of climate change poses a significant risk to Thailand’s coral reefs, endangering vital ecosystems. Yet, amidst the turbulence, a nine-year-old Thai prodigy captivates audiences worldwide with a viral dance performance, offering a glimmer of hope and talent in the midst of uncertainty.

Thailand and India to Introduce QR Cross-Border Payments

Thailand’s Bank of Thailand (BoT) is poised to roll out QR code cross-border payments with India by the third quarter of this year, aiming to eventually evolve into a comprehensive pan-Asian payment network. Assistant Governor Daranee Saeju of the BoT highlighted the forthcoming operational launch of the payment system, which is part of broader efforts extending beyond ASEAN countries, including existing partnerships with Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and others. These QR code payments, facilitated by Thailand’s PromptPay platform, initially introduced in 2016, have seen consistent growth, especially during the pandemic. With PromptPay’s registered users nearing 77.6 million and achieving a record 75.9 million transactions in a single day last December, the system’s expansion into cross-border payments and remittances signifies a significant shift towards enhancing regional financial connectivity and reducing reliance on cash transactions, which currently constitute about 66% of total banking transactions.


Thailand’s Cabinet Reshuffle Sets Stage for Potential Cannabis Legislation Changes

The recent Cabinet reshuffle in Thailand by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, which saw former Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin become the new Public Health Minister, could signal significant changes in the country’s cannabis policy. The reshuffle comes amid ongoing debates about the cannabis bill, influenced by its previous legalisation under Anutin Charnvirakul, now Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister. Somsak, who supported the decriminalisation of cannabis in 2022 citing prison overcrowding from non-violent drug offenses, inherits a complex scenario where cannabis regulation is still undefined and widely debated. The industry, although meant for medical use, has seen an increase in recreational activities, paralleling controversies similar to those surrounding prostitution. With the bill still in limbo and political tensions high, particularly with PM Srettha hinting at a potential recriminalisation due to social concerns, the future of cannabis legislation in Thailand hangs uncertain. Advocates for medical cannabis face strong opposition, setting the stage for contentious discussions as the draft bill moves towards parliamentary debate.


Thai Airways Faces Backlash Over Business Class Service Failure

Thai Airways is under scrutiny after a passenger, Treerat Sirichantaropas, voiced his dissatisfaction on social media regarding substandard service on a business-class flight to Beijing. Treerat, who purchased premium tickets for himself and clients, encountered malfunctioning seats that failed to recline or convert into beds. Despite the airline’s offer of a modest compensation of 5,500 baht, Treerat is considering legal action against the airline’s management, citing neglect and mismanagement. His viral post highlighted ongoing issues at Thai Airways, from defective seats known to the management for over a month to broader systemic problems affecting service quality and operational integrity. The incident has sparked a broader discussion on the airline’s commitment to customer service and has led to Treerat planning legal action and a complaint to the Transport Commission. This situation sheds light on recurring defects affecting Thai Airways’ flights and puts the airline’s reputation and operational practices under significant scrutiny.


RTN Readies for Potential Evacuation from Myanmar Amidst Rising Conflict

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is preparing for the possible evacuation of Thai nationals from Myanmar due to escalating civil conflict. RTN Chief Admiral Adung Pan-Iam has deployed four naval vessels, including two frigates and two landing ships, to the Andaman Sea, ready to respond swiftly to protect Thai citizens if the clashes intensify. This precaution follows recent skirmishes near the Thai-Myanmar border, where resistance forces reportedly overtook a Myanmar government military base, resulting in significant damage and visible effects from Thai soil. The situation remains volatile, with developments being closely monitored and further updates anticipated.


Climate Change Threatens the Survival of Thailand’s Coral Reefs

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a distinguished marine biologist with nearly four decades of experience, has raised alarming concerns about the future of Thailand’s coral reefs due to the impact of climate change. Observing the most severe conditions in his career, Thon noted drastic changes in the reefs over the past five to six years, with rising sea temperatures causing low tides, intense sunlight, and widespread coral bleaching. Despite the corals’ natural resilience, the increasing frequency and intensity of warm water events have led to significant coral death, threatening the entire ecosystem. Thon’s urgent call to action on social media emphasises the need for immediate collective efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt environmentally friendly practices. The ongoing crisis not only endangers the marine biodiversity but also the survival of the coral reefs, which have thrived for millions of years. Public response has been a mixture of sorrow and determination, highlighting the critical need for global cooperation to combat climate change and protect marine life.


Nine-Year-Old Thai Prodigy Wows Audiences with Viral Dance Performance

In an inspiring display of talent, a nine-year-old Thai boy named Jomphon Eakchin, affectionately known as “Nong Che,” captured the hearts of many after a dance performance alongside famed local singer Longan Hai Thongkham at Pholview Restaurant in Ratchaburi Province. The viral video of his performance has taken social media by storm, showcasing his dance skills which he has been honing since he was a toddler. Raised in a supportive family that encouraged his passion for dance, Nong Che’s dream came true when he got the opportunity to perform with Longan, his favorite artist. Despite a flat tire on the way to the event, the family made it just in time for Nong Che to dazzle the audience and Longan herself with his flawless dance moves. This event marked a turning point for Nong Che, leading to widespread media coverage and future performance invitations. His next major appearance is scheduled for May 27 at the same restaurant, this time in Bangkok, promising to further his aspirations in the world of dance.

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