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  • Baht will continue to remain strong throughout 2020

    The Thai baht will continue to maintain its strength for the rest of 2020. It will remain strong, propelled by the increased surpluses in the Thai current account and the country’s trade balance. Kobsidthi Silpachai, KBank’s head of capital markets research, predicts that the Thai baht will float around 29.75 against the US dollar for […]

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    Baht will continue to remain strong throughout 2020 | The Thaiger
    Baht will continue to remain strong throughout 2020Elite Havens Magazine

    The Thai baht will continue to maintain its strength for the rest of 2020. It will remain strong, propelled by the increased surpluses in the Thai current account and the country’s trade balance.

    Kobsidthi Silpachai, KBank’s head of capital markets research, predicts that the Thai baht will float around 29.75 against the US dollar for the first half of 2020, and then appreciate to 29.25 at the end of the year, said

    Reuters report that the Thai baht was Asia’s star-performance currency during 2019, rising by more than 7% against the greenback.

    The baht continued to leverage off the country’s massive current account surplus over 2019, rising inflows of tourism revenue and the near-record foreign reserves – all this despite subdued local economic growth. The foreign reserves made the Thai baht the go-to currency for investors with with its ‘safe haven’ reputation for actual investment or speculation.

    Thailand’s current account surplus totalled $33.2 billion as of last November, accounting for 5.3% of GDP, according to the Bangkok Post. The country’s trade surplus with the US was $19 billion for last year. Thailand’s GDP growth is forecast to be around 2.7% this year.

    An adjustment to ease loan-to-value (LTV) regulations is not forecast to massively rev up sagging property sales as the purchasing power of Thais is being tempered by elevated household debt – some 79% of GDP.

    The Bank of Thailand eased the tightened LTV rules governing mortgage lending which shortens the minimum debt-servicing period for first mortgages required for those seeking a second loan for homes priced below 10 million baht.

    SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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    22 January 2020
    Economy
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260914
  • Electric vehicle registrations in Thailand rose 380% in 2019

    Electic cars (EVs) are on the rise in Thailand. The Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand (EVAT) reports a sharp increase in the number of electric vehicles registered in 2019. Department of Land Transport statistics show that, as of December 31, there were 2,854 electric vehicle registrations, including 1,572 new cars, up 380% from 2018 when only […]

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    Electric vehicle registrations in Thailand rose 380% in 2019 | The Thaiger
    Electric vehicle registrations in Thailand rose 380% in 2019The Nation

    Electic cars (EVs) are on the rise in Thailand. The Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand (EVAT) reports a sharp increase in the number of electric vehicles registered in 2019. Department of Land Transport statistics show that, as of December 31, there were 2,854 electric vehicle registrations, including 1,572 new cars, up 380% from 2018 when only there were only 325 registered.

    Hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles reached a total of 153,184 vehicles. (Hybrids are electric vehicles with a back-up conventional petrol engine, and switches between the two power trains)

    EVAT’s president says that the growth of PHEV and EV is up more than 51% from a year earlier.

    “The increase in electric vehicle registration will have an effect shortly as the need for charging stations will increase as well. Therefore, this year may see full model commercial charging stations, with the private sector playing an increasingly important role.”

    EVAT promotes and supports the exchange of information about technology and innovation for all types of electric vehicles for the development of EV technology in Thailand. There are more than 200 members from the private sector, educational institutions, state enterprises and individuals.

    SOURCE: The Nation

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    22 January 2020
    Technology
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260805
  • Arrested Lop Buri murder suspect was a provincial headmaster

    The director (headmaster) of a Sing Buri school is now in police custody as a suspect in the case of the lone of being the lone gunman in a gold shop robbery at the Robinson’s Shopping Centre in Lop Buri province on January 9. Three people, including a two year old boy, were shot and […]

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    Arrested Lop Buri murder suspect was a provincial headmaster | The Thaiger
    Arrested Lop Buri murder suspect was a provincial headmasterThe Thaiger

    The director (headmaster) of a Sing Buri school is now in police custody as a suspect in the case of the lone of being the lone gunman in a gold shop robbery at the Robinson’s Shopping Centre in Lop Buri province on January 9. Three people, including a two year old boy, were shot and killed, another four were injured as a result of the shooting.

    The armed gunman, carrying a 9mm pistol and fitted with a silencer, escaped after his shooting rampage, with gold jewellery valued at 450,000 baht worth of (some media report higher amounts up to 680,000 baht).

    The 38 year old suspect has been identified as Prasitthichai Khaokaew, and is currently in custody. Police allege the man has confessed to the crime.

    Amnart Wicchayanuwat, secretary-general of the Office of Basic Education Commission, says they will set up a committee to consider dismissal of the school director if he is found guilty of the offences, as charged.

    In the days after robbery, the Royal Thai Police issued a shoot-to-kill order and a bounty was offered for information leading to his apprehension. Over the weekend police reported that had been speaking to a suspect over the incident. It has not been confirmed if Prasitthichai Khaokaew was the man who police were questioning over the weekend.

    SOURCE: Thai PBS World

    Arrested Lop Buri murder suspect was a provincial headmaster | News by The Thaiger

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    22 January 2020
    Central Thailand
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260813
  • Thailand’s PM2.5 micron elephant in the room – OPINION

    It’s cars, it’s the polluting buses, it’s people burning too many incense sticks. Every year it’s the same culprits in Bangkok, people driving their cars too much, polluting factories and old buses belching black smoke. All those things contribute to city pollution but are far from the main problem. So the government, reactive as usual, […]

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    Thailand’s PM2.5 micron elephant in the room – OPINION | The Thaiger
    Thailand’s PM2.5 micron elephant in the room – OPINIONThe Nation

    It’s cars, it’s the polluting buses, it’s people burning too many incense sticks. Every year it’s the same culprits in Bangkok, people driving their cars too much, polluting factories and old buses belching black smoke. All those things contribute to city pollution but are far from the main problem.

    So the government, reactive as usual, rolls out its PR machine and invites the media to take photos of water cannons blasting thousands of litres of valuable water into the sky, doing precisely NOTHING to address the air pollution problem, beyond a short-term, extremely local solution. Very local indeed, and probably pleasing the assembled press as they enjoy a bit of overspray cooling them down. For the bigger air pollution problem, no help at all.

    Even today the Bangkok media scrum was summoned to Suvarnabhumi Airport to get the story of the local airport solution where they’ve deployed water cannons that blast 144,000 litres of water per day about 50 metres into the air above the one of the airport’s ring roads.

    “The trucks will be deployed at 10am, 11am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm at the duty-free zone and along the Suvarnabhumi 2 Road, as these areas have high numbers of trucks and other vehicles passing through during weekdays.”

    We kid you not, there appears to some officials who actually think this grotesque waste of water is achieving something… anything, beyond a woefully useless media stunt.

    “The airport has enforced pollution control regulations on all public vehicles running in theairport areas, which include taxis, shuttle buses, public buses, public vans and coaches. These vehicles were told to turn off the engine while waiting for passengers and make sure to have their vehicle condition checked regularly.”

    All this obfuscation from officials and the government is completely ignoring the PM2.5 micron “elephant in the room”. Indeed, the oft-used “PM2.5 micron” word salad is just another way of confusing the public and shifting the narrative.

    It’s smoke, smog, haze, air pollution. And most of it is coming from fires deliberately lit by farmers who are providing crops for Thai multi-nationals, mostly corn, rice and sugar. The cheapest way to clear the land for the next crop is burning it to the ground. The machinery to complete that task without burning is expensive. Of course it’s all about cutting costs, so lighting a fire and sending smoke into Thailand’s skies is much easier… f**k the environment and the millions of people that are affected by the months of smoke-filled air.

    Even the Pollution Control Department (an oxymoron indeed!) and its daily missives about the air pollution problem completely avoid any discussion about the forest and plantation fires, burning mainly in central and northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar. The northerly and north-easterly airstream at this time of the year casually wafts the offending smoke south, affecting the capital and its 10 million residents.

    Here’s today’s active fires in and around Thailand, clearly identified by NASA satellites with constant updates. You can see active fires in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, but there is a big concentration in central, northern and north-eastern Thailand.

    Thailand's PM2.5 micron elephant in the room - OPINION | News by The Thaiger

    There’s the evidence of where the smoke is coming from. Check out the link HERE. Pollution Control Department officials are able to click on the link too.

    Or let’s go to the Air Visual map which lists the air quality around the country (or the world) any time of the day. It also lists some of the key fires burning at the time.

    Thailand's PM2.5 micron elephant in the room - OPINION | News by The Thaiger

    The information from Air Visual clearly shows the link between areas of poor air quality and the fires that are burning, also linked to the direction of the wind.

    Bangkok’s slightly improved air quality readings today have nothing to do with the water cannons blasting water into the sky at Suvarnabhumi and everything to do with changed, favourable wind conditions. If the problem was ‘traffic’ then Bangkok, a city of some 10 million people, would always have worse air quality than all the provincial air quality measurement stations.

    At some stage the Thai government and public servants will be forced to bite the bullet and admit that the annual pollution problem is what it is – a cover up to protect large and powerful multi-nationals and their agricultural pursuits.

    Now that Thai celebrities and some concerned residents are starting to see through the mist and fog of the misleading PR, and posting these air quality maps, their own experiences, and lack of confidence in the officials to address the problem, there is hope that public shaming might finally bring about some honesty and long-term measures to face the PM2.5 micron elephant in the room.

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    22 January 2020
    Air Pollution
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260735
  • Nearly 300,000 Bangkok school students stay at home today as a measure to reduce air pollution

    Nearly 300,000 students from 437 schools around Bangkok are having the day off after the Bangkok governor announced they could stay home and avoid the city’s smog. Ironically, today’s city air pollution has reduced to its lowest level in a week. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration suspended classes at 437 public schools for one day and […]

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    Nearly 300,000 Bangkok school students stay at home today as a measure to reduce air pollution | The Thaiger
    Nearly 300,000 Bangkok school students stay at home today as a measure to reduce air pollutionThe Thaiger

    Nearly 300,000 students from 437 schools around Bangkok are having the day off after the Bangkok governor announced they could stay home and avoid the city’s smog. Ironically, today’s city air pollution has reduced to its lowest level in a week.

    The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration suspended classes at 437 public schools for one day and introduced staggered working hours for city public servants from today, “as airborne PM2.5 dust and smoke is forecast to remain excessive”.

    Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, a BMA spokesperson, says the measures are part of city hall’s “four-point plan to cope with worsening air pollution in Bangkok”. He says that officials working at district offices will report to work as normal, adding that the staggered working hours will be ended when pollution has eased. How the staggering of work hours would relieve the pollution problem was not outlined by the spokesperson.

    “The class closure, affecting over 280,000 students, will reduce the number of cars on Bangkok’s streets and help ease PM2.5 problem.”

    City Hall is also distributing 450,000 free face masks to people in Bangkok.

    The post Nearly 300,000 Bangkok school students stay at home today as a measure to reduce air pollution appeared first on The Thaiger News.

    22 January 2020
    Air Pollution
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260668
  • School headmaster arrested and charged over the Lop Buri gold shop shootings

    Police have arrested a man in conjunction with the Lopburi gold shop shootings on January 9. The man is a 38 years old school headmaster from Sing Buri, the adjoining province to the west of Lop Buri in central Thailand. Police report that he has confessed to the shooting of the customers and staff, resulting in three deaths, […]

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    School headmaster arrested and charged over the Lop Buri gold shop shootings | The Thaiger
    School headmaster arrested and charged over the Lop Buri gold shop shootingsThe Thaiger/CCTV

    Police have arrested a man in conjunction with the Lopburi gold shop shootings on January 9. The man is a 38 years old school headmaster from Sing Buri, the adjoining province to the west of Lop Buri in central Thailand. Police report that he has confessed to the shooting of the customers and staff, resulting in three deaths, including a two year old boy, and four others.

    The man’s identity has been reported as Prasitichai Khaokaew in khaosod.co.th.

    Police have not confirmed if he is the same man that they were interviewing late last week over the robbery.

    The armed man walked into the Aurora gold shop inside the Robinsons Shopping mall on the Phahon Yothin Highway at 8.44pm on January 9, just before closing time. He strode in and started shooting at customers and staff. He then jumped on top of the glass counter, snatched three trays of gold necklaces valued around 450,000 baht, and then shot a security guard dead before fleeing on a Yamaha motorcycle.

    The entire incident lasted around a minute.

    Police suspected that the gold wasn’t the target of the fatal heist due to the low amount of gold stolen and the brutality of the shootings.

    More information about the arrest when it comes to hand.

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    22 January 2020
    Central Thailand
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260679
  • Thailand is making you fat

    “…compare a Big Mac to an average Pad Thai and there’s at least double the kilojoules in the Thai noodle dish.” I came to Thailand as a fit, healthy 70 kilogram Australian. After six years in Thailand I’m now a reasonably fit, healthy 76 kilogram Australian. Why? Well, Thai food, despite its healthy appearance and fresh origins […]

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    Thailand is making you fat | The Thaiger
    Thailand is making you fatThe Thaiger

    “…compare a Big Mac to an average Pad Thai and there’s at least double the kilojoules in the Thai noodle dish.”

    I came to Thailand as a fit, healthy 70 kilogram Australian. After six years in Thailand I’m now a reasonably fit, healthy 76 kilogram Australian. Why? Well, Thai food, despite its healthy appearance and fresh origins is also full of fats, sugars and salt. For example, compare a Big Mac to an average Pad Thai and there’s at least double the kilojoules (or calories) in the Thai noodle dish. (There’s plenty of variation in Pad Thai servings but we took an average from three websites reporting on the nutritional value of Thai food). One website went as far as reporting that your average Pad Thai had FOUR times as many calories in it.

    (A big Mac has 1075 kilojoules per 100 grams of weight and weighs approx. 200 grams)

    Whilst Thai food is generally fresh, cooked quickly, full of nutrition (vegetables, carbohydrates and protein), it’s also full of calories. But the problem goes deeper than this. And it partly answers the question as to why Thais, as a population, are growing taller and fatter than in the past – they’re getting a lot more calories than in the past.

    Head to your local convenience store and scan the shelves. Anything fresh is difficult to find. Many foods that would have traditionally come without sugar are now laced with additional sugar – yogurt, fruit juice, bread, and we’re hardly past the front counter yet.

    Anecdotally, I would suggest that the ingredients for your average Thai meal have evolved over the past 100 years and now there is a lot more salts, sugars, MSG and saturated fats than a century ago (the MSG argument is something for another time). Of course, all these things make most foods taste better, I won’t deny it.

    Thai food is still a great source of all the nutrients you need to get through the day but eating large Thai meals with lost of noodles and white rice is not going to help you return to your 20 year old surfer body. White rice has about as much nutrition as cardboard. Cook it in a sea of saturated fat (fried rice) and you’re on the way to a big calorie intake.

    Nutritionists recommend avoiding six types of Thai foods including Pad Thai, yellow, green and red curries, Tom Kha soup (Tom Yum is ok), stir fries and Thai tea (the orange sweet milky concoction).

    Well, that’s about every Thai meal I love 🙁

    chefjohnhowie.com has a list of Thai food dos and don’ts.

    Meanwhile Hayden Rhodes, Phuket nutritionist and well-being consultant, says there are three things to take into account when consuming our beloved Thai food.

    1) Most food is fried, many times in cheap nasty rancid vegetable oils. Avoid fried Thai food.

    2) Thai food over the years has followed the SAD… standard American & Australian Diet (very SAD) which means consuming more sugar per head per year. Sugar makes you fat. Period. Ask for no sugar to be added to Thai dishes (yes- it’s in everything!)

    3) A lot of Thai food is full of chemicals ‘fresh from the farm’; detoxification processes will be hampered – body fat will be stored. Ask your fancy hotel or beach club where their food comes from and 99% will likely be ‘Macro’. Find out who uses organic ingredients and eat there. Yes – this will have a direct impact on your energy, mineral content in your body and your fat line… oops I meant waist line.”

    Add to the high calorific content of all our favorite Thai foods is the relatively inexpensive and plentiful alcohol and street food stalls every 50 metres along any road and you’re heading for a fright when you step onto the scales. It’s also a lot easier to jump on the motorbike in Thailand to travel short distances we might have happily walked back in our home country.

    So next time you see a friend heading into McDonalds for a Big Mac, rather than fat-shaming them, they might actually be trying to lose weight! (We certainly don’t recommend eating Bic Macs or ‘fast food’ too often though)

    Health aficionados and doctors would always recommend a balanced food intake with fresh food at the top of the list along with regular exercise, at any age.

    Good advice! So it’s back to the swimming pool and gym, and choosing Tom Yum over Pad Thai.

    Thailand is making you fat | News by The Thaiger

    (per 100 grams of weight)

     

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    22 January 2020
    Food Scene
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=105794
  • Strong waves drags pickup and jet ski into the sea in Chonburi

    Strong waves have dragged a pickup truck and jet ski into the sea yesterday morning along the shores of Chonburi province, near Pattaya. At around 10:30am, 24 year old Phontawit Pradap used a pickup truck to tow a jet ski from the beach to the water in Saen Suk subdistrict. While he was towing the jet […]

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    Strong waves drags pickup and jet ski into the sea in Chonburi | The Thaiger
    Strong waves drags pickup and jet ski into the sea in Chonburi77kaoded

    Strong waves have dragged a pickup truck and jet ski into the sea yesterday morning along the shores of Chonburi province, near Pattaya. At around 10:30am, 24 year old Phontawit Pradap used a pickup truck to tow a jet ski from the beach to the water in Saen Suk subdistrict.

    While he was towing the jet ski along the shore, a “massive wave hit the jet ski”, causing both the jet ski and the pickup to get dragged into the sea.

    Local residents rushed to help and pull the pickup truck and jet ski back out of the water. On the plus side, a new method of launching jet skis has now been tested.

    Despite everything that happened, Pradap reportedly stayed in high spirits during the incident.

    SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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    22 January 2020
    Pattaya
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260453
  • Survey shows that Thais feel “less safe”

    A recent survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, the Suan Dusit Poll, shows that Thais are more concerned about their safety than ever before, citing the country’s economic woes as the reason. The poll was conducted from January 15-18 on 1,365 people throughout the Kingdom of varying education levels and occupations. The survey followed a […]

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    Survey shows that Thais feel “less safe” | The Thaiger
    Survey shows that Thais feel “less safe”AFP

    A recent survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, the Suan Dusit Poll, shows that Thais are more concerned about their safety than ever before, citing the country’s economic woes as the reason.

    The poll was conducted from January 15-18 on 1,365 people throughout the Kingdom of varying education levels and occupations. The survey followed a spate of serious crimes in the news, including rapes, robberies, shootings and drug dealing, culminating in the high-profile Aurora gold shop robbery in Lop Buri province where three people died.

    On January 9, a man shot and killed three people and injured four others during a gold shop heist in Lop Buri.

    Numerous CCTV cameras captured the man’s brief rampage, during which he casually strolled into the shop and shot customers and staff. One of the victims was a two year old boy who was shot in the head while walking past the shop with his mother.

    67.6% of those polled say that they’ve become more serious about their personal security over the past year as a result of the economic slump, deteriorating social conditions and low moral standards.

    In August the Government revealed that the country’s economy grew at its slowest rate in nearly five years in the second quarter of 2019. It cited slowing exports, a struggling farm sector and US-China trade tensions, saying all had taken their toll on Thailand.

    The Government also blamed falling domestic demand and weakening export performance, due in part to the strong baht. The Thai baht was one of Asia’s strongest performing currencies in 2019, which hurt Thai exports and the key tourism sector, which generates more than 20% of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product. To make matters worse, the farming sector is currently in the grip of the worst drought in decades.

    When asked what causes risks to their personal security, 53.8% pointed to the poor economy; 24.4% cited “deteriorating social conditions, social disparities and a low standard of living”; 21.3% cited the government’s inability to solve economic problems, forcing people to help themselves; 18.2 percent said it was caused by low public moral standards, and 14.5% cited poor law enforcement.

    (Figures are rounded to to the nearest one tenth of a percentage point)

    When asked to identify what they feared most, 67.5% pointed to robberies and banditry; 32.7% said the use of violence and weapons such as guns and knives; 25.1% cited the spread of drugs; 21.3% pointed to sex crimes and 15.1% said they fear toxic smog.

    Survey shows that Thais feel

    SOURCE: Suan Dusit Poll

    Whether a slowing economy leads to crime or increases it remains a topic of debate. In 2015, the World Economic Forum published an article titled “Do Recessions Increase Crime?” which quoted American economist Gary Becker’s seminal 1968 work on criminal choices, saying low expectations on returns for legal activity may lead to initial involvement in crime and subsequently to a first encounter with the criminal justice system.

    Whether an economic slump inevitably leads increased crime is still up for debate, but the recent poll shows many Thais believe it does.

    SOURCE: The Asean Post

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    22 January 2020
    Crime
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260497
  • Two Israeli tourists pickpocketed by Pattaya ladyboys

    Two Israeli men told Pattaya police that they were robbed by a pair of ladyboys, relieving them of around 2500 baht each. The incident was reported to police on Monday morning. At around 2am the tourists, both 21 year old Israelis, identified as Ahmad Mohammad and 33 year old Mojahad Samir called police to report a […]

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    Two Israeli tourists pickpocketed by Pattaya ladyboys | The Thaiger
    Two Israeli tourists pickpocketed by Pattaya ladyboysPattaya Message

    Two Israeli men told Pattaya police that they were robbed by a pair of ladyboys, relieving them of around 2500 baht each. The incident was reported to police on Monday morning. At around 2am the tourists, both 21 year old Israelis, identified as Ahmad Mohammad and 33 year old Mojahad Samir called police to report a pickpocketing theft on Soi 2 in Central Pattaya .

    The two told officers that they were walking back to their hotel when they were intercepted by two transgender people who approached them in a “flirtatious manner.”

    The suspects began to hug and caress the men, offering to accompany them to their rooms. The victims told police they said they were “not interested” and walked away, only to discover they’d been relieved of 2800 baht and 2500 baht.

    Police told the press they will review CCTV footage from the area and track down the suspects.

    SOURCE: The Pattaya News

    The post Two Israeli tourists pickpocketed by Pattaya ladyboys appeared first on The Thaiger News.

    22 January 2020
    Crime
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=260534