Apr 28, 2013

Thailand to stop producing squat type toilet platform

A law was enacted to stop production of inferior quality 'squat type' toilet platform within 4 months after the law became effective. In effect, the government wants wide-spread use of western style of toilets, which is more suitable for elderly.  This is in preparation for more number of old people in the present and future demography.

Comment: However, western's style of toilets require more volume of flushing water. That would make the water shortage problem more serious in the future, esp. in the northeast.

Ref: Prachachat Business 

Thailand Constitution Court filed complaint to Police of contempt by Red Shirts

The Constitution Court send legal clerks to officially file a complaint to police at Crime Suppression Division headquarter, with recorded vdo and voice clips of a protest by 200 red shirts in front of the court as evidence.  Leaders of the small protesting group were accused of contempting the court.

Additional information: the red shirt protesters also announced that if then encountered any of the Constitution Court judges outside the office anywhere they would grab them.  Subsequently, they went to the CSD office and demanded to see the filed complaint, which the police denied.

Ref: Than news

Thailand now has only 19% usable irrigation water

The Irrigation Department announced that, as of April 27, 2013, the country 's major water reservoirs have water around 51% of their capacities. However, the usable amount of water is only at 19%.  This year's water is only 57% less than last year's.

Ref : Than News

Thailand stopped using CDMA mobile phones

CAT Telecom of Thailand has moved from CDMA system to HSPA 3G, effective midnight of April 26, 2013.  CDMA phones no longer work in Thailand. Original CDMA customers had been migrated to new system using their original phone numbers.

Apr 23, 2013

Thai investor to discuss with government on hydrogen fuel policy

Manager of Bangkok Industrial Gas, the major hydrogen producer in Thailand said that he would soon to consult with the Ministry of Energy on their policy of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel in the next 5 years (2018, B.E 2560). His company could implement faster than the target. He will consult with car manufacturers in Thailand for testing.

Ref: Thai Post

28 Democrat MPs went to DSI Police to hear charge of "wrong doings"

Today, 28 members of Thai parliaments from the opposition Democrat Party surrendered themselves to hear charge of "wrong doings" to the DSI (Department of Special Investigation) police, for their decades long practice of donating a fraction of their monthly salary to their party by means of automatic withdrawal.  A recent law only allow donation by checks.
Recently, the recently elected Bangkok Governor from the Democrat Party was also charged of this wrong doings in an attempt to nullify the recent election result of the election when a candidate from the government Puer Thai Party lost.

The MPs said that DSI's action was politically motivated.

Ref: picture from Thai Post

Forest rangers would try to verify the young white elephant

Director General of the Department of National Park mentioned of the recent picture taken of a young albino elephant that the young one in Kang Krachan National Park likely belongs to a type of white elephant that, by law, belongs to the King of Thailand.  Officers would be sent out to verify the characteristics. He also mentioned that illegal poachings of wild elephants going on in some areas has caught the attention of the Prime Minister. Currently there are around 3000-3500 wild elephants roaming in 68 reservation areas

Ref: Thai Rath

Bangkok World Book Capital 2013 kicked off

April 23, 2013, at 7 a.m., Bangkok city governor and people donated books as symbolic morning alms for 400 Buddhist Theravada monks to commemorate Bangkok World Book Capital 2013.  At 8:30 a.m. the governor, with representatives from UNESCO, IPA, IFLA, IBF  revealed a commemorative postage, with the first-day cover on sale until May 15.

I think a more interesting story which was not mentioned in the news event today but I want to add is that, the Bangkok Metropolitant Administration (BMA) would build its new main office building and the original city hall would be turned into Bangkok city library. That 's a better news.

Ref: Than News

Thai people rushed to buy gold after global price dropped

News reported a large number of Thai people nationwide tried to buy gold, after a sudden drop in global price caused around 3,000 Baht price reduction (per "one Baht by weight" or 15.2 gram) in addition to the recent down trend since few months earlier, which would have caused a loss of around 6,000 Baht.  Meanwhile, small gold-trading shops reportedly closed since they initially purchased gold at higher price and did not want to sell as a lost.

Pawn shops are also badly affected. With drastic gold price reduction below the previous pawned values, pawn shop owners estimated that customers up to 40% might not return to claim their golds and pay back the loans. However, pawn shops would keep gold for long term so that they would not lose money.

Ref: Than News

Thailand Ministry of Finance reported better government balance

Ministry of Finance reported that, for the first half of the fiscal year B.E. 2556 (starting October 2012) the government of Thailand had income of 957.192 billion Baht, a 17.9% higher than the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Spending rates of government agencies was 1,371.578 billion Baht, or 8.1 % higher than last year's, which is considered better.
Budget balance deficit was 414.386 billion Baht, plus 115.556 or ex-budget deficit, resulted in the government having a cash deficit of 529.942 billion Bahts. The government had seeked loan of 163.758 billion Baht, as such the cash deficit was 366.184 billion Baht.
The reserve status at the end of March 2013, as 194.153 billion Baht, or 160.5% higher than last year's.

Ref: Prachachat newspaper

Bangkok traffic cameras at 30 intersections resume operation

Bangkok's Traffic Police unit announced that closed circuit cameras monitoring 30 intersections in the city has been repaired and resumed their operation. For the first 3 months of 2013, over 12,000 traffic tickets have been issued and mailed to car owners caught violating red lights.

Red shirt mobs still followed to harass Democrat politicians in their rallies

Recently, the Democrat Party held a political rally in Sisaket province in the northeast. As usual, a small group of red shirts went to harass the activity.

This behavior is highly criticized by the press, esp. that the government keeps quiet on this.

Ref: Bangkok Post Editorial 

Government MP to challenge Constitution Court

A group of 312 members of Thai parliaments from the Pheu Thai party and senators are seeking impeachment of all 9 judges of the Constitution Court for they don't agree with a recent decision of the court.

Some scholars have criticized this move as inappropriate.

Ref: Bangkok Post

Apr 4, 2013

Thailand MOF criticized for trying to use national reserve

Spoke person of the Democrat Party criticized the current Minister of Finance when he proposed to use 30 Billion Baht of national reserve money to pay for duty fee reimbursements the First Car project and the Rice price setting policy of the current government.

The spoke person said that it would be a severe violation of the guidelines for financial good practices and that the previous Democrat government had accrued Thailand monetary reserve for the future while the present government try to diminish it with its futile policy to appease voters. He predicted that value added tax (VAT), currently at 7%, would likely be increased next.

Ref: Matichon