PM calls for all-out efforts by state agencies to deal with floods, mitigate their impact on the people

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PM calls for all-out efforts by state agencies to deal with floods, mitigate their impact on the people

PM calls for all-out efforts by state agencies to deal with floods, mitigate their impact on the people

MONDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2022

THE NATION

Flood prevention and mitigation agencies have been urged to work together in dealing with the ongoing flood crisis in the country.

During the meeting on Monday at the Interior Ministry in Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged government agencies nationwide to prepare plans to deal with floods in advance and create awareness among residents.

He said officials and machines must be arranged to assist people, and obstacles on waterways, such as weeds and garbage, must be cleared.

He added that it would be necessary to dredge canals and build additional floodgates to mitigate the impact of the floods on the people.

PM calls for all-out efforts by state agencies to deal with floods, mitigate their impact on the people

“Agencies responsible for overseeing construction sites must ensure that the projects will not affect water drainage,” he said.

“Meanwhile, traffic lights and signposts in flood-prone areas must be set up clearly to prevent accidents.”

He said local agencies must survey for damage once the situation improves so the government and related agencies can provide assistance to flood victims effectively.

He added that the government is ready to support related agencies on mitigating flood impact on people.

PM calls for all-out efforts by state agencies to deal with floods, mitigate their impact on the people

Prayut also urged related agencies to work together on assisting flood victims, adding that evacuation centres, food, drinks and clothes must be sufficient to gain the confidence of the people.

“Provincial governors, district chiefs and village headmen are essential to enable residents to gain access to government agencies’ assistance,” he added.

PM calls for all-out efforts by state agencies to deal with floods, mitigate their impact on the people

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said 81,660 households in 71 provinces, including Bangkok, have been affected by flooding caused by tropical storm Noru.

Citing the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department’s report, he said the flood had injured seven people and killed 19 people.

“About 1.2 million rai [192,000 hectares] of plantations were damaged due to floods,” he said.

Citing the weather forecast from October to December this year by Thailand Meteorological Department, he added that the country still had to monitor for possible tropical storms as it would affect the upper and central parts of the South.

“Related agencies must work closely to deal with any situation that may occur and mitigate the impact on people as much as possible,” he said.

THE NATION

Chadchart urges government, private sectors to jointly tackle housing problem

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Chadchart urges government, private sectors to jointly tackle housing problem

Chadchart urges government, private sectors to jointly tackle housing problem

MONDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2022

THE NATION

The government and private sectors must work together to ensure all people have a roof over their heads, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said on Monday.

He made the remark during a meeting with Four Regions Slum Network during a campaign for World Habitat Day.

He said government agencies are responsible for enabling people to have houses as it is one of the four important necessities, along with food, medicine and clothes.

He added that even though the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is responsible for taking care of public areas, it has to cooperate with related agencies on this issue as well.

Chadchart urges government, private sectors to jointly tackle housing problem

He asked people to be patient in saving money, starting from changing their behaviour, to create stability in life.

“When people gain access to housing, their occupation and quality of life will improve, while their child also will have better education,” he said.

He also stressed that both the government and private sectors must tackle this issue together, arguing that all people have the right to housing.

THE NATION

China-Thailand railway has Thais dreaming of Asian connectivity

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China-Thailand railway has Thais dreaming of Asian connectivity

China-Thailand railway has Thais dreaming of Asian connectivity

MONDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2022

The China-Thailand railway aims to energise economic development in Thailand as a crucial link in pan-Asian railway connectivity. Serving as a bridge for closer people-to-people exchanges between Thailand and China, the railway will help boost tourism and regional connectivity, says China’s state news agency.

Twenty-four-year-old Nantapong Nuchanet is looking forward to driving a high-speed train in his home country of Thailand. As construction of the China-Thailand railway continues apace, he is getting closer to his dream job.

Nantapong currently works as a translator on the first-phase of the China-Thailand railway that will link Bangkok with Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand. “I’ve achieved a small goal of mine by doing a job related to the high-speed railway,” he said.

Nantapong considers himself a lucky man – he learned Chinese after becoming interested in the culture and technology, which won him a chance to study in China.

In 2016, Nantapong took an exam at the Maritime Silk Road Confucius Institute and won a three-year scholarship at Tianjin Railway Technical and Vocational College in Tianjin, where he chose to learn high-speed train operation and maintenance. After graduating in 2019, he got a job at the China-Thailand railway project.

“When I studied in China, I used to take the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed train. It ran really fast and steady. I hope … I can drive such a train after the China-Thailand railway starts operating,” he said.

Nantapong wants to take the train from Thailand to Tianjin and to the tourist city of Guilin in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The China-Thailand railway, an important part of the trans-Asian railway network, will be Thailand’s first standard-gauge high-speed railway.

China-Thailand railway has Thais dreaming of Asian connectivity

It will carry trains from Bangkok to the border town of Nong Khai, where a bridge will connect it with the China-Laos railway, making it possible to travel by train from Bangkok, through Laos, to Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan province.

Analysts say the railway will not only spur economic development of regions along the line in Thailand but also help link the pan-Asia railway network and promote regional connectivity.

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media on July 14 that China, Laos and Thailand see the opening of the China-Laos Railway as an opportunity to smooth the flow of goods with convenient channels, promote economy and trade with better logistics, and boost the development of industries with robust economy and trade.

Efforts will be made to advance the vision of interconnected development of China, Laos and Thailand, Wang said.

For Viroj Lubkritcom, a 59-year-old Thai engineer, the China-Thailand railway is more than just physical infrastructure; it will also boost people-to-people bonds.

Viroj has worked in project supervision for 35 years and is now employed by the China Railway Design Corporation (Thailand Branch), which is supervising the first-phase China-Thailand railway.

“We’ve been working closely with our Chinese colleagues. By cooperating and communicating with them, we have gained a lot of experiences, both in terms of railway construction and project management,” he said.

Nantapong Nuchanet (L), a translator of the China Railway Design Corporation (Thailand Branch) discusses with project supervisor Viroj Lubkritcom at a construction site of the China-Thailand railway in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, Sept. 7, 2022.(Xinhua/Lin Hao)
Viroj Lubkritcom (R), a project supervisor of the China Railway Design Corporation (Thailand Branch), works at a construction site of the China-Thailand railway in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, Sept. 7, 2022.(Xinhua/Lin Hao)

Viroj expects the project to serve as a bridge for closer personnel exchanges between Thailand and China, and a boon for tourism development.

“We’ve seen that the China-Laos railway has boosted local tourism and logistics since it started operation. My friends and I hope the construction of the China-Thailand railway will finish as soon as possible and better connect us with our neighbouring countries,” he said.

Xinhua

Prayut praises CCSA for leading one of world’s most successful battles against Covid

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Prayut praises CCSA for leading one of world’s most successful battles against Covid

Prayut praises CCSA for leading one of world’s most successful battles against Covid

MONDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2022

THE NATION

Newly reinstated Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday thanked the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for leading Thailand’s virus battle over the past 900 days.

The CCSA was dissolved on Saturday as responsibility for controlling Covid was handed to the Public Health Ministry.

Prayut said the CCSA’s role overseeing Covid-19 management ended on Friday (September 30), two and half years after the centre was opened in March 2020.

The PM thanked CCSA officials for “their effort and sacrifice” in protecting people from Covid-19.

Prayut said both he and CCSA staff regretted that so many lives had been lost to the new and severe disease.

He added that apart from protecting people against the virus, the CCSA had also relieved the hardship of people coping with the pandemic and the resulting global economic crises

He said Thailand’s Covid crisis management was recognised as being among the best in the world thanks to the CCSA, which had integrated all levels of officialdom and ensured public unity to fight the epidemic.

“I want to thank all government officials, police, soldiers and volunteers for their efforts and sacrifice in working for the public and leaving no one behind,” he said, adding that this proved that solidarity and sacrifice can overcome any crisis.

The PM also cited words from the CCSA’s first-ever announcement. “We will fight together” and “We will win together” had proved true thanks to the cooperation of Thais, he said.

THE NATION

Bangkok scraps all remaining Covid-19 controls as virus downgraded

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Bangkok scraps all remaining Covid-19 controls as virus downgraded

Bangkok scraps all remaining Covid-19 controls as virus downgraded

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 01, 2022

THE NATION

Bangkok scrapped all Covid-19 restrictions on Saturday after the virus was downgraded to a “communicable disease under surveillance” from October 1.

City Governor Chadchart Sittipunt issued a letter cancelling all Covid control measures previously imposed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

Previous controls included the requirements to produce a negative test result to enter some venues and to self-isolate after testing positive.

Bangkok scraps all remaining Covid-19 controls as virus downgraded

Chadchart’s letter cited an announcement revoking the disease-related emergency decree on Thursday. The Public Health Ministry declared on September 19 that Covid-19 would be removed from the list of “dangerous communicable diseases” from October 1.

Bangkok scraps all remaining Covid-19 controls as virus downgraded

Chadchart gained approval from the Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee on Thursday to cancel all existing Covid-19 prevention measures.

THE NATION

7 Thai govt agencies join up to help digitise country’s public sector

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7 Thai govt agencies join up to help digitise country’s public sector

7 Thai govt agencies join up to help digitise country’s public sector

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2022

Nongluck Ajanapanya

Seven government agencies are collaborating to digitise Thailand’s public sector and help other agencies transition towards becoming paperless in the next six months.

Wisit Wisitsora-at, director of the Strategic Transformation Office (STO), which initiated this project, said at a launching ceremony on Friday that the aim is to make the entire bureaucracy digital. The ceremony was held at Sukosol Hotel in Bangkok.

“All agencies in the digital environment are joining hands, including the Digital Economy and Society [DES] Ministry and STO,” he said. 

7 Thai govt agencies join up to help digitise country’s public sector

“With this collaboration, we will ensure that every agency can transition from using paper to an electronic documentation system,” Wisit explained. 

7 Thai govt agencies join up to help digitise country’s public sector

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam welcomed the collaboration, saying that creating an e-documentation system would provide a critical foundation for a digital government. 

He said this digitising process had been delayed for several years because most agencies lack the impetus for change. 

“I believe it will be easier to create an electronic documentation system if all agencies are open-minded and ready for change,” Wissanu said. 

Meanwhile, Wisit said to help each agency accelerate its use of an e-documentation system, STO and its partners have created an e-document catalogue for each government agency. They have also created a troubleshooting platform and put a help team on standby. 

“We are monitoring the developments and I believe it will be successfully completed within six months,” he said, adding that this digitisation will help make the bureaucracy more efficient.  

7 Thai govt agencies join up to help digitise country’s public sector

Apart from STO, the other agencies involved in the digitising of the Thai government include DES Ministry, Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Ministry, the Public Sector Development Commission, Digital Government Development Agency, Electronic Transactions Development Agency and the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre.

Nongluck Ajanapanya

Pro-democracy groups to gather tomorrow as court rules on Prayut’s PM tenure

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Pro-democracy groups to gather tomorrow as court rules on Prayut’s PM tenure

Pro-democracy groups to gather tomorrow as court rules on Prayut’s PM tenure

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2022

THE NATION

A host of pro-democracy groups will gather at Pathum Wan district in Bangkok on Friday as the Constitutional Court issues a crucial ruling on General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s tenure as prime minister.

The United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, the Rassadon Group, and Thai Mai Thon (Impatient Thais) said they would gather at the Ratchaprasong skywalk at 2pm to await the court verdict.

Kana Lomruam Prachachon (Melting Pot Group) announced it would gather at Ratchaprasong Intersection at 5pm to “stop any coup leaders” from taking possible action.

Meanwhile, there was a report that National Police chief Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk told a Defence Council meeting that he had prepared a plan to handle protests. He however believed the situation would not be as bad as the protests in 2009 and 2010.

Pro-democracy groups to gather tomorrow as court rules on Prayut’s PM tenure

Army spokesman General Santipong Thampiya said the Royal Thai Army would perform its duties “normally” and it is up to the police to decide whether to request the help of soldiers in handling the situation.

On August 24, the court suspended Prayut as prime minister after accepting an opposition petition for review on whether he had reached his eight-year limit set for prime ministers by the Constitution.

THE NATION

Smart visa scheme to now cover 18 targeted industries

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Smart visa scheme to now cover 18 targeted industries

Smart visa scheme to now cover 18 targeted industries

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022

THE NATION

The cabinet has approved a move to expand the smart visa scheme to cover 18 targeted industries from the original 13, Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Tuesday.

The move was proposed by the Interior Ministry in a bid to attract more foreign specialists, investors, executives and start-up companies to invest in Thailand, facilitate technology transfer and help accelerate development in targeted industries, Anucha said.

The smart visa scheme was launched in February 2018 to attract talent and technologies in 13 targeted S-curve industries under the government’s policy to drive the economy through innovation and technology.

The updated scheme allows specialists, investors, executives and start-up operators in 18 industries to apply for smart visas to stay in Thailand for up to four years. Those who are granted this visa require no permit to work in Thailand, but must report to authorities once a year (expanded from every 90 days). They will also be granted an unlimited re-entry permit, while their spouse and legal children can also stay or work in Thailand for the same period as the visa holder.

Here are the 18 targeted industries under the smart visa scheme, with the last five newly added:

– Automotive

– Electronics

– Quality tourism

– Agricultural, food and biotechnology

– Automation and robotics

– Transport and logistics

– Petrochemical and chemical

– Digital

– Medical

– Human resource development in the fields of science and technology

– Environmental management and alternative energy

– Targeted technology development

– Alternative dispute resolution

– National defence

– Industries that directly support a circular economy, for example, refuse-derived fuel manufacturing, water resources management, etc.

– Aviation and aerospace

– Management of technology, innovation and start-up ecosystem

– International business centres.

The other criteria are that the maximum four years of stay is limited to specialists, executives and investors, while start-up enterprise operators will be granted up to two years of stay. The visa fee for foreigners is 10,000 baht per year, and if the period is less than a year, the fee will be rounded up to one year.

THE NATION

With promise of insurance cover, Tourism ministry, KTB sign MoU on collecting entry fees from foreign tourists

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With promise of insurance cover, Tourism ministry, KTB sign MoU on collecting entry fees from foreign tourists

With promise of insurance cover, Tourism ministry, KTB sign MoU on collecting entry fees from foreign tourists

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2022

THE NATION

The Tourism and Sports Ministry and Krungthai Bank (KTB) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on collecting entry fees from foreign tourists.

The ministry’s National Tourism Policy Act requires the ministry to collect entry fees for tourism management and development.

The move aims to boost Thailand’s tourism competitiveness in the long term, by developing tourism personnel skills, maintaining the quality of tourist attractions and promoting new tourism products.

“The entry fees will also be used to provide insurance to foreign tourists while travelling in Thailand,” the ministry said, adding that this will help boost the confidence of tourists.

With promise of insurance cover, Tourism ministry, KTB sign MoU on collecting entry fees from foreign tourists

The ministry’s Office of the Permanent Secretary has implemented guidelines on collecting entry fees from tourists via website, mobile application, kiosk and flight tickets.

“Some information obtained from the entry fees will be analysed for setting up plans or policies to meet tourists needs and develop the tourism industry,” the ministry said.

With promise of insurance cover, Tourism ministry, KTB sign MoU on collecting entry fees from foreign tourists

The ministry added that the entry fee payment via the “Krungthai Corporate Online” platform would make it convenient for tourism operators and foreign tourists.

Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan had said earlier that the Cabinet may be requested in October to approve collection of entry fees from foreign tourists, expected to be implemented early next year.

THE NATION

Pheu Thai says Roi Et win foretells ‘landslide victory’ in general election

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Pheu Thai says Roi Et win foretells ‘landslide victory’ in general election

Pheu Thai says Roi Et win foretells ‘landslide victory’ in general election

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

THE NATION

The main opposition Pheu Thai Party hailed its Roi Et election victory on Sunday as clear evidence it will win the upcoming general election by a landslide.

Pheu Thai candidate Seksit Wainiyompong was elected Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) chief for the Northeast province after receiving more than 80 per cent of votes. Trailing far behind in second was independent candidate Juriporn Sinthuprai, who contested for Palang Pracharath in the previous Roi Et PAO election.

On Monday, Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew thanked Roi Et voters for giving electing his party’s candidate with an overwhelming majority.

“Our candidate won by a landslide because the people want Pheu Thai to tackle their hardship and take care of them by solving problems at the local level,” Cholnan said.

He added that problems at the local level reflected crises at the national level, as people were suffering economic hardship around the country.

Pheu Thai says Roi Et win foretells ‘landslide victory’ in general election“So, a landslide victory for Pheu Thai in the next general election is required if people want the country to escape the current economic crisis.”

Failure to win a big mandate at the next national election would mean Pheu Thai could not implement its policies to help the people, he said.

Pheu Thai says Roi Et win foretells ‘landslide victory’ in general electionPheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanruangthong noted the party had enjoyed victories in a series of local elections, including the 20 seats it secured in the Bangkok Council on May 22. Pheu Thai also won the Kalasin PAO election by a landslide on August 16, with candidate Chalermkwan Lortrakul receiving 249,093 votes.

The win in Roi Et also showed that voters no longer supported coup leaders, he said.

“These signs point to a Pheu Thai victory in the next election,” said Prasert, adding that people wanted to see political changes and a new leader for the country.

Pheu Thai spokeswoman Teerarat Samretwanich said the Roi Et win showed that voters supported Pheu Thai’s push for political change and would hand the party a huge victory at the next general election, whatever rules it was held under.

THE NATION