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Thai labour market faces dual challenges

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Professor David Card, left, a labour economist and professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Kiatanantha Lounkaew, right, assistant to the vice president for research at DPU

Professor David Card, left, a labour economist and professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Kiatanantha Lounkaew, right, assistant to the vice president for research at DPU

THAILAND IS facing two challenging factors – greater connectivity of social and economic communities in the world and the emergence of an ageing society – that will actively shape the country’s labour market.

The Asean Economic Community, effective by the end of this year, will also encourage a bigger flow of labourers within the region. The number of workers migrating into Thailand will rise as they seek higher incomes and better living standards.

Nakorn Silpa-archa, permanent secretary of the Labour Ministry, said Thailand became an ageing society in 2003. The United Nations has projected that by 2030, people older than 65 will represent about 23 per cent of the country’s population.

Thailand is not alone on this route. By 2025, the population aged above 65 will exceed 65 million in Asean. That is about the size of Thailand’s population today. It is inevitable that this trend will soon emerge in many newly developed and developing countries.

In a speech at the fourth Australian National University-Dhurakij Pundit University Conference, held in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) and the Labour Ministry on Thursday at DPU, Nakorn said the trend would surely shape Thailand’s labour market, welfare systems, social cohesion and the path to the country’s prosperity.

“These challenges will transform our societies. However, whether this transformation will be for the better or for the worse will depend on our capacity to come up with innovative solutions to address these challenges,” he said.

“In addition, as the world becomes more connected socially and economically, decisions to migrate to seek better opportunities beyond one’s motherland is on the rise. Taking both ageing and migration into account, one can see that labour markets across the globe are in a transformational period.”

Associate Professor Varakorn Samakoses, DPU president, said Thailand’s population structure was changing rapidly, and approaching a “full ageing” society. In about seven years, one-fifth of the population will be over 60 years old.

Ageing brings about changes in the labour market. It is also a good opportunity for people from other countries to migrate to replace the ageing labour force. These changes must be dealt with carefully. Informed policies have to be made simultaneously on several fronts. Thus it is the right time for Thailand to look around for lessons that will help it cope better with the challenges.

At the same forum, Professor David Card, a labour economist and professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, spoke about structural change in the labour market as the economy develops, using the US labour market as a case study.

Migration patterns have changed over time from just unskilled migration to skilled workers as well moving into the country. This pattern has already happened in the United States and it will also happen in the near future in Asia, including Thailand, he said.

“We cannot have just one set of migration policies to deal with both skilled and unskilled migrants at the same time. Skilled migrants need a more flexible screening procedure in order to attract the right group of skilled migrants to the economy,” Card said.

He said Thailand was both an importer and exporter of migrant workers. It has imported unskilled migrants to reduce shortages in its labour market, but the country has also lost a lot of skilled workers who have moved overseas for higher incomes.

Meanwhile Bruce Chapman, an economist and professor at Australian National University, said the migrant-exporting countries used public money to invest in higher education of their citizens. But these graduates tend to move overseas, thus they cannot contribute to their home country. Therefore the importing countries, such as Australia, have to find a way to compensate for these migrants.

Kiatanantha Lounkaew, assistant to the vice president for research at DPU, said: “We have a lot of support from the ministries of Labour, Public Health, Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, and Social Development and Human Security. But that is not enough, because we do not have a comprehensive database on migrants, which makes it difficult for us to monitor them. If we cannot monitor them, we will not be able to look after them as well as we would like to.

“Illegal migrants are still a challenge for Thailand. We have to find a way to bring them into the system. There are many policies that are already in place, but they need to be rigorously evaluated to see what works or does not work so we can channel resources accordingly,” he said.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Transport links will make Thailand regional hub: PM

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


IMPROVED transport connectivity between Thailand and its neighbours will propel this country into becoming a true regional centre, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said.

He made the remark on his weekly television programme yesterday.

He said progress had been made in the development of the nation’s rail system. Linkages will be created between Thailand and other countries in the region, making the Kingdom a true regional hub.

There will be two projects establishing dual-track, 1-metre-gauge rail lines. The first involves six urgent sub-projects that will span a total of 903 kilometres and are slated for implementation this year. They include three routes where environmental impact assessments (EIAs) have already been completed and where associated land-expropriation bills have been approved.

The first route is the 106km stretch connecting Chachoengsao, Klong 19 and Kaeng Khoi district, Saraburi. The second route is the 185km Chira Road-Khon Kaen stretch. The third is the 167km stretch from Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon.

EIAs are taking place for three other routes, namely the 48km stretch from Lop Buri to Pak Nam Pho in Nakhon Sawan, the 132km stretch from Map Kabao to Chira Road train station, and the 165km stretch from Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin.

The second project involves the next phase of the rail-development project, where studies and designs for eight more routes will be undertaken this year. The routes include Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan, Pak Nam Pho-Den Chai, Chira Road-Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen-Nong Khai, Chumphon-Surat Thani, Hat Yai-Padang Besa, and Denchai-Chiang Mai.

Meanwhile, development of the 1.435-metre-gauge rail lines will involve state-to-state collaboration. The Thai government will cooperate with the governments of countries that have expressed interest, such as China and Japan. Negotiations are taking place about the details of investment models, as well as financing for and administration of each project.

“As for high-speed rail lines, there have been proposals from the Thai private sector,” Prayut said.

“We want to bring about modernisation, spur urban development and employment, and generate income for all areas that the rail lines pass through. I have tasked agencies with finding information and conclusions on how this can be achieved, for both short routes and those serving many commuters, namely the Bangkok-Pattaya-Rayong-U-tapao route and the Bangkok-Hua Hin route.

“Cost-effectiveness has to be considered. It is probable that either the public-private-partnership model or the infra-fund model of investment will be utilised. The government will work to yield tangible progress this year.

“Many have expressed concern over whether the high-speed trains will be too expensive. I have studied Japan as an example.

“Initially, the cost would be high and people may not fully utilise the service. Japan also utilised income from commercial activities along concession areas on both train routes. Shopping centres and markets could be set up in said areas. This would involve joint investment between the state and private sectors. Letting only one of the parties handle this activity may not benefit the country as much, and could also result in mistrust from society and the public.”

Aside from shopping centres, he said, joint investment might take the form of residential buildings for low-income earners or the construction of markets and other venues to boost local income. This would allow relieve crowding in urban communities, while also providing space for the public to engage in trade.

High-speed trains will obviously incur high cost, the prime minister said. However, the private sector can help shoulder this cost. Several companies, business groups and prominent business figures have expressed interest and readiness to collaborate with the government, he said, adding that conditions will have to be looked at in more detail.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

More community role envisaged for tourism

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


THE DEPARTMENT of Tourism has proposed the establishment of “destination management organisations” (DMOs) in each community to facilitate development of ecological, historical and cultural tourist attractions.

Acting Second Lieutenant Arnupap Gaesornsuwan, director-general of the department, said it had laid out plans to allow greater participation by local communities in the management of tourist attractions under the “Discover Thainess” theme.

According to the plan, each community with tourist attractions will be asked to nominate a working committee for the DMO to draw up development plans and frameworks to on a self-reliance basis.

It is hoped that this scheme will result in better management of tourist attractions, so they can more vividly depict the unique characteristics and lifestyle of the community on a sustainable basis.

Another aim is to prevent the expansion of low-quality tourism businesses. To move forward with the DMO idea, the government will hold a meeting next month with local tourism agencies that are allocated budgets from the Bureau of Tourist Attraction Development.

The DMOs will be expected to collaborate with relevant agencies from both the government and private sectors.

The government input would include provincial governors, provincial offices of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, municipal offices, tambon administrative organisations, and agencies directly responsible for tourist attractions such as the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the Department of Fine Arts.

As for the private sector, the DMOs would collaborate with tourism-related businesses in the area, local tourist guides, restaurants, and local traders. Representatives from these entities are expected to brainstorm and collaborate to bring about the good management of the tourist attractions in terms of infrastructure, facilities, safety, marketing, public relations, and the attractions’ unique selling points.

“I believe that 2015 will be the golden year of Thailand’s tourism,” Arnupap said. “Not only is it the ‘Discover Thainess’ year, it will see strong growth of tourist arrivals based on the tourism statistics and forecasts.

“The favourable trends will greatly benefit the national economy as a whole. However, we cannot ignore the fact that there may be adverse impacts from the growth in tourism. Therefore, we must be well prepared in every aspect, as we need both the government and private sectors, which used to work separately, to be working closely together to make the project work.”

The department believes that it is not necessary for all local DMOs to be identical. Each one should position itself according to the unique characteristic of the tourist attractions in the area. For example, the DMO of a historical attraction should involve representatives from the Department of Fine Arts, the local administrative body, and tourism businesses; an ecological attraction should involve the local Regional Office of Protected Areas, local administrative bodies, the community itself, and the private agencies.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

AEC will be a boon to FDI, international experts agree

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Economic experts share their views at the forum, entitled

Economic experts share their views at the forum, entitled

MORE FOREIGN direct investment (FDI) will flow into each Southeast Asian country, especially into infrastructure and innovative products, after the Asean Economic Community becomes fully effective at the end of this year, economic experts said yesterday.

At a seminar on “Opportunities in a New Era of Enhanced Asean-Japan Partnership”, they agreed that the AEC would be the largest single market in the region and open opportunities to link its members to the rest of the world. That would challenge foreign interests to invest more in Asean.

The event yesterday was organised by Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO), the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), and Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) with support from Chula Global Network, Chulalongkorn University and Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo, Nation Multimedia Group and Asia News Network (ANN).

Anton H Gunawan, independent commissioner of Indonesia’s Bank Mandiri, said his country would see more FDI, especially from Japan, which would expand its investment in infrastructure and manufacturing. China will also invest more in Indonesia and Asean as a whole.

Steven CM Wong, deputy chief executive of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Malaysia, said the AEC would be a big boost to trade and investment between Asean and other countries as tariffs and non-tariff barriers are lowered.

Sunanta Kangvalkulkij, deputy director-general of the Thai Commerce Ministry’s Department of Trade Negotiations, said Asean had already signed five free-trade agreements, with China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Australia and New Zealand. This opened opportunities for trade and investment in Asean.

“The AEC has also reduced non-tariff barriers and border-trade obstacles to encourage more investment,” she said.

Masayasu Hosumi, president of Jetro Bangkok and chief representative for Asean and South Asia for the Japan External Trade Organisation, said the AEC would boost investment and trade betweenAsean and others countries. Asean is already a base for Japanese manufacturing.

Fukunari Kimura, chief economist of the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia, said Asean would enter a new era when the AEC becomes effective late this year. FDI will expand in this region, including in infrastructure, manufacturing, and innovative products.

“The AEC has played and will play an important role in pursuing the development model. The key words in the AEC beyond 2015 should be ‘connectivity and innovation’,” he said.

Tin Maung Maung Than, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and a Myanmar national, said it would be important for Japan to invest in Asean so as to transfer technology and develop local labour skills.

Kalin Sarasin, secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, who is also managing director of SCG Trading Co, said Japan had been investing in Thailand for a long time. Siam Cement Group has joint ventures with Japanese companies including Kubota.

He acknowledged that a benefit of joint investment with Japan was technology and knowledge transfer. This would be particularly useful to make the government’s “digital economy” hopes a reality.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Prayut to lead ‘super board’ on education system reform

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


PM Eyes amending existing laws and overhauling structures to boost sector

PRIME MINISTER General Prayut Chan-o-cha announced yesterday that he will head the soon-to-established “super board” for education.

“And I will try to yield results as soon as I can,” he said in his weekly “Returning Happiness to People” TV programme last night.

Despite the huge budget set aside for the education sector, relevant authorities say it still needs major changes.

“I want to be able to give clear orders, as the existing units within the Education Ministry and the NRC [National Reform Council] have not been able to yield very concrete results due to limitations and regulations,” Prayut said.

He said he has already spoken to the education minister to ensure this will not interfere with his work.

Prayut has also set his sights on amending related laws and overhauling structures for the sake of better education.

“I want to be able to make adjustments to the education system right now, in terms of class structure, fairness and the curriculum. Important subjects such as civic duties, history, democracy and patriotism need to be included,” he said. “I will try to heed the public’s demands by addressing the question of making learning a constructive experience while also upholding quality.”

He said the country also needs to rethink the procurement of textbooks and learning materials. The Education Ministry will have a committee to evaluate the quality of textbooks before they are passed on to the Office of Basic Education Commission and a panel made up of representatives of teachers, parents, community leaders and student councils for approval.

“We will have to find out how we can acquire quality textbooks that are inexpensive. Can old textbooks be used, supplemented with inserts or sheets that contain additional content? The government may also have to take care of the expenses associated with textbooks, from kindergarten up to the end of basic education.”

Lessons needed to be modernised, he said, and management synchronised on different levels in line with the national economic and social development plan.

Prayut said his government would also look into the issue of tutorial schools.

“Don’t assume that I am trying to get them to pay taxes. I want a more concrete structure and for greater fairness. I’m not banning anybody, but there is a need for rules,” he said.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Bangkok’s Khlong Thom ‘Dark Market’ set to become latest casualty of junta’s cleanup

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom night market

Khlong Thom night market

Khlong Thom night market

Khlong Thom night market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

Khlong Thom market

THE CURTAIN is set to come down on Khlong Thom night market, one of Bangkok’s largest street markets which dates back over three decades.

After tomorrow, the market – highly popular with street shoppers, as it has every kind of goods, either brand-new or second-hand, all at bargain prices – will be known only for what it was.

Khlong Thom is a “casualty” like other public places that have been subject to crackdowns by the Prayut government such as beaches cluttered with deck chairs and people renting umbrellas, plus street hawkers.

The government has said its intention to crack down on street hawkers is to return footpaths to pedestrians. But in the case of Khlong Thom, it is not just footpaths, because every Saturday night vendors block cars from entering nine streets in the inner city – so they can be turned into shopping venues as dusk or night falls. The market continues on from Saturday night till Sunday night.

On December 8 last year, Bangkok Metropolitan Adminis-tration advisor Wallop Suwannadi delivered an order that struck down the market, declaring that traders would be allowed to sell only till the end of last year.

The BMA will on Monday dispatch 600 police, soldiers and municipal police to ensure shoppers comply with the order.

The nine streets that make up Khlong Thom market are Charoenkrung, Worajak, Sua Pa, Plabplachai, Mahachak, Yommarajsukhum, Chao Kaorop and Srithammathirat in the Pom Prab Sattru Phai district of Bangkok.

More than 2,000 traders display their goods fully on the roads and footpaths. Some shophouses on these streets also take the opportunity to trade as thousands come to shop for inexpensive goods in this street market.

Khlong Thom is also known as the “Dark Market” because goods are laid down on streets and alleys that are not brightly illuminated. Shoppers carry torches to shine a light on items while shopping. That is why it has also been called the “Torch Market”.

Others believe that the name “Dark Market” derives from the fact that some items sold there came from robberies and thefts, such as motorcycle and car parts. This is another reason police crack down on the market and vendors – to try to reduce the chance of thieves selling stolen goods.

For shoppers this market presents thrills and challenges, because if they are lucky they can get valuable items at a bargain price. Most of the goods sold are second-hand products such as clocks, watches, toy cars, mechanic tools, clothes, shoes, electrical appliances. What are most sought after by shoppers are antiques, plus old and rare items.

Debate has raged on social media as to whether the market should be shut down with opponents and supporters arguing over the plan to shift shoppers at Khlong Thom elsewhere.

Before the curtain came down, traders called on the BMA, on December 23, to allow them two more months.

The BMA has said that they can sell their goods under the expressway across the capital (but only on Sunday), plus other markets such as the old Southern Bus Terminal, the Tha Din Daeng Market, Ratchadapisek Market, Soho market, Thon Buri market and the Saithong Property’s markets.

Chatchawal, 37, who sells snacks at the Khlong Thom market, said the BMA refused to talk or assist the traders and dismissed reports that the BMA had helped find other markets for traders. He said he depended on this market for his livelihood for over 20 years.

“We do not know what to do – we cannot protest because martial law is in force. I am very stressed out, as I do not know where can I make a living. Most traders in shophouses can hardly make sales on weekdays,” he said.

A shopper identified only as Muay, 35, said she was mesmerised by the market – the massive variety and amount of cheap goods available, as well as just viewing. She had shopped there regularly for more than 10 years, she said.

“Where can we find a market that you can buy goods at such a bargain price? I felt so saddened by the demise of this market. I wonder why the big fuss about closing it down when the market only opens one night a week. Now where can I go on Saturday night?” she said.

Another shopper known as Too, 24, said he was a big fan of Khlong Thom. He took every chance he had if he was free on Saturday night to shop at the market.

“I was shocked upon hearing the news about the market closing. I love shopping for toys like cartoon characters, as I collect them. Goods here are so cheap – where else can you find things this cheap?” he said.

However, Por, 30, a former resident whose house was at the heart

of Khlong Thom market, voiced delight at hearing news that the market would close.

She said every Saturday night she could not sleep because sellers put on loud music to try to lure shoppers. It upset her so much, she decided to buy a new house in the suburbs and move out.

It remains to be seen if tonight will be the last night of the Dark Market.


กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Japanese diplomats visit deep South

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


THE SOUTHERN Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) told Japanese diplomats yesterday that international support was necessary for restoring peace and development in Thailand’s restive South.

Japanese charge d’affaires Osamu Izawa led a team of diplomats to visit the deep South and collect information from local authorities and residents yesterday.

Kwanchart Wongsuparanant, SBPAC’s deputy secretary-general, told them that the situation in the predominantly Muslim region had improved, though sensitivities remained in many parts of the region.

Local residents are confident in the security owing to SBPAC’s work and the government’s efforts to maintain peace and order in the area, he said.

“The government has a clear policy to solve the problem peacefully via dialogue. It might be difficult initially, but we can build trust among concerned parties,” Kwanchart told the diplomats.

Thai authorities have been struggling since early 2004 to contain violence in the deep South, where 6,300 people have been killed as peace talks with separatists have not yet shown tangible success.

The civilian-led SBPAC functions as a development unit in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat to help boost local living standards, Kwanchart said.

SBPAC is working to develop human resources, education and social welfare, notably for those affected by violence, he said.

“Education for the young is our priority. We have tried our best to seek scholarships for children to get higher education and training to develop their skills overseas,” he said. Indonesia and Bahrain are among the countries that have offered help in terms of education, he added.

“I believe other countries and international organisations can help us achieve our development goal in the deep South,” he said.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Parents of former princess confess to defaming the monarchy

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


The parents of former princess Thanpuying Srirasm Suwadee were taken into police custody yesterday after confessing to defaming the monarchy.

Apiruj Suwadee, 72, and his wife Wanthanee, 66, told reporters at a Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police conference that they had confessed to defaming the monarchy, lodging a malicious claim and getting officials to file false charges against a woman from Ratchaburi province.

The Ratchaburi woman had earlier filed a police complaint against the couple.

“We confess to all charges. We had no bad intentions in what we said or did. We still have high respect for the monarchy,” Wanthanee told the police.

Her husband Apiruj said he felt remorse for his actions and pleaded for mercy from the Royal Family for the damage that he and his family had done.

The police have opposed their request for bail because the pair face charges involving the monarchy, the CSD’s acting commander Pol Colonel Akkaradej Pimolsri said yesterday. He said the couple’s daughter Panita would be allowed to accompany them due to their old age and poor health.

The Central Investigation Bureau’s acting commander Pol Maj-General Thitiraj Nongharnpitak said yesterday that Apiruj and Wanthanee confessed on their own and there had been no coercion.

The Criminal Court denied their request for bail yesterday.


กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Senior police officers moved after Army leads raids on gambling dens

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


TWO SENIOR metropolitan police commanders have been transferred to inactive posts after military officers earlier raided two Bangkok gambling dens in their jurisdiction.

Royal Thai Police chief Pol-General Somyot Poompanmuang said a clarification over frequent raids from Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lieutenant Srivara Ransibrahmanakul would be needed before he would decide if Sriwara would be held responsible for alleged inaction in the police’s anti-vice efforts.

The two officers transferred were the heads of Metropolitan Police Division 2 and 4, where the gambling dens were – in Bang Khen and Khok Khram police stations’ jurisdiction, respectively.

RTP spokesman Pol Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri said that Pol Maj-Generals Korkiat Wongsumeth and Piyaphan Pingmuang currently serve at an RTP unit for an indefinite timeframe.

He said officers from the Central Investigation Bureau would now be assigned to help the MPB with anti-vice operations, but this new CIB role was not an intervention into MPB affairs or duties.

Speaking later, Somyot said the Army units were taking active roles in anti-vice operations because they were authorised to initiate raids under martial law. He said the Army raids were not considered interference in police duties and many raids were joint operations with police taking part.

A team of 50 soldiers and 10 local police raided a network of notorious gambling dens in Bangkok’s Tao Poon area yesterday afternoon, and seized a large number of handguns, betting equipment and narcotics.

Somyot said after that dens were now operating in a smaller way following suppression by the military in a social reform move. This made it more difficult for the police to keep tracks of the dens’ operations and suppress them.

“This is not an excuse for the MPB -therefore the CIB has been assigned to assist, from now on,” he said.

The raids were initially resisted by local residents, who allegedly act as lookouts, as has been reported regularly in news reports over the years. They accused the officials of damaging private property and causing a disturbance after officials hammered down many walls and cut off padlocks, and found the contraband items.

The items found were marijuana, spent “ice” flakes, eight pistols and ammunition, one gambling machine and a list of people banned from entering the dens.

The raids were conducted by troops from the Second Cavalry Division along with city administration police and 10 police from Tao Poon station.

News reports cited an earlier statement by Somyot about the Tao Poon gambling network having not been used recently. He said MPB recently reported to him that dens in the network were full of spider webs and covered with dust – a finding reported by a team of soldiers and police who raided them on an unspecified date.


กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Abbot will face DSI probe over donations

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Phra Dhammachayo received huge sums from the troubled Klongchan cooperative

DHAMMAKAYA TEMPLE’S abbot, Phra Dhammachayo, will have to explain to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) how he came to receive massive donations from the embezzlement-plagued Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative.

“The money was transferred to the abbot’s personal bank account,” Pol Lt-Colonel Somboon Sarasit, who heads the DSI’s Special Crime 3 Bureau, said yesterday.

During his time as the cooperative’s chairman, Supachai Srisupaaksorn issued 15 cheques with a combined value of more than Bt800 million for Dhammakaya Temple and Phra Dhammachayo. Investigations show the temple and the abbot cashed 13 of the cheques, receiving more than Bt700 million from the cooperative.

Nearly half of the amount went to Phra Dhammachayo, said Somboon.

Supachai and several other former executives are now accused of embezzling more than Bt12 billion from the cooperative. |More than 10,000 people have suffered |as a result of the embezzlement.

In the wake of the scandal, Phra Dhammachayo and the temple this year said they would return the money to the cooperative. Their promise has not, however, resulted in the authorities easing up on the attention they are giving to the two.

Somboon yesterday said that just like other recipients of the cooperative’s money, Phra Dhammachayo would be summoned for questioning.

“For the time being, we are waiting for evidence from financial institutions,” he said. “After this, we will summon them.”

The DSI has found that in addition to Dhammakaya Temple and related figures, Supachai also gave the cooperative’s money to other parties, including SW Holding Group and its director Sathaporn Wattanasirikul, and Mongkol Setthee Credit Union Limited.

Besides the current issue, Phra Dhammachayo is already embroiled in much controversy. But he has never commented.

Paiboon Nititawan, who chairs the National Reform Council’s committee on the protection of Buddhism, has also spoken up about a 1999 statement of the then-Supreme Patriarch that suggested Dhammachayo be defrocked over an embezzlement case.

The Sangha Supreme Council (SSC), meanwhile, has decided to set up a panel to monitor work related to the reform and protection of Buddhism in the wake of the NRC’s decision to form the Paiboon-headed committee.

According to the SSC resolution that was made on February 20, but only publicly released yesterday, the panel will report to the SSC. It has six members, four of whom also sit on the SSC.

The SSC has lately also faced much pressure after news reports, which were later dismissed, said it had ruled in favour of Phra Dhammachayo on February 20. According to a now-released statement, the SSC only resolved to acknowledge a report by the National Office of Buddhism on Phra Dhammachayo’s case, and did not issue any ruling on the matter. The report gave details on what the office presented to the panel.

This week, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam publicly said the SSC should release the statement on its resolutions in order to clear public doubt.

The uproar has threatened to cause a divide among monks and other Buddhists, with some monks having already come forward to express different opinions.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha did not directly mention the matter during his weekly TV programme. But he said: “As for the sensitive issue of religious affairs, Deputy PM Wissanu and PM’s Office Minister Suwaphan [Tanyuvardhana] have been tasked with studying the nature of the problem. I would rather not use the words ‘conflicting parties’ because of the religious nature of the issue. However, the state has the responsibility to tackle legal violations, whether related to finances and whatnot.”


กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

SCB to pay KMITL Bt1.5 billion

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Banker has accepted responsibility for the institute’s embezzled cash

SIAM COMMERCIAL BANK yesterday agreed to a Bt1.5 billion insurance payout to cover the money embezzled from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology LatKrabang (KMITL) via the financial giant’s accounts.

Vichit Suraphongchai, SCB chairman, said a bank employee was alleged to be involved with the theft, so the bank wished to show responsibility for the damage done to the institute.

“It is SCB’s view that if the case drags on, it would have a negative impact on the reputation of the bank and the public’s confidence in the bank and the institute,” Vichit said.

“Both institutes therefore agreed to end the matter and let police handle the case according to the law and justice. We will lend full cooperation to the police investigation,” he said.

The chairman said the payment was neither an attempt to cover-up the incident nor protect wrongdoers.

He said the SCB and KMITL would jointly seek Bt1.5 billion in damages from the wrongdoers.

KMITL will again estimate its total losses and will return money to SCB if it were lower than Bt1.5 billion, he said.

SCB’s total assets are worth Bt2.7 trillion, so the Bt1.5 billion payment will not affect its services to customers, he added.

Speaking at the same press conference, acting KMITL rector Professor Monai Krairiksh said that the institute would still bank with SCB as an act of gratitude.

“No one wanted the incident to happen and for the institute, it is an important lesson and preventive measures should be put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident. It [the institute]’s financial transactions have to be stricter,” Monai said.

Meanwhile, Thawil Puengma, a former rector of KMITL, declined to comment on the signatures on the withdrawal cheques related to the theft that police said were similar to his.

A senior police investigator, Colonel Kornchai Khlaikhluen, yesterday said a number of bank accounts used in transactions for large amounts of lost or stolen money were opened before Thawil ran the institute and were closed after his tenure ended without the KMITL board being told.

Meanwhile, a police source said the Bank of Ayudhaya had obtained proof from unspecified origins that proved the signatures on a number of withdrawal cheques linked to the scandal were forged and police would take action.

A former branch manager has been detained over the theft.

Monai did not say if the Bank of Ayudhaya would compensate the institute for money stolen from its accounts, but Bt50 million had been embezzled from one bank branch.

He said the bank should not “stay idle” over the matter, although the institute had not yet contacted it.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | National, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

CDC completes section on constitutional amendments

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


CHARTER DRAFTERS yesterday completed the last section on future amendments, allowing changes to be made from the first day the new constitution goes into effect.

However, there are certain clauses that cannot be amended, such as the one stating that Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) spokesman Lertrat Ratanavanich said.

He added that this last section on constitutional amendment had established three levels of difficulty when it comes to changes: clauses that cannot be amended; those that can be amended by Parliament; and those that need public endorsement via a national referendum before being amended.

Lertrat was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the CDC meeting being held in Pattaya.

Among the clauses that require public endorsement are those related to the King and his subjects, and people the Parliament, judiciary and scrutiny |of state power, reform and reconciliation, and constitutional amendment. Lertrat said the CDC wanted the public to take part in making decisions on important issues, which is why it has marked out the clauses that need a plebiscite to amend.

He also said the new constitution would not set any time frames for amending the new charter.

“This means that as soon as the new constitution goes into effect, people who have the right to push for amendments can do so immediately,” he said.

The new constitution will also require that every five years, a committee of experts is set up to assess its effectiveness. The Parliament, Cabinet, Supreme Court, Constitution Court and Supreme Administrative Court will appoint this committee.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

NLA chief defends the appointment kin, spouses

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


PORNPETCH Vichitcholachai, president of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), said yesterday that it was understandable that NLA members would want to appoint their spouses or relatives as aides or personal experts as these were the people they could trust.

More than 50 NLA members have relatives working as salaried aides or experts.

Pornpetch explained that there was no restriction on appointing family members as aides, provided the person did not have a criminal record.

Asked if paying them a salary from taxpayers’ money was appropriate, Pornpetch said the practice predates the assembly and was in line with regulations.

‘Within bounds of law’

Pirasak Porjit, NLA vice president, said such arrangements were legal and within the discretion of each NLA member and he did not wish to criticise the practice.

It was up to each NLA member who they appointed as experts or aides, he said, and they should be able to judge if appointees were qualified or not.

NLA aides and experts earn between Bt15,000 and over Bt20,000 a month.

Among the more than 50 NLA members who have relatives as aides or experts are Air Marshal Jom Rungsawang, whose wife works as a personal expert for a monthly salary of Bt24,000.

NLA member General Somjate Boonthanom has his son working in the same position, while Somchai Sawangkarn has given the expert’s job to his brother.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Back to school, hot issues in social media this week

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



A QUIZ has been spreading among Thai social media users this week. “I wish tomorrow was yesterday, so that today would have been Friday. What day is today?”

The question became talk of the town as it spread via Line, Twitter and Facebook, as well as many websites.

As someone put it as “From the entrance exam for Kinder students of Satit Chula [Chulalongkorn University’s Demonstration School],” many people such as @pnpvr_ on Twitter moaned they could not even answer this question for small children.

While some people pay attention to finding the answer, others were concerned that Thai people believe forwarded information too easily. The media have cross-checked with the school and found out the quiz was not from the school’s test.

@KwangPerryii wrote: Satit Chula has denied [having the question]. It was not really [in] the school’s test. I’m relieved. Otherwise, life is too hard nowadays.

@DARKkSHADOWw posted: The [Satit Chula] alumni and current students cannot tweet enough to make people realise the truth. Please listen again. There is no entrance exam for Satit Chula’s kinder. We accept only the children of Chula’s staff.

Thai mainstream media reported about the incident and presented their readers/ audience with at least two answers: Sunday and Wednesday, and how the so-called “Sunday Team” and “Wednesday Team” came to their conclusion.

@nunoknaja: Soon we will see the people who are trying to solve the [so-called] Satit Chula question quarrel. Each answer is so hilarious. Hahaha.

However, some social media users continue to create gags from the question.

Warat Karuchit wrote on Facebook: I wish today, just as every day, is the Pay Day that I get my salary. Salary is real.

Gave Sathonthorn on Thursday posted a picture of herself with her baby and wrote: “We are having big smiles, thought today was Friday.”

Satinee Wisutthatham wrote: “We cannot change yesterday to be today. But we can make today better than yesterday.”

Another “drama” happened on Twitter when @knhomphing found out her tweet posted may days ago was copied and tweeted by another user, a school student, without giving credit.

She cried out for responsibility, but it turned into a war between her supporters and the student’s. Finally, the school got a bad name on Twitter.

@SHx_POPPIN: People copy even in exams. Oh, can’t tweets be copied?

In other tweets, she insisted she did nothing wrong, and wrote: “Do you want me to apologise? It’s wrong only in your view. You’d better spend your time well doing other things.”

@Lookkae04126896: “Did you protect [your tweets]? Lots of people are doing this [posting copied content]. Are you sick?”

@noppasoneve: “If you don’t want anyone to copy or fear anyone will see your tweets, lock your account. Do not let anyone follow you and don’t follow others. It’s so easy.”

@knhomphing’s supporters tried to explain about copyright and intellectual property as well as the concept of plagiarism as a crime.

@JokeDeZ: “Girls, if you copy other people’s content shamelessly like this, you should not go to university. Copying in university level of education is a big crime, especially academic content. The penalty is so much.”

@StitchZaa: “I’m not serious with the issue of copying these 140 characters but the lack of conscience.”

@Krutop_narinnuku, a teacher from the students’ school tweeted on Friday: “My student, if you copied anything of others, please delete it and apologise. You might be too naive. My apologies on behalf of my students. Please let the issue end here.”

From the social media drama this week we learnt that it is never enough to emphasise to social media users to be considerate and responsible. Media literacy is necessary, anywhere, any time, especially in the online era.

กุมภาพันธ์ 28, 2015 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

นายกฯ แจงงานเศรษฐกิจ อนุมัติช่วยเหลือหนี้เกษตรกร 8 แสนราย

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ไทยรัฐ


โดย ไทยรัฐออนไลน์ 27 ก.พ. 2558 21:00

“ประยุทธ์” แจงรื้อ ก.ม.เสร็จค่อยเปิดสัมปทานพลังงาน เชื่อใช้เวลาไม่นาน วอน คกก.ร่วมคุยกันหาข้อยุติ ไม่ขยายความขัดแย้ง รับเตรียมตั้งกรรมการสางปมร้อนศาสนา ส่วนคดีความว่าไปตามเนื้อผ้า ขอร้องอย่าสร้างกระแสปลุกระดม พร้อมอัพเดตงานแม่น้ำ 5 สาย…

วันที่ 27 ก.พ. เมื่อเวลา 20.15 น. พล.อ.ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา นายกรัฐมนตรี และหัวหน้าคณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ (คสช.) กล่าวในรายการคืนความสุขให้คนในชาติ ออกอากาศทางสถานีโทรทัศน์รวมการเฉพาะกิจตอนหนึ่งว่า เศรษฐกิจจะดีหรือไม่ดีนั้น ส่วนหนึ่งก็ขึ้นอยู่กับความมั่นคง ถ้ามีความมั่นคงสงบเรียบร้อย มีเสถียรภาพ ทั้งการเมือง ทั้งรัฐบาล ทั้งความปลอดภัยชีวิตและทรัพย์สินนั้น เศรษฐกิจต่างๆ ก็จะเดินหน้าไปได้ด้วยดี ประเทศชาติก็มีความสุข

โดยในการประชุมคณะรัฐมนตรี (ครม.) ด้านเศรษฐกิจ เมื่อสัปดาห์ที่ผ่านมาได้อนุมัติหลักการที่เสนอโดยคณะกรรมการขับเคลื่อนยุทธศาสตร์ของ คสช. ในการช่วยเหลือบรรเทาภาระหนี้สินของพี่น้องเกษตรกรผ่านธนาคารเพื่อการเกษตรและสหกรณ์ (ธ.ก.ส.) โดยมีพี่น้องเกษตรกรได้รับประโยชน์กว่า 8 แสนรายทั่วประเทศ และยังอีกหลายโครงการ คิดเป็นมูลค่าหลายหมื่นล้านบาทที่จะช่วยกระตุ้นการจ้างงานและสร้างรายได้ให้กับพี่น้องประชาชน

พล.อ.ประยุทธ์ กล่าวถึงความคืบหน้าการพัฒนาขนส่งระบบรางว่า จะมีการพัฒนาคู่ขนานเพื่อเชื่อมโยงไทยกับประเทศอื่นๆในภูมิภาค สร้างการเชื่อมต่อโดยให้เราเป็นศูนย์กลางของภูมิภาคอย่างแท้จริง ทั้งในส่วนของทางคู่ 1 เมตร โครงการเร่งด่วน 6 เส้นทาง ระยะทางรวม 903 กิโลเมตร ซึ่งจะเริ่มดำเนินการในปีนี้ และโครงการระยะ ซึ่งจะดำเนินการศึกษาอีก 8 เส้นทาง สำหรับระบบรางขนาด 1.435 เมตรนั้น ก็จะเป็นการพัฒนาโครงข่ายรถไฟที่เป็นความร่วมมือระหว่างรัฐต่อรัฐ โดยรัฐบาลไทยจะร่วมมือกับรัฐบาลประเทศต่างๆ ที่สนใจ อันได้แก่ เช่น จีน ญี่ปุ่น หรืออื่นๆ ในส่วนของเส้นทางรถไฟที่จะร่วมมือกันกับรัฐบาลจีน

ขณะนี้ได้มีการหารือคณะทำงานร่วมไปแล้ว จะเริ่มดำเนินการก่อสร้างภายในปีนี้ มีแผนจะให้แล้วเสร็จและเริ่มเดินรถได้ภายในปี 2561 สำหรับเส้นทางร่วมมือกับรัฐบาลญี่ปุ่นนั้นกำลังอยู่ระหว่างร่วมกันทำการศึกษาแนวทาง ความเหมาะสมทางภูมิศาสตร์และแนวทางการลงทุนร่วมกันอยู่

นายกฯ กล่าวต่อว่า แนวคิดเส้นทางความเร็วสูงนั้นก็มีข้อเสนอของเอกชนไทย ที่อยากจะให้ประเทศมีความทันสมัย และเพื่อให้เกิดการพัฒนาชุมชนเมือง ตนก็ได้ให้พิจารณาหาข้อมูล และหาข้อสรุป ทั้งเส้นทางระยะสั้น และเส้นทางที่มีประชาชนเดินทางคมนาคมจำนวนมาก เช่น กรุงเทพฯ-พัทยา-ระยอง-อู่ตะเภา หรือ กรุงเทพฯ-หัวหิน ซึ่งก็อาจจะต้องพิจารณาความคุ้มค่าในการดำเนินการ โดยแนวทางนั้นอาจเป็นในรูปแบบให้เอกชนร่วมลงทุน หรือการลงทุนผ่านกองทุนรวมโครงสร้างพื้นฐาน โดยจะเร่งพิจารณาให้เห็นผลชัดเจนในปีนี้

นอกจากนี้ พล.อ.ประยุทธ์ ยังได้กล่าวถึงการแก้ไขปัญหาการเปิดสัมปทานปิโตรเลียมรอบ 21 ด้วยว่า ในที่ประชุม ครม.ที่ผ่านมาได้ให้ผู้ที่เกี่ยวข้องดำเนินการด้วยความรอบคอบและฟังความเห็นประชาชนอันเป็นประโยชน์ อะไรที่เป็นปัญหา ความขัดแย้ง เห็นไม่ตรงกัน ต้องนำมาพูดคุยหารือกัน และทำให้ได้ข้อยุติ โดยในเรื่องนี้ให้มีการแก้ไขกฎหมายต่างๆ ที่เกี่ยวข้องให้เรียบร้อยก่อนจึงจะเปิดสัมปทานรอบต่อไป เชื่อว่าคงจะใช้เวลาไม่นาน ในส่วนการพูดคุยเจรจาของคณะทำงานที่ตั้งขึ้นมาโดยมีตัวแทนของภาครัฐและภาคประชาชนมาคุยกันนั้น จะถือว่าเป็นกลไกในการขับเคลื่อนให้ได้ข้อยุติ ไม่ใช่ขยายความขัดแย้ง ก็ขอให้พูดจากันให้ดีๆ และแก้ไขกฎหมายให้เรียบร้อย

สำหรับความขัดแย้งในแวดวงศาสนานั้นเป็นเรื่องที่มีความละเอียดอ่อน ตนได้มอบหมายให้ นายวิษณุ เครืองาม รองนายกรัฐมนตรี และนายสุวพันธุ์ ตันยุวรรธนะ รมต.ประจำสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี ได้ไปศึกษาทำความเข้าใจกับประเด็นปัญหา เรื่องใดที่เป็นการกระทำผิดข้อกฎหมาย เกี่ยวกับเรื่องระบบการเงิน การคลัง หรืออะไรก็แล้วแต่ ก็เป็นเรื่องของรัฐจะต้องดำเนินการ ปัจจุบันมีคดีความต่างๆ ที่ดำเนินการอยู่แล้ว ก็คงเป็นเรื่องที่เราต้องให้ทั้งสองฝ่ายดูแลไปพร้อมๆ กัน อย่าไปก้าวก่ายซึ่งกันและกัน ทำให้เกิดความโปร่งใส คิดว่าทางฝ่ายคณะสงฆ์ก็ต้องยอมรับ แล้วก็ฝ่ายประชาชน ก็ต้องยอมรับในการพูดคุยหารือกันในเรื่องนี้ ก็มีองค์กรกำกับดูแลอยู่แล้ว

“ในส่วนของทางศาสนา ก็อาจจะต้องตั้งคณะกรรมการฝ่ายสงฆ์มาช่วยดูแล ตอนนี้กำลังคิดอยู่นะครับ ก็จะได้ช่วยการทำงานของคณะสงฆ์เดิมที่มีอยู่แล้วให้มีประสิทธิภาพ ได้รับความเชื่อถือ เป็นสิ่งสำคัญนะครับ เพราะเป็นศาสนาของประเทศ ขอความร่วมมือทุกพวกทุกฝ่าย ช่วยกันขจัดความขัดแย้งให้ได้ พูดจาหารือหาทางออกกัน ใครผิดก็ว่าไปนะครับ อย่าใช้กระแส อย่าใช้การชุมนุม อย่าใช้อะไรมาทำให้เกิดความวุ่นวายอีกก็แล้วกัน นะครับ ขอร้อง ขอร้องจริงๆ”พล.อ.ประยุทธ์ กล่าว.

กุมภาพันธ์ 27, 2015 Posted by | เศรษฐกิจ, ไทยรัฐออนไลน์ | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น


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