Feb 18, 2014

Thai Prime Minister to be formally charged of unlawful misconducts

Thailand's Counter-Corruption Commission has issued a summon to the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to meet the commissioners on February 27, 2014, so that she can be notified of their charge for a gross neglicence on wide-spread corruptions in the rice pledging process which led to financial losses around 200 Billion Baht.

An excerpt from a statement from the CCC said, when she was notified of the irregularities and negative impacts of the project by a letter from the office of government financial inspection, she still insisted on going ahead with the project.  In addition, a large number of farmers have not received money and are in serious plights. So she has demonstrated an intentional avoidance to take action which has caused damage to the royal government, according to the Criminal Act's article 157, and intentional violation of Thailand's Constitution article 178, which can be used as a cause for impeachment by article 270.
So the commissiioners unanimously called for Ms. Yingluch to be present in person to hear the charge.

Ref: Manager

Feb 17, 2014

Thailand's GSB faced a net withdrawal of 20 billion Baht in a single day

A large number of Thai people who opposed to the government's attempt to find money to pay farmers in the controversial rice pledging program flocked to GSB branches nation-wide and caused a net withdrawal of 20 billion Bahts in a single day. GSB Director admitted that the bank had given a 5 billion Baht interbank loan to BAAC, however the remaining 15 billion Baht loan will not be given while the majority of GSB customers are still suspicious of the deal.

Ref: Manager

Feb 16, 2014

Thai people turned against GSB for 20 billion Baht interbank loan to BAAC

Thailand's Government Savings Bank admitted that it just gave a 20 billion Baht interbank loan to Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative (BAAC), currently under financial stress due to PM Yingluck government's policy. Many people believed that the money would be channeled to partially pay government promise to protesting farmers under the rice pledging project, widely regarded to be a corrupted policy initiated by former PM Thaksin and implemented by the Puea Thai government.

Many Thai customers have started their social media campaigns to boycott the GSB and withdrawing deposited cash. GSB Workers Union has also issued an open letter calling for cancellation of the Interbank loan and immediately get back the fund. GSB employees in the south planned to dress in black to protest.

Ref : Manager

Insufficient supply of 25 and 50 Satang coins

Thailand 's Treasury Department has recently revealed that supply of 25 and 50 Satang coins, i.e. the face values of 0.25 and 0.50 Baht, are inadequate.

Total number of coin in circulation is 25 billion coins, worth 50 billion Bahts at face values, constituting 5% of the entire cash supply. Numbers of 25 and 50 Satang coins in circulation are 3.269 and 2,234 billion coins.

To alleviate the deficiency, the department has started contacting various Buddhist monasteries where there are a lot of donated money in small denominated coins and asked them for those in exchange with larger bills. The department is also study long term ways to solve the problem.

Ref: Matichon

Water supply in Bangkok has 10x higher salt

Metropolitant Water Work Authority announced that, with a reduced fresh water coming to the lower Chao Phraya River basin in the dry season, sea water has pushed deeper into the river, reaching Pathum Thani and Bangsai in Ayutthaya. Now the raw water that they use to provide water supply to Bangkok from that area has a rather higher chloride level of 250-260 mg/liter, compare to the usual level of 20 mg/liter.

For normal people, water with higher salt content would not have an adversed health effect, although it might not quench the thirst well. However, people with kidney problem will be affected, and should use water which pass through reverse osmosis. The taste of the water for the next 2-3 months might be a bit different but quality would still be in line with WHO standard.

Area in Thonburi which receive water supply from Mahasawas canel would not be affected.

Ref: Daily News

Feb 15, 2014

Chairman of Anti-corruption NGO harassed

On February 15, 2014, at 3 a.m., someone shot 12 rounds of 0.45 bullets into home of chairman of Thailand's anti-corruption organization. Nobody was injured in the residence of Mr. Pramont Suteewong, also serves as chairman of Toyota Motor (Thailand), honorary chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Council of Commerce. Mr. Pramont said he believes it probably stemmed from his organization's aggressive anti-corruption public campaign on TV. He said, it would be continued.

Ref: Manager

Note / Comment: Recently, an episode of the anti-corruption TV advertisement profiled a corrupted female politician whose school-age son was ostracized.

Feb 14, 2014

Prawase Wasi: Thailand needs integrated systemic problem-solving for rice farmers

A second seminar 'to restart Thailand' was organized by 'Network of Servicing persons for a peaceful reform of Thailand' on February 14, 2014. Dr. Prawase Wasi proposed his ideas for integrated systemic solving of problems for rice farmers.

Ref: Isra News

Feb 13, 2014

Buddhist monk and 3 villagers killed and 7 injured by insurgents in Pattani

In Maelan district of Pattani today (16 Feb 2014), 4 muslim insurgents attacked Buddhist villagers who were giving foods to a monk during the early morning alms round, killing the monk and 3 villagers (one is a young boy), and injured 7 others, including school children. Escoring policemen shot back and injured some of the attackers. Police found spent cartridges of AK47 and M16.

Ref: Manager

Feb 11, 2014

Thailand government struggled to find money to pay rice farmers

For several months, the Yingluck Shinawatra government has not been able to obtain 130 billion Baht to pay farmers in the rice pledging project, even before the dissolution of the House of Representatives.  Many banks have declined to give loan to the government, considering it as too risky. Meanwhile, the caretaking government can not commit any financial obligation that might be a burden to the next government, and the election process has not been completed due to boycotting by a number people. Many rice farmers now are highly indebted and unable to solve their proplems. While some of them are organizing protests in several provinces, a few have committed suicide.

A senate's finance committee advisor said that there is no way that the acting government can help farmers now while maintaining financial discipline, because it has been destroyed since the government decided to pledge to rice grain at 15,000 Baht / tonne.

A former Finance Minister from Phuea Thai Party said that no fanancial trick can be done that will not violate the constitution so the government should try to get the rice grain out of storage and sell to raise cash and try to negotiate with the protesters so the election process can be completed as quickly as possible. Some people blamed the problem on a corrupted policy.

Additional info: The project, a brainchild of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, has costed estimated loss to the government from 200-400 billion Baht.

Ref: Thai PBS

Feb 7, 2014

Poll statistics suggested anti-government supporters won the general election

A Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) researcher announced his discovery, based statistics of the recent February 2, 2014, general election as released by the Election Commission, that supporters of the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai party has reduced to only 10 million votes, down from 15 million votes 3 years ago. Only 46.7 % of 43 million eligible voters went to nation-wide polling stations.

Meanwhile, over 3.33 million people who ticked 'vote no' in the ballots, together with invalid and damaged ballots (2.42 millions), and unusually large number of 22.89 million absentees above a base line, predicted a support base of the demonstrators opposing the pro-Thaksin government at 16.3 million votes.

Ref: Manager

Feb 4, 2014

Chinese supplier canceled 800,000 tablet contract

A Chinese manufacturer which won e-auction biddings worth over 1.628 billion Bahts to supply over 800,000 tablets to Thai grade 1 school children has cancelled the signed contract with a Thai government agency, citing political uncertainty in Thailand and misunderstanding of TOR and contract.

Ref: Manager

Southern Thailand insurgents attacked a family in Narathiwas, killing 3 boys

A group of southern insurgents fired automatic weapons to kill a family in Narathiwas on the evening of February 3, 2014, resulting in deaths of 3 boys (aged 6, 9, 11 years old) while their parents were seriously injured, spokesman of the internal security directorate region 4 announced in Yala. He also urged the society and NGO groups to join hands in rebuking the inhuman action of the separatists.

Ref: Manager