PM to Form Special Committee to Probe Recent Police Raids26 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - An update on the police raids that have captivated national attention: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced today that an external committee will be set up to examine the recent searches carried out on the residence of Police General Surachate Hakparn, widely known as "Big Joke," the Deputy Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police. The Prime Minister stressed that impartiality will be maintained as this is a significant issue affecting multiple sectors.In response to media inquiries, the Prime Minister confirmed that he has received an official report from the current National Police Chief, Police General Damrongsak Kittiprapas, and that investigations are ongoing. When asked if these events could influence the appointment of the new National Police Chief scheduled for September 27, he answered, "Not sure," noting that all factors will be reviewed.The eight police officers involved in the searches may be temporarily relieved from duties, pending further direction from the Prime Minister and the outcomes of ongoing investigations. The raids originated from the actions of the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) two months ago, which led to court-approved arrest warrants for 23 individuals, including eight police officers and 15 civilians.Lastly, it was clarified that the raids are not directly linked to the selection of the new National Police Chief set for tomorrow, September 27. Fair treatment will be given to all parties involved, irrespective of their association with Police General Surachate Hakparn.
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Special Panel Formed to Address El Nino Impact14 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Thai prime minister has called for the establishment of a special committee tasked with preparing for and mitigating the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon. The committee’s primary focus is to assess the feasibility of declaring a state of emergency in various provinces to facilitate rapid response efforts. Government Spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said declaring a state of emergency would empower local authorities, including tambon administrative organizations, provincial administrative organizations, and local municipalities with ample budget reserves, to immediately allocate funds for critical projects. Chai noted that these initiatives could involve the construction of weirs, underground water banks, and other locally manageable solutions.During recent cabinet discussions, participants agreed that the global impact of El Nino is expected to persist for up to three years. They all came to the conclusion that without a comprehensive plan in place, Thailand could potentially face damage ranging from a minimum estimate of 600 billion baht to as much as 2 trillion baht over this three-year period.
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Move Forward Candidate Wins Rayong By-Election12 Sep 2023
RAYONG (NNT) - In a recent by-election held in Rayong Constituency 3, Move Forward Party candidate Pongsathon Sonpechnarintr emerged victorious, securing a significant lead over his opponents. Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat announced the win, expressing his gratitude to the voters for their unwavering support.Unofficial results had indicated that Pongsathon garnered a substantial 39,296 votes, demonstrating a strong mandate from the constituents. His closest rival, Banyat Jetanachan of the Democrat Party, trailed behind with 26,466 votes, while Sub-Lt Ruangchai Sombatphuthorn of the Rang Ngarn Sang Chart Party received 881 votes.Pita addressed the victory from a local coffee shop in Klaeng district, where he conveyed his intention to harness this political momentum for future by-elections leading up to the next general election. Following the announcement of the victory, Pita said he will return to Bangkok to oversee Move Forward members of parliament as they engage in vigorous scrutiny of the government’s policy statement during this week’s parliamentary sessions.
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PM and Cabinet announce policies to the National Assembly11 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Srettha Thavisin led a cabinet meeting to announce policies to the National Assembly, in accordance with Section 162 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand. The key points are as follows:- The government aims to communicate its intentions and strategies to create harmony and unity in Thai society. This will lead to collaboration in the development of the economy, society, and governance for the well-being of all Thai citizens.- Currently, Thailand faces challenges in its economy, society, and politics, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is far from stable, and no effective remedies have been implemented. Social and political issues persist without systematic solutions.- Over 30% of Thailand’s GDP comes from the industrial sector, focused on a narrow range of products. Exports have been in decline for three consecutive quarters, partly due to outdated technology. - Rapid technological changes are challenging the country’s competitive abilities and will dictate the economic landscape that the government must address.- Thailand is grappling with a household debt higher than 90% of GDP, a potential economic vulnerability. Additionally, public debt exceeds 61% of GDP, a potentially limiting factor for future fiscal policies. Chronic debt issues exacerbate income inequality, with more than 14 million people below the average income still awaiting state aid.- The agricultural sector, employing no fewer than 10 million people or one-third of the workforce, contributes only 7% to the GDP. This reflects low income-generating efficiency, causing the average Thai farmer to be in debt by less than 300,000 Baht per household. Currently, the sector also faces challenges from the El Ni?o phenomenon.-Socially, Thailand is transitioning to a fully aged society, with the elderly population constituting more than 20% of the total population. The challenge of developing human resources to replace this segment is becoming increasingly critical due to a consistent decline in the number of newborns.- Politically, Thailand is undergoing changes in law, governance, and a lack of respect for diversity, creating a worrying situation for society. Outdated laws contribute to issues of corruption and a lack of faith in the political and administrative systems of the country.-The aforementioned challenges contribute to poverty, inequality, and hardship for the citizens. Urgent solutions are required to create a better future for all Thais.----------------------------- This government maintains policies that protect and uphold the monarchy, create correct understanding, and disseminate royal initiatives to promote the nation’s fundamental institution as a mechanism to cultivate virtue and morality in life.- In the short term, the government’s work framework needs to stimulate expenditure. In the medium and long term, it’s necessary to enhance the capabilities of the citizens.----------------------------The 10,000 Baht Stipend PolicyThis policy will serve as an economic stimulus to rejuvenate the economy comprehensively and circulate throughout all areas down to the grassroots. It encourages consumer spending and creates opportunities for people to engage in professions. Meanwhile, the business sector will expand its investment, resulting in increased production, job creation, and professional opportunities. The government will receive a return in the form of taxes, and importantly, lay the foundation for a digital economy in the country.----------------------------The Government Urgent Policies1. Debt Relief in Agriculture, Business, and Public Sectors: The government will alleviate the debt burden by offering suitable debt moratoriums for farmers. Additionally, they will assist in reducing financial capital debt for the general public, as well as medium and small-sized businesses. This will give them an opportunity to recover and resume operations, without compromising financial discipline.2. Reducing Energy Costs for the Public: Energy costs are a significant factor in both daily life and economic activities. The government will support effective energy price management, including electricity, cooking gas, and fuel costs, to maintain them at a reasonable level. Plans will be put in place to shift the country’s energy usage structure, focusing on sustainable sourcing and promoting clean energy aligned with economic and environmental development.3. Boosting Tourism Revenue: Tourism is identified as a key driver for short-term revenue generation and job creation. The government will waive visa fees for targeted tourist groups and implement Fast Track VISAs for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) participants to stimulate tourist spending towards year-end.4. Addressing Constitutional Differences: The aim is to establish a more democratic constitution while upholding the governance model that respects the monarchy as the symbolic head of state. No changes will be made concerning the royal provisions. The government will consult various approaches for a public referendum that emphasizes public participation in drafting rules that are modern, democratic, and universally accepted.--------------------Mid-Term and Long-Term Government Policies for Improving the Lives of Thai People in Various DimensionsStrategies for Income Generation- Opening trade doors to new markets such as the European Union, Middle Eastern countries, India, Africa, and South America while also focusing on existing markets. This involves meeting leaders of various countries to stimulate mutual trade through accelerated trade cooperation agreements like Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or elevating passport status to enable travel to more countries without requiring visas.- Furthermore, promoting new economies such as the digital economy and advanced technology industries to enhance the country’s competitive advantage. Extending special economic zones and the economy in all four regions to decentralize economic activities to various provinces.- Investing in the country’s transportation infrastructure, including road, water, rail, and air, to expand Thailand’s trade and opportunities. This maximizes the benefits of the country’s assets and people and caters to the world’s emerging demand for new products and services.- Employing the principle of "Market-driven, innovation-supported, and income-enhancing" to support the agricultural sector’s efficiency and productivity. There will be effective water management to meet local demands, and agricultural land will be managed using precision agriculture techniques. Also, providing proper pricing for agricultural products.- The income generated through the above policies is a crucial factor for dignified living for the Thai people, fair wages, and minimum wages in line with a dignified life. This supports workers in accessing appropriate welfare benefits as the country’s economy expands.Directions for Creating and Expanding Opportunities for Citizens:- Utilizing assets to create opportunities for employment, income, and life stability. This includes speeding up land ownership rights, considering turning ownership documents into land deeds, thereby facilitating access to capital. Additionally, promoting ways to generate income from land, such as planting suitable perennial trees according to the area’s nature, and promoting fair and universal carbon credit trading systems.- Transitioning the government’s role from a rule-driven entity to one that supports and unlocks citizens’ potential. This involves repealing unnecessary laws, such as those related to local liquor, and decentralizing power for more efficient administration at the provincial and local government organization levels. Modern technology should be employed to increase efficiency in service delivery and transform the government into a digital entity.- Opening doors for foreign labor and experts to benefit the economy and society. This will address the labor needs of both the production and service sectors, as well as the development of technology.- Building “Soft Power” to elevate the creative thinking of Thai people to generate value, income, and extend arts, culture, and promote local wisdom. Support the concept of “One Family, One Skill" in Soft Power.- In education, moving forward with reforms and creating a lifelong learning society. Promoting the potentials of students according to their aptitude, generating future income, and distributing educational power to allow students comprehensive access to learning. Providing suitable learning tools is crucial, and the government places emphasis on nationwide teacher quality improvement, including career counselors to help students receive beneficial advice for choosing courses and careers.Creating a Good Quality of Life, Safety, Dignity, and Pride for the Thai People- Quality of Life in Terms of Security and Safety: The focus is on ensuring internal and external stability in line with the global context. To do this, the structure of security agencies will be modernized to address the security threats of the 21st century. Efforts will be made to develop the military into a significant force for the nation’s development. Changes will be implemented in the military conscription to a voluntary system, creative training will be provided for military students, a reduction in high-ranking military officers will be adjusted, and the Armed Forces’ strength will be aligned with current and future tasks. Furthermore, the procurement processes under the Ministry of Defence will be modernized and made transparent. Surplus military land will also be repurposed for public benefit. In terms of public safety, the government aims to eliminate the influence of organized crime and drug addiction from Thai society by adopting a "change addicts into patients" policy for effective rehabilitation.- Quality of Life in Terms of a Clean Environment: The government will take care of resources and the environment that impact public health. Urgent efforts will be made to restore the fertility of soil and water. Problems like environmental degradation and pollution will be addressed to return a clean environment to the people. There will be a rush to solve the annual worsening PM2.5 issue by using economic incentives, both positive and negative, in the agricultural sector, and by collaborating with neighboring countries.- Quality of Life in Terms of Public Health: The government aims to enhance the effectiveness of the “30 Baht Treats All Diseases” policy. It will become more comprehensive, more convenient, and will reduce the need for people to travel into cities, thereby reducing congestion and the burden on healthcare staff. Medical services can be accessed through a single national ID card, and all the information will be securely connected to a database.- Quality of Life in Terms of Equality: Regardless of the vulnerable groups, disabled, elderly, ethnic groups, everyone will be honored, dignified, employed, have income, and a better quality of life through “state welfare.” There will also be support for the equality of various gender groups, and the use of a Women’s Role Development Fund will open opportunities for women in communities to access capital for income generation and stable livelihoods.---------------------------- The government will drive the economy, politics, society, and environment with accurate information by fully adopting digital technology. Special focus will be given to cyber threat prevention, media literacy, and equipping the public with digital skills to accelerate national progress.- At the same time, the government does not neglect its foundational responsibilities in collaboration with the public, such as creating justice in safeguarding citizens’ rights and preventing and eradicating corruption involving the public.- The government will establish its role on the global stage, emphasizing balanced diplomatic relations with various countries. This will be based on the nation’s interests and maintaining Thailand’s leadership role in the region and sub-region. Collaboration with groups of countries and international economic organizations will be sought to build confidence in Thailand.------------------------- In the next four years, these will be the years where the government lays new foundational structures for the country, anchored by strong and trustworthy legal principles. These will be transparent, verifiable, and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, while emphasizing public participation in the process.- In terms of budget management, the government will act with a targeted approach in the aspects of growth, reducing inequality, and maintaining stability. Fiscal discipline will be strictly adhered to, especially regarding the nation’s tax income. Efficiency in tax collection will be improved along with promoting trade, investment, and tourism to generate income for the public. This money will, in turn, feed back into the tax system to fund future policies.- In conclusion, the government assures the Parliament and the people of Thailand that it will administer the nation with honesty, integrity, and with the collective interests of the public and the country at the forefront. Efforts will be poured into implementing policies to elevate economic, social, and quality-of-life development for the public, providing a better life for everyone and a brighter future for our offspring from now on.
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First Mobile Cabinet Meeting to Focus on Northeast Economy11 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is now focusing on boosting the economy of Thailand’s northeastern region, with plans to host his first mobile cabinet meeting in Nong Bua Lamphu province in November. The decision follows his inspection trip to the northeastern region, where he identified pressing issues such as low incomes, drug-related problems and the impact of drought on the local population.During his visit to Nong Khai, Srettha emphasized the potential for economic growth in provinces like Khon Kaen and Udon Thani, citing their proximity to Laos and their airports that can boost tourism. He also discussed the second phase of the dual-track train project from Khon Kaen to Nong Khai, highlighting its importance and profitability.The government also made clear its plans to collaborate with various agencies to enhance facilities for the local export industry, ensuring it remains competitive with neighboring countries such as Laos and China. The president of the Chamber of Commerce and business sector representatives in Nong Khai are meanwhile looking to build a bridge connecting Nong Khai and Vientiane to be completed by 2029, and have requested the establishment of a business center for traders.The group has also urged support for Khon Kaen University’s plan to open a high-speed railway engineering school, with the aim of improving the labor sector in the northeastern region while advocating for pro-Nong Khai economic policies. The premier noted that he plans to return to the region to follow up on infrastructure projects in the near future.
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Srettha’s Cabinet ready for work07 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Cabinet ministers under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s administration today outlined their work priorities as they met in a special meeting at Government House. Minister of Public Health Dr. Chonlanan Srikaew said he intended to improve the universal health system, allowing citizens to have access to services at any healthcare facility using only their ID card. The health minister did not mention the timeframe for this goal to be achieved, but said he needed to look into the details of this plan. Minister of Social Development and Human Security Varawut Silpa-archa said his family and Chart Thai Pattana Party have for decades been working on social issues and helping people with disabilities, which he wishes to continue in this administration. Mr. Varawut said he was prepared to start working on several urgent tasks, which shall proceed after the declaration of government policies before the parliament. He also expressed his confidence that the debt issue faced by the National Housing Authority can be solved.Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anutin Charnvirakul said everything within the Ministry of Interior is urgent. He said he was prepared to work together with civil servants and had already gathered input from the Permanent Secretary of Interior. On the topic of decentralization, the minister said there have always been efforts made in this regard such as the transfer of hospitals from the Ministry of Public Health to provincial administrative organizations.Lastly, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Anucha Nakasai said he can work comfortably with Cabinet members from other political parties. He promised his ministry would continue the cattle farming promotion campaign and that all the responsibilities within the ministry would be delegated by Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Capt Thamanat Prompow.
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New Cabinet Receives Royal Endorsement03 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - His Majesty the King has formally endorsed members of the new cabinet, as nominated by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.The new cabinet list, which was published in the Royal Gazette on Saturday (2 Sep), included 34 members. Prime Minister Srettha will also serve as finance minister in this cabinet lineup.The cabinet is scheduled to be granted an audience with His Majesty to be sworn in on Tuesday (5 Sep) and is expected to announce its policy statement in Parliament within this week. The first official cabinet meeting is expected to convene on September 11.Srettha is meanwhile scheduled to leave the country on September 19 to attend the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. The Prime Minister confirmed that he and other cabinet members will attend high level meetings of the 78th Session, which take place from September 18-26.
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Royal Pardon Granted to Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra01 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been granted a royal pardon, reducing his remaining prison sentence to one year. The pardon comes after Thaksin submitted an official petition to the Royal Court.Thaksin was serving a total of 8 years in prison across three cases. The first case, involving misconduct in public office, led to a 3-year sentence. The second case, also related to misconduct in public office as well as violations of state organization employment laws, resulted in a 2-year sentence. The third case, which centered around conflict of interest in public service, carried a 5-year sentence. He had already served 10 days, leaving him with 7 years, 11 months, and 20 days remaining in his term, which he was carrying out in a special Bangkok prison.In his petition, Thaksin expressed remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions. He also cited health concerns and advanced age as additional reasons for requesting the pardon. The former Prime Minister has been recognized for his contributions to the nation and for his loyalty and respect towards the monarchy.The pardon allows Thaksin the opportunity to utilize his expertise and experience for the benefit of the nation, society, and its people moving forward.
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Thaksin Shinawatra Submits Request for Royal Pardon01 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has formally submitted a request for a royal pardon, according to Justice Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who also serves as the caretaker Deputy Premier. Thaksin’s return to Thailand on August 22 after 15 years of self-imposed exile has sparked significant attention. He had been living abroad since August 2008 and was subsequently sentenced to an eight-year prison term for corruption charges related to his time in office.Thaksin’s recent return saw him initially taken to Police General Hospital for emergency treatment due to high blood pressure within 24 hours of entering prison. Reports indicate that he is undergoing treatment for multiple health issues. Wissanu confirmed Thaksin’s current treatment at the hospital.Wissanu stated that he has received Thaksin’s application for a royal pardon, and further proceedings will follow. However, he refrained from disclosing specifics about the content of the document or whether Thaksin personally wrote it. He emphasized the confidentiality of the matter, considering it a personal issue.Regarding concerns of preferential treatment, Wissanu dismissed any notion that Thaksin was receiving special privileges from the authorities. He affirmed Thaksin’s right to apply for a royal pardon and emphasized that all actions would adhere to the applicable laws and regulations.
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