• Thailand tourism return: Government told to “be brave” and open travel bubbles allowing Chinese tour groups

    Thailand tourism return

    A collection of tourism businesses and organisations headed by the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce will be contacting Thailand’s Covid-19 co-ordinating committee (CCSA) this week to press the government to establish travel bubbles with low risk countries, reported Thai Rath.

    The move particularly relates to starting travel bubbles with twenty provinces in China.

    Among the provinces they specifically mention Guangzhou that is ready to send Chinese tour groups to Thailand.

    The CoC, hoteliers and other tourist organisations that will put their name to the letter want to see a pilot scheme set up between Guangzhou and Phuket.

    The economic situation on the holiday island is seen as so dire and in imminent danger of complete collapse meaning that urgent help to revive tourism there is needed.

    Narongsak Phutthaphrommongkhon, chief of the Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said that operators in the tourism sector understand the need to stop infections and recognise Thailand has had a few cases in recent days.

    But the country needs to think about the economy and appreciate the worldwide recognition it has for its Covid response and capabilities.

    Narongsak asked the government to make a brave decision to introduce travel bubbles and start with the Phuket pilot.

    Source: Thai Rath

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  • Prime Minister opens Samui Festival 2019

    Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha officially announced the opening of Samui Festival 2019 on the 13th of this month (September 2019). The opening ceremony took place at the Chaweng Beach Waterfall, Bophut Sub-district, Koh Samui District, Surat Thani Province. This is the 4th year of the Samui Festival in Surat Thani, one of Thailand’s greatest tourist destinations, famous for its clear beaches and unique island vibe.

    Suthep Thaugsuban and other members from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) were also at the grand opening of the festival. The Prime Minister gave a speech at the event. Some parts of the speech include “I like to come here in the South because of the smiles of the people here. We can’t keep believing the same things, we have to take new methods. We have to adapt, in order to please everyone’s needs. Everyone has to change and listen to the government in ways of Democracy.

    Credit: INN News
    Credit: INN News

    We have to survive and live in peace. Therefore no one can break us apart. What’s important is Nation, Religion, King. I confirm that the government is working as hard as it can for all citizens, we won’t leave anyone behind. The funds are coming in, but it’s not possible to be done all at once. If we work together then no one can stop the country going forward.

    Credit: INN News
    Credit: INN News

    Therefore please decrease the conflict and to understand one another, this is to develop the nation, there is no purpose in fighting with each other. Stop blaming others, if no one does this then the government can’t do it either. Today we have the same Prime Minister, some love and some hate, but In Koh Samui, all love the Prime Minister. If you love me then I ask you to love all members of the government, take care of the government.”

    The Prime Minister ended the speech with an important lesson “Today Thailand is stepping forward, let’s not bring it backward, we’ve been walking for along time. If someone tries to drag us back, then we return to the same problems nothing will get better. Everyone is working with the goal of a better future for our children and loved ones. We all have to make sacrifices. The government cannot be the only ones working, the government has to look after everyone in the nation.”.

    FB Caption: “Today we have the same Prime Minister, some love and some hate, but In Koh Samui, all love the Prime Minister.”

    Source: INN News


  • Could There Be A Vote Of No Confidence On The Way?

    BANGKOK — A leading pro-military party said Thursday it will reserve key ministerial posts for its members, reversing earlier talks of distributing them to their allies.

    A day after Phalang Pracharath won its place as the core party in the next government, two party officials said the lucrative portfolios leading the Commerce, Labor, and Agricultural ministries must be retained for their party – not any of its coalition members.

    “Phalang Pracharath Party should have the most important ministries that oversee basic infrastructure and develop the transportation system … and solve problems related to farmers’ crops,” Phalang Pracharath MP Sira Jenraka said at a party meeting today.

    Sira said the party needs to maintain control over those ministries to continue policies already laid down by junta chairman Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha.

    “If Phalang Pracharath Party does not manage those ministries which can genuinely connect with the people and work for them, there will be long-term problems,” he said.

    Another Phalang Pracharath MP, Anucha Noiwong, also urged Gen. Prayuth to pick a trusted person for the influential position of agriculture minister.

    “In order to alleviate the public’s suffering, we need to have someone from our own party take the post of Agriculture Minister,” Anucha told the meeting. “As head of the government, the Prime Minister has the power to decide who is appropriate for the job.”

    Phalang Pracharath’s claims over the three ministries – known in media lingo as “Premium Ministries” due to their massive budgets and all-important roles in the administration – rattled some observers because media reports had suggested those posts were promised to partner parties like the Democrats and Bhumjaithai.

    A report on Bright TV yesterday quoted a source as saying that the Democrats and Bhumjaithai were supposed to divide both the three ministerial posts and deputy prime minister roles among themselves, but that the deal has been taken off the table by Phalang Pracharath.

    When questioned about the alleged betrayal, Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit said it was too early to comment.

    “I don’t want to say anything now, because I think everything will go the way we negotiated,” Jurin told reporters.

  • Govt urged to push legal measures on data leaks

    Hacking of two banks’ computer systems seen as an urgent wakeup call.


    CYBERSECURITY experts have urged the government to quickly strengthen legal safeguards by adding measures to prevent data leaks after the computer systems of two major Thai banks were hacked recently.

    According to the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the computer systems of Kasikornbank and Krung Thai Bank were compromised in the attack, affecting the security of personal and corporate data of more than 120,000 customers.

    This has raised concern that cybercriminals could subsequently abuse this data, even though bank executives have claimed that there had been no damage so far.

    Paiboon Amonpinyokeat, a legal expert on cybersecurity, said the incidents at the two major banks were worrying and the potential damage could be worse than money stolen from bank accounts.

    According to the central bank, the personal data of about 117,000 customers of Krung Thai Bank applying for personal, housing and other loans were recently hacked, while Kasikornbank reported that the data of about 3,000 corporate customers on its website for online letters was compromised.

    Paiboon said the government must quickly amend the data protection bill pending in the National Legislative Assembly to include provisions on data leaks, which are likely to occur more often in an increasingly digital economy and society.

    Banking service is a major area of vulnerability as several Thai banks have heavily promoted the use of online and mobile banking services, resulting in a big jump in the amount of personal and other data online.

    This has posed a major security challenge to all banks, who will have to invest more for cybersecurity.

    According to Paiboon, the current version of the data protection bill has no specific provisions on data leaks. During the interim period, he suggested that the BOT announce a code of conduct for banks to comply with basic legal requirements on measures to prevent and respond to data leak incidents. The code of conduct can be modelled on the National Broadcasting and Telecom Commission (NBTC)’s regulations on data leaks, which currently require operators to report data leaks within 72 hours, among others.

    Another cybersecurity expert, Prinya Hom-anek, said the latest incidents should serve as a wake-up call for authorities to step up efforts to prevent and respond to data leaks, which are now pervasive.

    Since data protection cannot be 100 per cent secure, authorities should also focus on how best to respond to data leaks. Today, even top institutions such as Nasa or the White House in the United States cannot expect 100 per cent data protection, he said.

    In the Thai context, Prinya said there are lessons to be learned from the latest hacks at the two major banks and the experience and perspectives could be shared among members of the Thai Banking Association.

    Major Thai banks such as Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank have said they each have more than 6-7 million customers on mobile and other online platforms and fewer customers are using banking services at physical branches.

    Paiboon said Thai banks have not been able to keep up with the security challenges of the huge number of their customers moving to the online and mobile platforms.

    He said all personal data were sensitive and their leaks to unauthorised persons could be damaging so the government needed to quickly introduce appropriate legal safeguards.

    The nation

  • Macau government adopts abandoned greyhounds as track shuts

    Authorities in the gambling hub of Macau have taken under their care more than 500 greyhounds abandoned by the operator of the city’s dog-racing track after it closed.


    The Canidrome Club, owned by one of the city’s most powerful women Angela Leong, was until its shutdown Asia’s only legal dog-racing track.

    The track, established in 1931, had long faced criticism from animal rights groups, who said the greyhounds were treated cruelly and sometimes put to death after a losing streak.

    But the closure of the track in the semi-autonomous Chinese city had also raised fears over the fate of the dogs.

    The Macau government said in a statement Saturday the 533 greyhounds were in “normal health condition”. They were being cared for by government specialists and volunteers from animal rights groups, including Macau-based Anima, which had called for an end to dog-racing.

    The government last week slammed Leong’s company Yat Yuen for delaying efforts to find new homes for the dogs, saying it acted irresponsibly.

    It said the company could be punished under the Animal Protection Law.

    Yat Yuen did not respond to a request for comment.

    Anima estimated that some 70 dogs died or were killed in 2016 due to injuries, illnesses or for under-performance, the South China Morning Post has reported.

    The nation

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