Thailand’s PM warns opposition MPs not to insult his intelligence

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hit back at some opposition MPs, from Kao Klai party, on Friday for, what he took as an insult to his and his ministers’ intelligence, their questioning of some Transport Ministry projects, insisting that all of them have been properly screened and transparently implemented.

“We are no less intelligent than the speaker, so do not insult our intelligence.  Public sector projects require a lot of investment, we invest under a PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) structure.  There is a transparent bidding process, and the contracts are then signed in accordance with the law,” h

Thailand records one new coronavirus infection in quarantine

People walk in a street food market in Bangkok on June 9, 2020. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Thailand recorded one new COVID-19 case in state quarantine today (Friday), as the country reaches 39 consecutive days without a locally transmitted infection being reported.

CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said that the new patient, a 24-year old woman, arrived from Bahrain on June 28th and entered state quarantine in the eastern province of Chon Buri.

She developed a sore throat and upset stomach. A test on July 1st confirmed she was infected with coronavirus.

Of all 827 returnees from Bahrain, Dr. Taweesin said thr

Final curtain call for Bangkok’s Scala theatre this Sunday

photo from Apex Scala facebook

After 50 years, the final curtain will come down this Sunday on the Grande Dame of Thailand’s movie theatres, The Scala.

Before the advent of the multiplex, The Scala, located next to Siam Square shopping centre, and its sister theatres in the same area, The Siam and The Lido, which closed two years ago, were the venues where Bangkok’s residents could get a taste of Hollywood glamour, in an impressive theatre, replete with ceiling chandeliers, curved wide staircase and glitzy decor.

The changing expectations of Bangkok’s cinema goers, and stiff competition from new, high-tech multiplexes, surrounded by shops and res

Finance Ministry plans more tourism stimuli to boost rural economies

Thailand’s Finance Ministry is considering extending the Thiew Pan Sook (Happiness Sharing Tour) program to cover community and agriculture based tourism, while providing tourism operators and airlines with access to soft loans.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak stressed the need for the Government use additional measures to spur the slowing domestic economy, in wake of a global economic slump, to provide employment for many Thais who have returned to their home provinces, following the closure of businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He told the media today that he has instructed the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to hasten the implementation of projects under the 400 billion baht economic rehabilitation prog

Myanmar jade mine accident: 125 killed, some 200 trapped

At least 125 people were killed and around 200 others are trapped after a jade mine collapsed in Hpakant, northern Myanmar on Thursday, local media reported.

The incident happened at around 6:30 a.m. local time.

The miners were collecting stones when a “muddy wave” caused by heavy rain buried them, the fire service said in a Facebook post.

Deadly landslides are frequent in Kachin state, known as land of jade, especially in Hpakant mining region.

Many locals make a living by jade scavenging in the region and most of the landslides are caused by the partial collapse of tailings heaps and dams.

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Finance Ministry plans more tourism stimuli to boost rural economies

Thailand’s Finance Ministry is considering extending the Thiew Pan Sook (Happiness Sharing Tour) program to cover community and agriculture based tourism, while providing tourism operators and airlines with access to soft loans.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak stressed the need for the Government use additional measures to spur the slowing domestic economy, in wake of a global economic slump, to provide employment for many Thais who have returned to their home provinces, following the closure of businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He told the media today that he has instructed the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to hasten the implementation of projects under the 400 billion baht economic rehabilitation prog

From wreckage of heritage in Phrae rises new hope for Thai conservation

The Bombay Burmah Trading Co building stands impressively in Phrae province last October, before its 127 years of history were swept away by a demolition crew. — Photo courtesy of Nanthana Udomchaiphatthanakit

Torn down despite its 127-year history, Phrae province’s historic Bombay Burmah Trading Co building may be gone for now. But hope is growing that it will be restored to its colonial-era glory and set a badly needed precedent for architectural conservation in Thailand.

Bit by bit, the Fine Arts Department is now rebuilding the old teak trading post, a legacy of Phrae’s 19th-century status as a major logging centre. Reconstruction began

Outspoken celebs become targets as political hatred flourishes online

A bitter online row raging over social media influencer Sean Buranahiran indicates that the scars of Thailand’s political divide are as deep as ever.

A 29-year-old “life coach”, raised and educated in the United States with a strong social media following, Sean drew much criticism after describing Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan as a “lovely, sweet elder” and asking his young audience to not believe everything in the media.

“Don’t judge someone until we know them, talk to them and get to know them,” he said in a video clip recorded after he met General Prawit at a tree-planting ceremony in Chiang Mai last week.

The clip was posted on Sean’s Facebook page on June 23 – just one day before rallies were held to mark the 88t

Opposition slams Thai Government for indifference to economic realities

Members of the Opposition described the 3.3 trillion baht 2021 fiscal budget as being disconnected from reality, with a likelihood that a large portion of the money will be wasted. They also accused the Government of total indifference to the severity of the economic crisis facing the country, by formulating the budget as if the country’s economy is in a normal condition.

In a Facebook post today, as the House began the 2021 budget debate, Pheu Thai party’s chief strategist said that Thailand is now facing an “economic tsunami” which will intensify. Khunying Sudarat said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet are simply dividing up a big cake, to be shared out among the bureaucrats and merchants.

She pointed out that 80% of the

Fire guts Pattaya’s landmark Ban Sukhavadi mansion

Source: Pattaya municipal official

The dome-shaped building, in the grounds of the Ban Sukhavadi seaside mansion, one of Pattaya’s landmarks, has sustained major damage, estimated about 100 million baht, after it was gutted by fire today, on the first day of its reopening after the three month COVID-19 lockdown.

Police suspect an electrical short circuit caused the fire, which reportedly started at about 10am on Wednesday. The building houses several Buddha images and statues, including a huge painting of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, to which the public have access.

It took 10 fire trucks and crews two hours to bring the blaze under control, on the Sukhum

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