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ABCs of skin ageing from sugar

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About health

Published: 13 Jul 2011 at 20.26

Why eating too much refined sugar can be chemically bad for your body as you grow older.


The biology of ageing, the topic of today’s article, is a topic of interest to perhaps everyone.

The article presents what is almost a mini-course in biochemistry to help you understand exactly how what a person eats can cause them to age faster or slower.

Click button to listen to Sugar Skin-Ageing to download

WELLNESS: Sugar ageing: how sugar causes wrinkles by Somboon Roongphornchai

Sugary foods and refined carbs not only increase your risk for diabetes but also increase your wrinkles, too.

How sugar makes us age.

If you’re a big fan of sugar-coated cereals and candies, you might be surprised to learn that your own body engages in some sugar coating of its own, through a process calledglycation, or sugar damage. This process is a result of the sugar molecules attaching to protein molecules and changing their biomolecular properties or damaging them. When this happens, it is right up there with smoking, sun exposure and alcohol consumption as amajor factor in accelerated skin ageing. so we can talk about “sugar ageing”. Saying no to sugar with your morning coffee may do just as much for your wrinkles as your figure.

Of course we all need glucose as an energy source – it’s a vital fuel for our bodies. The problem is the amount of added sugar we eat and the damage it can do. When we eat simplesugars and starches like white processed bread the effect on the body is an outburst ofinflammation. Eating simple carbohydrates with fast absorption (a high Glycemic Index) also causes blood glucose levels to spike and crash.

Internally sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibres in each of our cells and it is this damaging process that is known as glycation. The end products of glycation – orAdvanced Glycation End products – are known as AGEs for short. The greater the amount of sugar you consume, the more AGEs your body will produce. And by the time you reach 35 or so, your skin will begin to show the effects in the form of a duller complexionand wrinkles. You will look prematurely old, and the glycation process will only speed up as time goes by.

As a result of observing accelerated ageing in people with diabetes, doctors came to understand the negative effects of sugar on our health. Inflammation caused by glycation is now known to be associated with many serious diseases including Alzheimer’s, cancer, vein problems and heart conditions. While the role of AGEs in life-threatening conditions like cancer is a major concern none of us wants to look older than we are. In fact skin is particularly at risk from glycation. One of the proteins most prone to damage from sugar molecules is collagen – the skin’s essential support structure.

According to Nicholas V. Perricone, MD: “Eating sugary and starchy foods shows up on the skin as a loss of radiance, dark circles under the eyes, the loss of tone, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, the loss of facial contours and increased pore size. These foods can also exacerbate acne, which is a systemic, inflammatory disease. I am notexaggerating when I say that sugar can rob you of your youth, health, and beauty.

AGEs affect healthy skin in two main ways – firstly they reduce the power of collagen to rebuild the skin’s structure, and second they increase the rate at which collagen breaks down naturally. Since collagen breakdown increases with age anyway, glycation affects our skin more as we age. The result is a greater increase in wrinkling, and crepe-like skin. Glycation also robs the skin of its natural moisturiser – hyaluronic acid – resulting in greater dryness and sagging. Glycation also makes the effects of smoking, alcohol and sun damage much worse.


1] Start replacing the processed sugars in your diet with the natural ones found in vegetables and fruits, which have a much less drastic effect on your blood sugar levels. If you simply can’t live without your refined sugar, limit your consumption to no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake.

You may be amazed to learn just how many forms of refined sugars are added to processed foods. The most common is high fructose corn syrup, but maltose, dextrose,molasses and maple syrup are all used as sweeteners and are all guilty of glycation.

2] Supplement your diet with 1 mg each of vitamins B1 and B6 every day. You will get some of them in your food, but the best way to ensure you have them in adequateamounts is to take them as supplemental vitamins. Your body will metabolise only what it needs and eliminate the remainder, so you are in no danger of developing toxin levels of either of them.

3] Fight the production of AGEs from the outside, by limiting your exposure to sunlight, especially between the hours of 10am and 3pm, when UV rays are at their strongest. The British Journal of Dermatology has published a study showing that the collagen in skin left unprotected from the sun will develop a higher level of AGEs than protected skin. Using asunblock rated SPF30 and wearing a hat with a brim wide enough to shade your entire face and neck are two methods you can employ if you must be out in the sun during peakdaylight hours.

4] Fight sugar ageing with the help of dietary and topical antioxidants. All vitamins andOmega-3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants and nutrients and you can get them by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cold water fish like salmon and sardines have the Omega-3 fatty acids, and adding nuts to your salads or sipping green tea throughout the day will also help fight against glycation. But if you know you aren’t getting enough antioxidants in your diet, you can turn to supplements.

5] Start using antioxidant-enriched creams which will feed your skin directly. Acombination of good diet, sun protection, and a quality wrinkle cream is a powerful AGE fighter indeed.

The best advice is to follow the kind of diet suggested by The American Heart Association based on a good variety of low GI foods – fresh fruits, vegetables, lean non-processed meat and whole foods like grains. Go for slow cooked types of food like soups and stews and eat as many uncooked foods like delicious salads and dips as possible.

So think about your favourite sweets and decide if the few minutes’ pleasure they provide is a fair exchange for wrinkles that will stay with you for years. If your answer is no, start taking the steps to eliminate AGEs, and wrinkles, from your life right now.

And stay off the doughnuts if you really want to reduce sugar ageing.

(Source: Bangkok Post, WELLNESS, Sugar ageing: how sugar causes wrinkles, 12/07/2011, Somboon Roongphornchai, link)

Nutrition and Skin Vocabulary 

biology of ageing – the processes during old age that lead to disease, the eventual break down of the body and death (See Wikipedia)

biochemistry – the branch of science concerned with the chemical and physicochemical processes that occur within living organisms (See Wikipedia)

glycation – when sugar molecules (fructose, glucose) bond to protein or lipid molecules without the controlling action of enzymes, can result in “stiffening” of tissues and may lead to certain complications of diabetes, and perhaps some of the physiological problems associated with aging, also called “glycosylation” (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) – produced by glycation, contribute to health problems such as age-related diseases, cataract development, Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and age- and diabetes-related chronic inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, myocardial infarction, nephropathy, retinopathy, periodontitis and neuropathy (See Wikipedia)

inflammation – a red, painful and often swollen area in or on a part of your body (a reaction of the body to protect against infection by bacteria, viruses, objects entering the body):  “part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection. Although infection is caused by a microorganism, inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen” (SeeWikipedia) การอักเสบ, การติดเชื้อ

outburst of inflammation – sudden inflammation in an area of the body

diabetes – a serious medical condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood, thus there are abnormally high blood sugar levels โรคเบาหวาน (See Wikipedia)

wellness – how healthy and happy you feel

age – grow older
the ageing process – all the things that happen to the body as a person grows older (See biology of ageing above)
slow down the ageing process – when a person’s body and mind grows older at a slower rate

skin ageing – when your skin grows old and looks old
major factor in accelerated skin ageing – one thing that causes the skin to grow older quickly
factor – a fact, situation or condition influencing the result of something ปัจจัย

youth – being young; a boy or a young man เด็กหนุ่ม, วัยรุ่น
rob you of your youth – losing your young appearance or look (that is: growing to look old on the outside, even of you are young inside)

complexion – the color and condition of the skin of a person’s face (examples: a pale complexion, an oily complexion, smoking ruins your complexion, a flawless complexion)
duller complexion – not bright, interesting or exciting
look prematurely old – appearing or looking like you are older than you actually are

wrinkles – the lines that form on the face as you grow old
wrinkle cream – cream used to reduce or prevent wrinkles on the face

figure – the shape of your body
sagging – hangs down loosely, has no energy, cannot stand up (example: sagging skin, sagging breasts)

radiance – a glowing light shining out of something
loss of radiance – not bright and shiny anymore

tone – firmness and strength (example: muscle tone)
loss of tone – no longer firm and strong (as it once was)

puffy (adjective) – looking like it is filled with air (not good, looks like body is swollen and unhealthy)
puffiness (noun) – the condition of being “puffy” (example: after the dentist injected novacaine there was puffiness around the face for several hours)

 lines – thin wrinkles, very thin lines (on a person’s face)

facial contours – the curves on the skin of a person’s face (young faces have perfectly even and smooth curves)

pore – a hole in the skin (that sweat passes out through)
acne – a skin condition with red spots on a person’s face and neck (See Wikipedia)

exacerbate – make worse
exacerbate acne – make acne worse

carhohydrates – substances in food such as sugar and starch that provide you with energy(See Wikipedia)
carbs – same as “carbohydrates”

refined sugar – sugar that has been processed in a “sugar refinery” producing bags of pure white sugar sold in stores
refined carbs – same as “refined carbs”
processed sugars – same as “refined sugar”

risk – danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง

a big fan of – like very much

cereal – breakfast cereal, a common breakfast food in the US with little pieces made of grain floating in milk (See Wikipedia)
sugar-coated cereals – a breakfast cereal (very sweet with sugar on the outside of each little piece)

process – a series of actions taken in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

exposure – not covered or protected from harm, runs a risk of being harmed
sun exposure – when the sun hits your skin (when you are walking outside)

consumption – using, eating or drinking something การบริโภค
alcohol consumption – drinking beer, wine, whiskey and other alcoholic drinks

 – the ability to do work (in the form of a chemical used by the body such as carbohydrates or glucose or a chmical used by machines and cars such as oil or natural gas) (See Wikipedia)
source – where something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
energy source – a chemical that can be used to do work (carbohydrates in your body, gasoline in your car)

 – very important, necessary for continued life ที่สำคัญ ที่จำเป็นยิ่ง จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก
fuel – same as “energy”
vital fuel for our bodies – an important and needed chemical in the body used to make the body work

glucose – the most important sugar for energy transport, storage and production in the human body, the body makes it from the three elements of food — proteins, fats, and carbohydrates — but mostly from carbohydrates (a 6-carbon sugar with the formula C 6 H 12 O 6 . Glucose is a building block for larger molecules such as sucrose (a disaccharide) and cellulose, starch and glycogen (polysaccharides). Plants produce glucose during photosynthesis) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

blood sugar – the amount of glucose in the blood (See Wikipedia)
as time goes by – when time passes, after time passes

calorie (noun) – a unit used to measure the energy value of food, people on “diets” try to eat few calories (See Wikipedia)
caloric (adjective)
daily caloric intake – the amount of calories you eat every day (should be low, if you are on a diet)

maltose – a sugar produced by the breakdown of starch by amylase in the saliva, it is a disaccharide consisting of two linked glucose units, Failure to break down maltose in the intestine will lead to diarrhea, excessive gases, and other symptoms (a disaccharide sugar formed from two units of glucose, a water-soluble fermentable sugar, the preferred food of brewing yeast) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
dextrose – a form of glucose (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
fructose – honey, tree fruits, berries, melons, and some root vegetables contain all contain a lot of fructose, a simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in many foods, one of the three important dietary monosaccharides along with glucose and galactose., the most water-soluble of all the  sugars, also known as “fruit sugar” (See Wikipedia)
high fructose corn syrup – “consumer foods and products typically use high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. It has become very common in processed foods and beverages in the U.S., including breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments” (See Wikipedia)

molasses – a thick syrup by-product from the processing of the sugarcane or sugar beet into sugar (See Wikipedia) กากน้ำตาล

simple – not complicated ง่าย,ไม่ยุ่งยาก, ไม่ซับซ้อน
simple sugars

starch – a carbohydrate with many glucose units joined together (polysaccharide), the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in large amounts in such staple foods as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava (See Wikipedia)
processed – treated in some way, e.g., treated with chemicals, cut, etc.
white processed bread – the common white-coloured bread on the shelves of stores (processed in a food processing plant)

Glycemic Index (GI) – a system for ranking carbohydrate foods (1 to 100) by their effect on blood-sugar levels in the body (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

spike – a sudden increase to high levels (looks like a “nail” or “spike”)
spike and crash – increase to high levels suddenly and then to fall again to low levels

sugar molecules – a carbohydrate molecule, used as a source of energy and to provide structure in living things (includes simple sugars with small molecules as well as very large macromolecular substances; classified according to the number of simple sugar (monosaccharide groups) they contain) (See Wikipedia)

protein – the large molecules found in all living organisms performing essential functions such as: 1. structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, collagen, etc., and as 2. enzymes that control body functions (physiology) and as 3. antibodies responsible for the body’s defenses against disease, the chemical definition: long chains of amino acids (polypeptides) linked together in various ways (alpha-helix coils, beta-sheets) (See Wikipediaand Google Definitions)
fibre – a long thin thing like a thread, also “fiber”:

the power of collagen to rebuild the skin’s structure
collagen – the main protein making up white fibrous connective tissue in tendons, skin, bone, cartilage, and ligaments, relatively inelastic (not flexible) but has a high tensile strength (ability to resist forces of stretching) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
support structure – holding things up (example: the 20 story building had a strong cement and steel support structure underneath it)

crepe-like skin – very thin skin (like thin crepe paper)

moisture – (noun) 
a small amount of water or another liquid in the air, on the surface of something, or in a substance
moisturise (verb) – add moisture to skin
moisturiser (noun) – complex mixtures of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of the skin (epidermis) softer and more pliable, by increasing its hydration (water content) by reducing evaporation (See Wikipedia)

hyaluronic acid – a cementing and protective gel that is a major part of skin where it is involved in tissue repair. (“When skin is excessively exposed to UVB rays, it becomes inflamed (sunburn) and the cells in the dermis stop producing as much hyaluronic acid, and increase the rate of its degradation”, “part of the extracellular matrix and helps to maintain dermal volume”, a “super moisturizer, one molecule holds 214 molecules of water, constantly attracting moisture to skin. One of the natural moisturizer factors (NMF’s) found in skin, though in decreasing amount with age”) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

diet – 1. the food that you typically eat every day; 2. special food that a person eats in order to lose weight and maintain health

supplement (verb) – add to
supplement your diet – add to your diet
supplemental (adjective) – an extra or additional amount เพิ่มเข้ามา
supplemental vitamins – vitamins taken in addition to food eaten (as medicine)
dietary supplement (noun) – a pill or special food eaten to improve your health

vitamin B1 – a water-soluble vitamin required for “the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and alcohol. It is also necessary for the proper function of the nervous system and the heart … prevents beriberi; maintains appetite and growth”, also known as “Thiamine” (See Wikipediaand Google Definitions)

vitamin B6 – a water-soluble vitamin that “plays an important role in the breakdown and use of energy sources, production of red blood cells and antibodies, and normal functioning of the nervous system” (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

metabolism (noun) – the chemical reactions within cells that maintain life; involves two basic processes anabolism and catabolism (See Wikipedia)
anabolism – the building-up, conversion of food molecules in living cells and tissues)
catabolism – the (breaking-down complex chemicals of food into simpler ones that are then used in building-up cells and in making ATP, the body’s main fuel chemical

metabolise (verb) – convert food chemically into nutrients to maintain the body
metabolise only what it needs and eliminate the remainder

(noun) – a poison (a chemical that can harm the body causing sickness, injury and possible death)
toxic (adjective) – poisonous

UV rays – the radiation received by the Earth from the Sun that causes sunburn in humans (electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light) (See Wikipedia)
sunblock – a cream that protects the skin from the sunlight, also called “sunscreen” (SeeWikipedia)

SPF – Sun Protection Factor, a measure of how much sun is blocked, the higher the SPF the more sun is blocked (more protection against UV-B, the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, “The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on, as a multiple of the amount required without the sunscreen,” the rough rule is: Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time) (SeeWikipedia and How Stuff Works)

sunblock rated SPF30 – a sunblock with Sun Protection Factor 30
sun protections – something such as sunblock that protects you from the sun (blocking the rays of the sun)

hat with a wide brim – a hat with a wide front part hanging over the face and protecting it

antioxidants – chemicals that help stop other chemicals that lead to disease, “a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can producefree radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death. When the chain reaction occurs in a purified monomer, it produces a polymer resin, such as a plastic, a synthetic fiber, or an oil paint film. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid or polyphenols” (See Wikipedia)

dietary antioxidants – antioxidants eaten with food
topical antioxidants – antioxidants put on the skin
antioxidant-enriched creams – skin creams with antioxidants added

free radicals – “an atom or group of atoms with at least one unpaired electron; in the body it is usually an oxygen molecule that has lost an electron and will stabilize itself by stealing an electron from a nearby molecule; in the body free radicals are high-energy particles that ricochet wildly and damage cells” (See Wikipedia)
Free Radical Theory of Aging (FRTA) – the theory that living things age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time (See Wikipedia)
neutralise free radicals – make free radicals not dangerous to health

vitamin – substances that a body needs to remain healthy, found in food or vitamin pills (SeeWikipedia)

omega-3 fatty acids – essential fatty acids found in fish oils and some plant oils such as flaxseed oil and algal oil, believed to have a potent anti-inflammatory effect (a polyunsaturated fatty acid whose carbon which has its first double bond three carbons from the end of the hydrophobic tail of the fatty acid) (See Wikipedia)

green tea – tea with green leaves that have “undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan and South Korea” (See Wikipedia)
sip – drink small amounts of some drink slowly
sipping green tea – drinking small amounts of green tea slowly

processed meat – meat processed in a “meat processing plant” so that it can be stored for a longer period before eating without going bad (preserved): “preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by adding preservatives such as nitrites or nitrates. Examples of processed meat include ham, bacon, pastrami, salami, sausages, bratwursts, frankfurters, hot dogs and some types of minced meat” (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
non-processed meat – fresh cuts of meat (pork, beef, chicken) sold a short time after the animal was killed (slaughtered)
lean – without fat
lean meat – cuts of meat with little or no fat on it

dip – a dipping sauce, food such as potato chips, crackers or cut-up raw vegetables is put into the dipping sauce to add flavor and texture to the food, dips can be made from food such as tomatoes and chili peppers (salsa), sour cream,  yogurt, mayonnaise, beans or cheese (SeeWikipedia)

stay off the doughnuts – don’t eat doughnuts (too much sugar and fattening)

General Vocabulary 

consume – to use a supply of something ใช้จนหมดไป

life-threatening conditions – a dangerous situation in which people may die

negative – bad ที่เป็นด้านลบ
negative effects – bad effects

role – the function or purpose that something has in a situation บทบาท
 – a worry ความกังวล
major concern – some issue that people worry about a lot

prone to damage – tends to be broken or hurt often

essential – necessary and important ที่จำเป็น ที่สำคัญ
 – affecting the whole system ซึ่งเป็นระบบ
exaggerating – making something look more than it actually is (bigger, better, more expensive, etc)
natural – found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ

drastic – having a very big effect มีผลกระทบอย่างใหญ่หลวง
have a much less drastic effect – the effect is not as big (but may still be big)
limit – a highest or lowest amount

the most common – found or happening most often
guilty – did something that is bad มีความผิด

ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน รับรอง
adequate – good enough or large enough for a particular purpose พอเพียง
eliminate – to get rid of completely, remove กำจัดหรือขจัดให้หมดไป
remainder – the part of something that is left after that rest have been considered, left, finished, etc. ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่

employ – to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it ว่าจ้าง, จ้าง
peak – highest level, the time when something is at its highest or greatest level ช่วงเวลาที่พบมากที่สุด

 – having more than enough of what you need to live อุดมสมบูรณ์
combination – the mixture you get when two or more things are combined การรวมกัน
variety – many different types of things or people ความหลากหลาย

favourite – the things you like the most
provide – to give someone something that they want or need
eliminate – get rid of, stop using, make sure they no longer exist or no longer used

Sorry, we’re closed (updated)

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


General news

Published: 13 Jul 2011 at 02.00

By the time you read this, I should be on my way with my family for three weeks at my home in Minnesota. It may be a bit inconvenient there because the state government has closed its doors.

Minnesota state services such as state parks and the state historical sites have been closed because the governor and lawmakers can’t agree on a budget

5pm July 13, Minnesota time (5am July 14, Bangkok time)

Hello from Northfield, Minnesota. The trip from Bangkok to Minneapolis was almost completely smooth. Take-off time was 5:30am Bangkok time and arrival was 1pm the same day localMinnesota time (1am the next day in Bangkok). I used the word “almost” because both my wife and my son had problems with US immigration despite having perfectly valid US visas. I fillled out an incomplete entry form for them and then went through the regular line for US citizens, leaving them to go through the foreign citizen line. When the incomplete form was caught, the officials made the two of them try to fill it out fully without allowing me to help at all. Actually, they were rather rude, but fortunately one Japanese-American helped them out and after about 30 minutes, they officially entered the country.

Warning to those entering the States: Fill out the I-94 form  correctly and if you are not sure ask an official before you get in line.

I haven’t had any sleep for more than 36 hours, so it is unlikely I will be posting anything new until Friday morning.

local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
immigration department – the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
valid – legally accepted ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย
rude – not polite หยาบคาย
Click button to listen to Minnesota and rightclick to download

Going home

By the time you read this, I should be on my way with my family for three weeks at my home in Minnesota.

Minnesota, of course, is in the far north of the United States with a long border with Canada. It is famous for being very cold in the winter – minus 20 Celsius is not unusual – but most people don’t realise that it can also be very hot in the summer.

This is the summer season and we are expecting temperatures in the 30s – just like Bangkok. It makes packing easy.

The big news from Minnesota these days is that the state government has shut down. The state governor and the lawmakers have been unable to agree on the budget, so the government has essentially closed its doors until an agreement is reached.

Lawmakers from the majority Republican party are insisting on severe budget cuts and no new taxes.
The governor, a Democrat, wants to avoid some of the most drastic cuts by raising money through increasing taxes on cigarettes and the wealthiest Minnesotans, something the Republicans have thus far rejected.

They, like many Republicans throughout the United States want smaller, less expensive government. US Republicans would clearly be opposed to the many populist programmesproposed here in Thailand by the Phue Thai and the Democrat parties.

Meanwhile, many people in Minnesota are hurting. State employees are being laid off and many services are closed – the beautiful state parks are a good example. Road repairs have stopped and even bars and restaurants are worried they soon will not be able to sell alcoholic drinks as their state-issued cards allowing them to buy liquor begin to expire.  Maybe that will get some action from the lawmakers.

I’ll have more on my stay in Minnesota after I arrive.

site – a place where something is located  สถานที่
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
pack – to put clothes, etc. into a bag in preparation for a trip away from home เก็บเสื้อผ้าลงหีบ
essentially – the true, important or basic nature of somebody/something เป็นหลัก, อย่างตามความจริง
majority – more than 50 percent of a group เสียงส่วนใหญ่
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
severe – very serious and unpleasant รุนแรง
drastic – having a very big effect มีผลกระทบอย่างใหญ่หลวง
wealthy – having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things   ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย
reject – to not agree with a request, offer or proposal ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
oppose – to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy คัดค้าน
populist – related to the type of politics that claims to represent the opinions and wishes of ordinary people or to support programmes that will benefit the ordinary people ประชานิยม
propose – to suggest an idea for a group to consider เสนอ
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
lay off – to cause someone to lose their job, usually because there is not enough work for them to do การปลดคนงาน
repair – to fix something that is broken or damaged ซ่อมบำรุง
issue – to give or provide something official แจกจ่าย
expire – to come to an end or stop being in use หมดอายุ

Poor foreign workers: No minimum wage

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About jobs

Published: 12 Jul 2011 at 21.32

Employers get around minimum wages with workers from poorer countries which they pay less.

migrant workers

Click button to listen to No Minimum Wage for Migrant Workers to download

Economics: Waiting to catch up, Burmese workers struggle to receive the existing minimum wage, never mind the sum the new government is promising by Kong Janoi

Ma Thazin toils from from 8 am to 5 pm in a steel factory in Samut Sakhon province for 180 baht a day – 35 baht lower than the province’s current minimum wage of 215 baht, which is set by the government.

“When I came to ask for a job, the boss said she would give me 200 baht a day but when I got my payment, she gave me only 180 baht,” said the disappointed Burmese worker.

If I can get another job, I definitely will.

“But finding a better-paying job is not easy. “Every employer wants to pay a lower wage to workers,” she said.

She holds out no hope for the 300-baht minimum wage promised by the incoming Thai government.

“I already get lower than what I am supposed to; why would this change anything?” she asked.

Many migrant worker groups are also sceptical about the new minimum wage policy.

Ko Moe Swe, general secretary of Young Chi Oo Burmese Workers’ Association, said migrant workers are unlikely to benefit from a future raise if employers are unwilling to pay up to the minimum wage now.

“The government has kept increasing the minimum wage for the past few years. It’s now at 162 baht a day in Mae Sot yet many factories here keep paying 70 baht a day to workers,” he said, referring to the western border province that has a high concentration of Burmese labourers.

“Whatever the new wage is, I don’t think migrant workers here in Mae Sot will be benefit from it.”

Ni Ni Myint has been working in a sewing factory in Mae Sot and started at 70 baht a day seven years ago. Now she makes 110 baht, but doesn’t expect to ever reach 300 baht.

The association successfully sued a Thai factory in Mae Sot in 2005 for paying migrant workers less than the minimum wage.

Ko Moe Swe said that although they won the case, many factories still don’t pay the minimum wage in Mae Sot because people are willing to work for less. “If employers lose a worker, two more will get in line to work for the same amount of money,” he said.

To solve this problem, workers need to stand up for their rights, he said.

Jackie Pollock, the director of Migrant Association Programme Foundation, said migrant workers need to be better informed about their rights and wages.

“The government has the responsibility to make sure workers are paid at least the minimum wage,” said Ms Pollock.

She said that if migrant workers are not paid the current minimum, she doubts whether a new minimum wage will benefit them.

The legal battle for migrant workers is hard because they could lose their legal status and jobs if they have a dispute with their employers. By law, migrant workers have seven days to stay in the country and find another employer if they leave their job, said Ms Pollock.

Ma Thazin and Ni Ni Myint are too afraid to challenge their employers in court about their wages. They say they will just find another job instead of complaining

Some other migrant workers earn closer to the minimum wage.

Working from 7 am to 7 pm in a cotton factory in Bangkok, Ma Cho earns 215 baht a day. She hardly knows what goes on outside the factory, but she’s open to a higher minimum wage.

“I don’t know if our employer will increase our wages or not. We will just wait and see,” said Ma Cho, who came to work at the factory a year ago, seeking a better income.

Nai Kyark Rot Hongsa is a manager in a fish-processing factory in Samut Prakan. Working from 8 am to 5 pm for the past 15 years in the factory, he earns 255 baht a day.

“We will ask our boss to increase the wages once a policy is set, but if he cannot increase our payment we cannot do anything because we depend on him,” said Nai Kyark Rot.

He said the workers barely manage to save any money because of rising expenses. Many migrant workers come to work in Thailand expecting to save money for their future, he said

Thai Labour Ministry figures show 206,299 migrant workers are registered with 32,323 Thai employers. Burmese comprise 149,990 of the workers, followed by 36,605 Cambodians and 19,704 Laotians

However, the actual figures are likely much higher, as Amnesty International notes more than a million Burmese migrant workers are employed in various Thai sectors including fisheries, manufacturing, domestic work, construction, hotels, restaurants and agriculture.

While some analysts have cautioned a higher Thai minimum wage will attract more migrant workers to enter illegally, Nai Suwanna, a broker in Myawaddy, the Burmese border town, said the prospect is unlikely.

He said many Burmese crossed the border in previous months when Thailand announced it would issue worker identification cards. “I have not heard about a new minimum wage and neither have other people here,” he said.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, Waiting to catch up, Burmese workers struggle to receive the existing minimum wage, never mind the sum the new government is promising, Kong Janoi, 11/07/2011, link)

struggle – a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort ความพยายาม
wage – an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
minimum wage – the smallest amount of money that a company can pay a worker for one day’s work
sum – an amount of something, especially money จำนวนเงิน
promising – saying that you will do something for sure (if you don’t do it, then you “break your promise”)
toils – works very hard
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
disappointed – unhappy because someone or something was not as good as you hoped or expected, or because something did not happen ผิดหวัง
employer – a person, company, or organisation that pays someone to work for them as a member of their staff นายจ้าง

migrant – moving from one place to another อพยพ
migrant worker – someone who travels to another place or country in order to find work (an immigrant is someone who comes to live in a country from another country) ผู้อพยพ
sceptical – having doubts about something that other people think is true or right สงสัย
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
benefit – to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์
employers – companies that hire workers
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
concentration – a lot of something in one place แหล่งชุมนุม หรือ ศูนย์รวม

rights – what the law allows you to have and do สิทธิ์ (See Wikipedia)
stand up for their rights – tray hard to got what your rights say you should get, fight for your rights

informed – knowing about something
better informed about their rights – know more about what rights you have (by law) and how you can defend your rights
wages – the amount of money earned per hour by a worker
responsibility –  having to take care of some task as part of your job
doubts – feel uncretain and question whether something is really true

legal battle –
legal status –
status – official or legal position สถานภาพ สถานะ
dispute – an argument over some problem, a conflict a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
challenge in court – bring a legal case to prove that you are right and the other guy is right (and perhaps be awarded damages)
income – money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings

barely – almost not happening แทบไม่เคยเกิดขึ้น
figures – statistics, numbers describing the economy
registered – officially recorded with the government
comprise – to consist or be made up of two or more things ประกอบด้วย
actual – real; existing in fact จริง
employed – used ใช้
fisheries – fish farms, places to raise fishes
domestic – within the country ภายในประเทศ
construction – the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง

caution – warn
attract – to cause someone to be interested in something ดึงดูดความสนใจ
prospect – the possibility that something will happen in the future ความคาดหวัง ความหวังข้างหน้า อนาคต
prospect is unlikely – unlikely, probably will not happen
issue – to give or provide something official แจกจ่าย
identification – the process of finding out what or who someone is การชี้ตัว การหาตัวผู้กระทำผิด
issue worker identification cards – give migrant workers cards that they can use for identification (to show people, including the police, who they are)

Exports expected to decline

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About business

Published: 12 Jul 2011 at 19.42

Higher oil and labour costs resulting in slower world economic growth will likely reduce exports in 2nd half of year.
Click button to listen to Slower Exports and rightclick to download

TRADE: Exports projected to decline in the second half by Phusadee Arunmas

container shipThai exports in the second half will grow at a slower pace as rising oil prices and labour costs will increase production costs as the global economy slows.

The latest survey of the export composite leading index in May dropped to its lowest level in eight months at 100.5 points, the fourth consecutive decline.

Aat Pisanwanich, director of the International Trade Studies Centre of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, took this as a signal of slower export growth in the third quarter of only 11.3-18.1%, or US$55.73 to $59.15 billion.

He projects export growth in the second half of 6.2% to 12.9%, or $108.59 to 115.48 billion. This would make full-year exports worth $221.09 to 229.13 billion, or growth of 13.2% to 17.3% – much lower than 28.1% growth in 2010.

He said diminishing export growth was in line with slower world economic growth, and higher fuel and energyprices will increase production and transportation costs for Thai exporters.

Anticipated rising labour costs could really affect Thai labour-intensive industries, particularly for garments, which already face labour shortages and fierce competition ininternational markets. Thailand risks losing market share to Vietnam, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

The Pheu Thai party has pledged to raise the minimum daily wage to 300 baht, and it offered new university graduates a 15,000-baht monthly salary. The centre expects staffing cost in the private sector will rise by 20%, resulting in overall production cost increasing 3.88%.

Mr Aat said the new government should gradually increase the wages, starting with highly skilled workers in electronics, garments and food sectors.

Meanwhile, higher crop prices and expansion to the Asean market will support growth, but the new government should ensure currency exchange moves via the market mechanism, he added.

He noted the government should be cautious about budget spending on populist projects

(Source: Bangkok Post, TRADE, Exports projected to decline in the second half, 12/07/2011, Phusadee Arunmas, link)

Economics Vocabulary 

projected – expected, forecast, the amount that experts believe (forecast) for the future
pace – the speed at which something happens ท่างทำนอง ย่างก้าว จังหวะ ที่สิ่งต่างๆ ดำเนินไป the speed and rhythm of something (See glossary)
grow at a slower pace – the growth of the economy will slow down (incomes will increase more slowly)
global – throughout the world ทั่วโลก

survey – gathering information about what people think about different subjects (public opionion) by asking large numbers of people questions and counting their answers, and then using statistics, graphs, and tables to present results (See Wikipedia) การสำรวจความเห็น

economic indicator – “a statistic about the economy. Economic indicators allow analysis of economic performance and predictions of future performance. One application of economic indicators is the study of business cycles. Economic indicators include various indices, earnings reports, and economic summaries. Examples: unemployment rate, quits rate, housing starts, Consumer Price Index (a measure for inflation), Consumer Leverage Ratio, industrial production, bankruptcies, Gross Domestic Product, broadband internet penetration, retail sales, stock market prices, money supply changes” (See Wikipedia)

leading economic indicator – economic indicators that usually change before the economy as a whole changes (See Wikipedia)

index – an index is a statistical measure of changes in a representative group of individual data points. These data may be derived from any number of sources, including company performance, prices, productivity, and employment. Economic indices (index, plural) track economic health from different perspectives (See Wikipedia)
composite – made up of many different parts
leading index – a leading economic indicator
composite leading index – a leading economic indicator made of many parts
export composite leading index – an economic indicator that shows whether exports are going to increase or decrease in the future, before they actually change (See website)

 – following one after another in order, happening one after another,  following one after another in order and with nothing else in between  อย่างต่อเนื่อง ติดต่อกัน  ที่ต่อเนื่องตามลำดับ
fourth consecutive decline – it has decreased four times already, without increasing once

X signals Y – X shows that Y is true or happening
signal of slower export growth – shows that slower growth is happening (or will happen soon)
third quarter – the time period of three months July, August, September (a period used for budgeting and financial reporting)
X in line with Y – X agrees with Y; X follows Y
energy – power from electricity and oil that makes machines work
fuel – same as “energy”

anticipate – expect or believe that something will happen (before it actually happens)
anticipated rising labour costs – expecting that the cost of paying employees (wages, salaries) will increase in the future

 – involving a lot of something (such as labour, effort, energy, or attention)
labour-intensive industries – companies that make goods that require a lot of labour (a lot of worker time)
garments – clothing

 – when there are not enough goods for people to buy การขาดแคลน
labour shortages – companies cannot find enough workers to do the work that must be done (note: actuall find enough workers who are willing at the low wages the company is offering) 

fierce – very intense and very aggressive
fierce competition – very intense and aggressive competition (fighting over limited things)

 – ระหว่างประเทศ between countries
international markets – the buying and selling of goods and services between companies in different countries

market share – the percentage of the customers in a market that a company has
X losing market share to Y – company X losing customers to company Y

pledged – seriously promised to do something สาบาน

 – an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
minimum daily wage – the lowest amount of money that a company can offer a worker for their work each day 

salary – a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน

staffing cost – the money that a company must pay to their employees

 – a part of the economy ภาค (ทางเศรษฐกิจหรือสังคม) (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,…) (See Wikipedia)
private sector – all the companies in the country (not owned by the government)

wages – the amount of money earned per hour by a worker
expansion – when something increases in size, number or importance การขยายออก

support growth – help the country’s economy grow
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน รับรอง

 – a widely used the money accepted for exchange of goods in an economy เงินตรา (See Wikipedia)
currency exchange – changing the money of one country (currency) into the money of another currency
market mechanism – the way “free” markets for goods and services usually work (price free to move up and down with changes in supply and demand)

ensure currency exchange moves via the market mechanism – make sure that the exchange rate reflects actuall supply and demand (not distorted by intervention like before 1997 crisis, for example)

cautious – careful to avoid danger ระมัดระวังไม่ให้เกิดขึ้น
budget spending – government spending from the government spending budget
budget – the amounts of money that an organisation has available to spend on different things during a period งบประมาณ (See Wikipedia)
populist – a politician who claims to care about the interests and opinion of ordinary people (may just hand out of a lot of free things that do not advance long-term growth and prosperity of the country)

Who burnt down CentralWorld?

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


General news

Published: 12 Jul 2011 at 10.36

Prosecutors will show today video footage which they hope will convince the Criminal Court to convict the men charged with the arson and looting of CentralWorld on May 19 last year.

Click button to listen to CentralWorld and rightclick to download

Video may identify arsonists

Rioters kept guards from dousing fires

Achara Ashayagachat

Public prosecutors are scheduled to present closed-circuit video footage today in thecriminal trial of two men charged with participating in the arson that burned down CentralWorld and Zen department store last year.

The video is expected to help pinpoint those responsible for setting the shopping centreablaze during riots after the military moved in to disperse red-shirt demonstrators in central Bangkok on May 19 last year. Police have charged two adults and two minors with arson and their trials are being held separately in Criminal Court and Juvenile Court.

Tawee Nakchumnum, 42, a senior security guard employed by Central Group which owns the shopping complex, on July 1 testified in Criminal Court he and other guards had discovered a number of small fires in the building and were trying to douse them when the rioters stormed the building.

The security staff tried to negotiate with the rioters to allow them to put out the fire in the building but their threatening behaviour forced Mr Tawee and his team to retreat and hide.

Anond Khempetch, 30, another state witness who has been in charge of the CentralWorld’s CCTV control room for two years, told the court that he had watched on the control room monitors as a dozen people or more threw molotov cocktails at the building as others started looting.

Two of the defendants, Saichol Pae Bua (29) and Pinit Jannarong (27), are due to appear before the court again today for another hearing, during which the public prosector will present CCTV video footage of the looting and arson attack on the shopping complex.

The other two defendants Padsakorn Chaisrithao (18) and Attaporn Wannato (18) appeared before the juvenile court last week in separate hearings. They are scheduled to return to court on Thursday for another hearing.

In addition to the arson charge, Padsakorn, Attaporn and Mr Pinit also face charges of looting. Mr Saichol is being tried only for the arson charge.

While the other suspects have spent the past year in jail, Padsakorn and Attaporn have been out on bail since their arrests. Another five people have been charged with looting. The court has already examined all the state witnesses but has yet to question defence witnesses in the case.

You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/qGpnWZ

identify – to specify who someone is  ระบุชื่อ
arson – the illegal use of fire to destroy a house, building, or property; an arsonist is a person who commits arson การลอบวางเพลิง
riot – a violent protest by a group of people ความไม่สงบ การจลาจล
rioter – a person who protests violently about something ผู้ก่อการจลาจล
prosecutor – a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty อัยการ
scheduled – planned to happen at a particular time or day ตามตารางเวลา
closed-circuit video (TV) – a television system that works within a limited area, for example a public building, to protect it from crime โทรทัศน์วงจรปิด (ซีซีทีวี)
footage – film or video of a particular subject or event ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์ หรือวิดีโอ
criminal – relating to illegal acts เกี่ยวกับอาชญากรรม
trial – the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone has or has not committed a crime  การพิจารณาคดี
charge – to accuse someone officially of committing a crime ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
participate – to take part in or become involved in an activity มีส่วน
pinpoint – to discover or explain exactly what something is  เจาะจง
set ablaze – to set on fire วางเพลิง
disperse – to cause a crowd of people to separate and go away in different directions สลายฝูงชน
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
adult – a fully grown person who is legally responsible for their actions  ผู้ใหญ่
minor – someone who has not reached the age where they are legally an adult เยาวชน
juvenile – a young person who is not yet an adult  เยาวชน
guard – a person who protects a place or people  ยาม, ผู้ดูแล, ยามรักษาการณ์
employ – to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it ว่าจ้าง, จ้าง
complex – a large building with various connected rooms or a related group of buildings
testify – to make a statement about something that you saw, know, or experienced, usually in a court of law ให้การเป็นพยาน
storm – to use force to enter a place and take control of it บุกกระหน่ำ
negotiate – to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way เจรจาต่อรอง
threatening – dangerous; likely to cause harm or violence อันตราย, เป็นภัย
behaviour – the way that someone acts or behaves พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
retreat – to move back or away  ถอยกลับ
witness – someone who tells a court or investigators what they know about a crime พยาน
state witness – a witness for the government side, i.e., the prosecution, in a court case
in charge of – to be in control of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly  ดูแล ควบคุม
monitor – a television screen used to show particular kinds of information; a screen that shows information from a computer  เครื่องโทรทัศน์วงจรปิด, จอคอมพิวเตอร์
Molotov cocktail – a simple bomb consisting of a bottle filled with a liquid that you can set on fire and then throw (the writer is comparing the bottles of alcohol to a Molotov cocktail, saying in this situation they are very similar, i.e., very dangerous)
looting – stealing things from buildings, houses or shops, especially during a war or other violence or after a disaster   การปล้นสะดม
defendant – someone who has been accused of a crime and is on trial จำเลย
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
arrest – (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime การจับกุม
defence – all the things that are said and shown in a court case to prove that someone is not guilty การสู้คดี

Hoarding rice, supply shortages

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About agriculture

Published: 11 Jul 2011 at 19.02

Rice may be difficult to find on store shelves soon as millers hold back stocks from packers, expecting windfall profits with new rice policy.

rice stock

Click button to listen to Rice Millers Hoarding Rice and rightclick to download

AGRICULTURE: Millers hoarding rice in hopes of pledging return by Phusadee Arunmas

rice warehouseRice packers are warning of retail price increases in the next two months as stocks dwindle while the industry waits to see if the new government will make good on its promise to increase crop prices.

Rice millers are waiting for policies from the new government, which is lowering rice volume in the market and affecting packers substantially,” said Somkiat Makcayathorn, president of the Thai Rice Packers Association.

One of Pheu Thai’s key campaign promises was to bring back rice pledging with a commitment to pay 15,000 baht a tonne for white rice paddy, and 20,000 baht for Hom Mali fragrant paddy

Those prices are far above current market rates, and millers have been stocking up on paddy in the hopes of earning windfall profits later this year.

“It’s hard to get rice from millers to repack for sales,” Mr Somkiat said.

Domestic prices are already edging up in response to the expected return of pledging.Fragrant rice is selling for 30-32 baht a kilogramme, up from 28-30 baht the week before theelection. The industry estimates rice prices could increase by as much as 60% by the end of the year if Pheu Thai keeps its promises.

Pheu Thai’s promise to increase the minimum wage to 300 baht a day will also affect the rice-packing industry.

Wages account for 8% of the cost of rice, and analysts say a wage increase would raise thatproportion to 11%.

“We may have to raise retail prices in August and make revisions early next year if a new wage is applied,” said Mr Somkiat.

The association will ask the new Commerce Minister to protect packers by capping retail rice prices to conform with changing costs. The capped prices are currently 90-125 baht for a five-kilogramme bag of white rice and 150-190 baht for five kilogrammes of Hom Mali.

The pledging plan would replace the income guarantee programme that allows farmers to mortgage paddy to the state and redeem the grain when the market price is higher.

But there have been no records of redemption because past pledging prices were normally high, creating a stockpile of 6 million tonnes of paddy in 2009 from the previous programme.

The paddy is largely kept at millers’ warehouses, costing the government more money. High pledging prices also induce traders and millers to buy low-priced grain smuggled in from neighbouring countries to earn windfall profits.

(Source: Bangkok Post, AGRICULTURE, Millers hoarding rice in hopes of pledging return, 11/07/2011, Phusadee Arunmas, link)

Rice Industry Vocabulary 

hoarding – buying a lot and keeping it without using it (because you expect the price to go up in the future) กักตุน

repack – pack again
repack rice for sales – take rice from the big bags used to store it in warehouses and put it in smaller bags used to sell it in stores

rice packers – companies that package rice creating a product that can be sold in stores
packers – same as “rice packers”

 – to sell directly to the public for their own use ขายปลีก
retail price – the price that customers pay in stores

stockpile – large quantities of goods stored for future use คลังสินค้า จำนวนสินค้าที่เก็บตุนไว้เป็นจำนวนมาก
stocks – large amounts stored for future use
dwindle – reduce in number ลดจำนวนลง
stocks dwindle – the amounts of rice in stock (for future use) are decreasing
stocking up on – storing large amounts for future use
warehouse – a large building to keep stocks of rice until it is time to sell them

volume – the quantity or amount of something

paddy – rice after it has been harvested from the field ข้าวเปลือก

current – now, at the present time ปัจจุบัน
current market prices – prices that rice is being bought and sold at now in the market

windfall profits – sudden large profits

domestic prices – prices inside the country (not “export prices” for sale outside the country)
prices edging up – prices increasing slowly (by little amounts each time)

 – create an upper limit (no more than this value)
capping retail prices – setting a highest price that can be charged in stores (cannot rise above a certain level)

X conforms with Y – X is at the appropriate level for Y
capping retail rice prices to conform with changing costs – setting highest price of good charged in stores so that it is greater than cost of producing it

replace – to get rid of someone or something and to put a new person or thing in their place หาคนมาแทน  เลิกให้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน

pledging plan – the old system (of government rice price support for farmers)
rice pledging – same as “pledging plan”

income – money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
guarantee – a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน (Seeglossary)

income guarantee – a promise of a certain income
income guarantee programme – the new rice policy started by the Abhisit administration

mortgage – a legal agreement in which you borrow money from a bank
state – government รัฐ

redeem (verb) – when you are given back the valuable thing that you gave (pledged) as guarantee for a loan (meaning: if you did not pay back the loan, they lender would take that valuable thing, which is called “security” for a loan or “collateral”)
redemption (noun) – the action of redeeming the thing you gave as security for a loan

 – a crop like rice or wheat, the seed from cereal crops such as rice, wheat, or corn เมล็ดพืช
records – pieces of information describing something written down or stored on a computer บันทึุก

trade – the business of buying and selling things
traders – companies that buy and sell things for profit
rice traders – companies that buy and sell rice for a profit

 – bring goods into a country secretly and illegally
smuggle rice across borders – bring rice into the country illegally from another country

General Vocabulary 

key – important คนสำคัญ

campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
campaign promises –
 same as “election promises” 

election – the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting elect (v) electoral (adj) synonym: the polls การเลือกตั้ง
election promises – promises that election candidates make to help get them elected (promises are often not kept)

commitment – a promise to do something in the future ข้อสัญญา

expected – believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
estimates – guesses of what the size, value, amount, cost, etc. of something might be การประมาณค่า

 – an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
minimum wage – the lowest wage that can  legally given to an employee per day

proportion of X – part of X, percentage of X
revisions – changes การเปลี่ยนแปลง

induce – cause ก่อให้เกิด

Starting salaries of 15,000 a month?

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About jobs

Published: 11 Jul 2011 at 16.10

Are 15,000 baht per month starting salaries for all new university graduates really possible or is this just a dream?

job fair

In the photo, young people check job listings online at the Bangkok Career Expo 2011 held on Friday and Saturday at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok (Photo by KOSOL NAKACHOL)

Click button to listen to Minimum 15,000 University Graduate Salary and rightclick to download

Economics: Don’t count on it, Employers say they can’t just wave a magic wandand push up salaries overnight, and neither can the new government by Chadamas Chinmaneevong & Somporn Thapanachai

A starting salary of 15,000 baht a month is an appealing prospect for a young university graduate. But most entry-level jobs now pay far less – between 9,000 and 12,000 baht on average – and both job-seekers and employers don’t see salaries rising any time soon.

At the recent Bangkok Career Expo 2011, interviews with 83 participants indicated that the new Pheu Thai government would not find it easy to make good on one of its most high-profile election promises.

From the standpoint of employers, if starting salaries are regulated, businesses would have to adjust their salary scales across the board, resulting in higher costs andpotentially affecting the competitiveness of their businesses and of the country.

A human resources officer of a well-known hospitality company said politicians could say anything to win votes but they didn’t care whether a policy was practical or not.

If we pay a salary of 15,000 baht for new staff, the question is how about our existing staff holding the same degrees and earning only 12,000 baht?” he asked rhetorically.

Do we have to tell them that you should resign and reapply again if you want a new salary? It’s nonsense. I think the government should think of a solution for operators, especially small and medium-sized operators. A policy needs clear details before it’s launched.

Pheu Thai economic strategists insist the impact of higher staffing costs would be offsetby a promised reduction in corporate income tax from 30% to 23% by next year and 20% by 2013. However, most executives surveyed by the Post said such reductions wouldbenefit big companies but not small ones.

Pavorn Maleehom, a human resources officer with Tesco Lotus, believes salary should depend on work experience. The average starting salary at the hypermarket chain is currently 13,000 baht – it was just increased from 12,000 baht last month.

“We think it would be difficult to follow the proposed policy,” said Mr Pavorn. “It’s not just a case of offering a new salary base to new bachelor’s degree holders. We would have to adjust the rates for the majority of our staff. So we have no idea how the policy could beimplemented next year.

Young job seekers, while encouraged by the possibility of earning more, were equallysceptical about the Pheu Thai promise materialising.

“I’m looking for a job related to financial accounting. As I talk with many companies here, the average salary for new bachelor’s degree holders is about 10,000 to 12,000 baht. My friends and I will accept the offers and we have a forlorn hope of getting 15,000 baht as promised by the new government,” said Nuchaporn Songsiri, who will graduate from Siam University in two months.

Maybe in five or 10 years a salary of 15,000 baht would be practical, she added with a smile.

A law student at Thammasat University said she believed 15,000 baht was appropriate given the current cost of living, but that no employer could offer such an attractive salary.

“I think 12,000 baht per month can be possible for us. We have no experience. If we request a high salary, it will be difficult to find a job,” she said.

Pawarisa Bunnut, a recent Liberal Arts graduate from Rangsit University, said she expecteda monthly salary of 15,000 baht.

“I know that it’s a policy of Puea Thai for new graduates, and I think they will be able toimplement it but I didn’t choose them anyway,” she said.

Piyamitn Rangsitienchai, chief executive at the local recruitment firm Prompt Professional Resources & Services, said salaries of 15,000 baht were up to 50% higher than current average levels. “If the private sector was forced to pay such a high rate, employers may change to hiring more freelancers rather than paying salaries for a whole month to employees whose working days are not 30 days in each month,” he said.

Another HR specialist said offering a flat rate to all graduates regardless of position or job description may create unfairness as some positions require candidates with morecomplex skills.

“An engineer or a medical adviser would certainly require a different skill set from candidatesfilling a general administration job. If the pay is equal, it would have an impact on moralein the long term,” she said.

She is also worried about employers’ ability to pay as personnel costs generally account for the largest portion of expenses in most organisations. A sharp rise in salaries would certainlydiminish profitability, which would also reduce the benefit of a lower tax rate on corporate profits, she added.

Performance-based pay so positions demanding complex skills should offer a premium rate is more appropriate because students are motivated to choose fields of study that matchthe country’s strategic development plan, said the specialist.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, Don’t count on it, Employers say they can’t just wavea magic wand and push up salaries overnight, and neither can the new government, 11/07/2011, Chadamas Chinmaneevong & Somporn Thapanachai, link)

HR and Job SearchVocabulary 

salary – a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน

starting salary – the first salary that a person gets in their job (may get future “raises” if their performance is excellent)
average starting salary – the middle starting salary (note: some are higher and some lower)

 – worth having or doing น่าสนใจ
attractive salary – a high salary that makes people want to have a job

push up salaries overnight – increase salaries immediately or very quickly

regulated starting salaries – when the government says what the starting salaries for a job must be (not the company)

salary scales – the standard list of different levels of jobs or positions in a company (plus the salaries that each position pays)
adjust – to change something slightly, especially to make it more correct, effective, or suitable ปรับ
across the board – in every case (here: for every position)
adjust salary scales across the board – change salaries for every position and job (in the company)

compensation – the salary an employee receives plus benefits (health insurance, company car, etc)
performance-based pay – when pay given depends on performance of worker (example: sales people have performance-based pay in the form of commissions on sales that they close)
salary base – base salary, lowest salary

work experience – actual experience doing a certain job for several years (not just school courses)
resign – officially choose to stop working at a company ลาออก ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

cost of living (COL) – the money that must be spent each month to “maintain a standard of living” (See Wikipedia)
maintain a standard of living – buy all the goods and services needed to live in a certain way in a certain place (for example, proper schooling for children can be expensive in certain places) (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

human resources – the workers and managers in an organization (staff) and all their skills, resources that can be used to produce goods and services and carry out projects in an organization (See Wikipedia)
human resources department (HR) – the department in a company that takes care of employee related issues (See Wikipedia)
human resources officer –
 a manager in the HR department of a company
resources – things such as money, workers and equipment that can be used to help achieve something ทรัพยากร
officer – a high level person in an organisation with special responsibilities (a government officer, a police officer, an army officer)

 – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย, a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes (See Wikipedia)
practical – useful for real people in real situations, suitable for the situation in which something is used ที่ขึ้นอยู่กับความเป็นจริง

 – employees of a company, people who work for a company พนักงาน
personnel – people who work for a company or organisation

freelancers – people who do not work for a company (outsiders hired by the company to do work)

 – a company with employees, a person, company, or organisation that pays someone to work for them as a member of their staff นายจ้าง
 – a high level manager in a company (making plans and ensuring they executed successfully) ผู้บริหาร

candidates – job candidates, people a company is considering hiring for a certain job 
 – when a company formally gives a person a job (a contract is signed) การว่าจ้าง

job-seekers – people who are looking for jobs
job search – the process of looking for the job you want (when you are unemployed)

entry-level jobs – a person’s first full-time job

sector – a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,…) (SeeWikipedia)

accounting – the work of keeping and checking financial records for a company or organization (See Wikipedia)

hypermarket – a big store with cheap prices such as Lotus or Big C
chain – a group of businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) owned by the same company บริษัทต่างๆที่อยู่ในเครือเดียวกัน
hypermarket chain – a group of large stores (hypermarkets, hypermarts) all owned by one company (Lotus or Big C, for example)

Liberal Arts – general knowledge not specialized knowledge courses, college and university courses on subjects such as literature, history, languages, philosophy, mathematics, and pure sciences rather than more practical subjects such as business, engineering, medicine or law (See Wikipedia)

local -in this country (here: Thailand)
recruitment – the process of finding people to work for a company or become a new member of an organisation การสรรหาใหม่
firm – a business or company บริษัท
local recruitment firm –

flat rate – one fixed amount (not changing with conditions or qualifications of candidate)
offer flat rate regardless of position or job description – everyone earns the same amount

skills – a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
complex skills – a job with complex and difficult tasks

medical adviser – a person offering medical advice (doctor, nurse, skilled laboratory technician, physical therapist, etc)
general administration job – a general clerical job at a company, typing, answering emails, preparing documents, etc

morale – team spirit, the amount of cheerfulness and confidence that the people in an organization or company
impact on morale –  effect on morale (if everyone is being paid the same, but some have more difficult job could have negative effect on morale)

premium –  higher than the usual or average
motivated – given the reason, every, enthusiasm to do something มีแรงจูงใจ
X motivated to Y – X given a reason or energy to do Y

General Vocabulary 

don’t count on it – don’t expect it to happen, you should not believe that it will really happen (same as “don’t hold your breathe”)
wave a magic wand – to do something by magic (which is not really possible) (magic wands are used by wizards, see Wikipedia)

prospect – the possibility that something might happen ความคาดหวัง ความหวังข้างหน้า อนาคต
appealing prospect – something nice thing might happen (something we want)

 – asking a person a series of questions to get information (for example: to decide whether to hire them (job interview) or to publish an article about them)

make good on a promise –
 do the thing that you promised 

election – the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting elect (v) electoral (adj) synonym: the polls การเลือกตั้ง
election promises – promises that election candidates make to help get them elected (promises are often not kept)
high-profile election promises – election promises that many people knew about and talked about

standpoint – opinion, viewpoint, perspective (what one person thinks about an issue)
from the standpoint of – the opinion or belief of (about this issue) 

potentially – possibly เป็นไปได้
competitiveness – how well a business can do compared to other firms (does it have lower price or higher quality?) การแข่งขัน

rhetoric (noun) – 1. the art and skill of using language effectively and persuading people by language, 2. intended to convince and impress people but not really honest or sincere
rhetorically (adverb) – done in a rhetorical way
he asked rhetorically – he asked a rhetorical question
rhetorical question – a question that is asked to make a statement (not really expecting an answer)

nonsense – not true, foolish and silly; ridiculous
operators – businesses doing a business
clear – easy to understand
launched – started เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ began เริ่ม

strategy – plans to achieve long-term goals; plans to gain an advantage, achieve success and victory, as in war (See Wikipedia)
strategist – a person who makes strategy (for a company or in warfare)
economic strategists – a person who makes economic strategy (for a country)

insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you ยืนกราน
impact – an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
offset – move in the opposite direction, reduce by moving in the opposite direction, counter-balance, compensate in the opposite direction (“x offsets y” means “x reduces the effect of y”), make up for (profits from the manufacturing business offset losses from the retail business) (See glossary)

 – money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
income tax – a percentage of a person’s or company’s income paid to the government as tax
corporation (noun) – a company that has been officially created (incorporated) and is owned by shareholders, who are protected from losses if the company loses money (usually a large company) (See Wikipedia)
corporate (adjective) – related to “corporations”
corporate income tax – the income tax that corporations have to pay on the money they earn

survey – to ask someone what their opinion is
benefit – to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์

forlorn – feeling that you are alone and unhappy or left alone and not cared for เหงาหงอยและสิ้นหวัง
 – suggested, presented as a possibility (but not yet chosen or decided upon)

 – most of the people in a group ส่วนใหญ่  เสียงส่วนใหญ่ คนส่วนใหญ่
implemented – when a plan is put into action, actually doing the things in a plan
encouraged – having more confidence or hope about something มีกำลังใจ
sceptical – not believing easily, tending to not believe สงสัย
materialise – appear, come into being or existence

appropriate – right, proper and suitable for a certain situation
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน

 – believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำมาใช้ นำ แผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ

prompt – done quickly (without delay)
match – to be of the same as something else ซึ่งไม่คู่ควร
strategic – done with a special plan to achieve long term goals
strategic development plan – a plan to achieve long-term goals

portion – a part of something ส่วน
sharp rise – a very sudden and large increase
diminish – to gradually become less ลดลง, อ่อนแรง

Thaksin, the idea man

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


General news

Published: 11 Jul 2011 at 08.50

As usual, foreign prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was full of ideas and advice during his interview with our sister newspaper Post Today in Brunei recently. Listen to it in Thai and read the English translation at the same time.

Thaksin outlines his vision for a new Thailand

Thaksin Shinawatra spoke recently with NHA-KRAN LOAHAVILAI, editor of our sister newspaperPost Today and senior reporter WISSANU NUNTONG in Brunei to discuss his thoughts on the Thai economy and his advice to the Pheu Thai Party. You can see and hear it below.

The interview was in Thai, so it will be no problem for our Thai viewers. I have also included the loose (not word for word) English translation that appears with the video. I’ve included some definitions of important vocabulary at the end.

The disputes of the past five years can’t be solved overnight, but there has to be a starting point.

The government has to serve as a leader for the reconciliation effort and fully support the work of the national reconciliation committee.”

The government also has to have a clear position that reconciliation must happen.

”[The government] needs support from all stakeholders, and it can’t allow those parties with differences to stage a confrontation.

And what’s most important is that everyone has to be willing to forgive, and work together for the cause of reconciliation, especially since December 5 is an important day [the 7th cycle birthday of His Majesty the King].

Everyone needs to lower their pride and join together. How can people of all colours, all sides, come together and offer our blessings [to His Majesty] to commemorate this auspicious occasion?

This is an important target for the reconciliation effort.

Our next target will come next year with the 80th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

A good beginning [to reconciliation] is important. The government has to start this process well, to give the public confidence.”

At this time, Yingluck is holding meetings every day, as far as I know. They are moving quickly to address the short-term problems, namely the high cost of living. They will enact measures to help reduce the cost of living.

Medium-term, the people’s income and the country’s economic fundamentals need to be strengthened.

Long-term, megaprojects need to be implemented to help support economic growth over the next, say, 10 years.

These projects including the new city to be built from the ocean dam project, water resources development, new Bangkok mass transit routes and the nationwide high-speed rail programme. They are considering the issues, including finding experts to help set up a plan with the civil service.

What is this new city project?

In the Gulf of Thailand the water level is relatively shallow for some 15 kilometres from the shore. We will build a dam 10 kilometres out. Beyond the dam land will be reclaimed out to another five kilometres to help deepen the waters, which will in turn help clean the ocean.

Beyond the dam, land will be reclaimed to essentially create 200,000 rai or 300 square kilometres of new land. This will become a new city. Whatever Bangkok lacks now, we can build there. For instance, we can build a modern Asian financial centre, or a global software development centre, or a film development centre similar to India’s Bollywood.

Beyond the dam we can build new ports. Power will come from new wind farms. It will be a modern green city.

The high speed trains will include Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Korat and Bangkok-Hua Hin. These will be the first three routes. And then there will be a new route running from China, through Nong Khai and going down to the Malaysian border. New double-gauge tracks also need to be laid down since our existing rail system is outdated and has only a limited carryingcapacity.

In terms of water management, we need to develop our assets to accept more water. Flood control systems have to be improved, and rivers will be linked to improve waterflow.

It might take seven years to complete this project.

Don’t worry about financing. There are several methods. For example, the mass transit projects, we can pay with earnings from our agricultural goods – rubber, rice, sugar or tapioca. These are all products which are needed on the international market.

So those who want to sell their goods to us will in turn also become our customers.

We also need to develop the land around mass transit routes into little communities that can help generate revenue to help offset the investment costs.

Elections are based on rules. If the rules are fair, the referees are fair, then there aren’t any problems.

It’s like a football match. We might cheer for one team. They’ve played well, but lose on penalties. You can’t blame the referee. You have to respect the results.

”The loser simply goes back and practises, and tries to do better next time.

”You don’t lose and quit, and you aren’t always going to be the champ. Things move in seasons.”

”For anyone afraid I will seek retribution, they can come and see me and I’ll gladly treat them to a meal in Dubai.”

I forgive everyone. There aren’t any ill feelings. Now, this doesn’t mean that we will have to work together. There are a lot of things involved in working together. But that doesn’t have anything to do with ill feelings.

For Khun Abhisit, he’s seen a lot already in politics. [The election] was in line with the rules. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose, and prepare for next time.

Regardless, every party is working for the country, so let’s help each other.

The rules are clear: it’s the public that chooses. Whoever they choose, they then go and perform their duty. The losing party goes and performs a different duty.

I’ve always said that I don’t want to be part of the problem – I want to be part of the solution, or part of the process in helping solve the problems.

I return and it helps things improve, then great, but if it makes things worse, then I won’t return. I can continue to pursue my interests abroad.

dispute – a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
overnight – suddenly or quickly, e.g., in one night ในเวลาอันสั้น, ข้ามคืน,อย่างรวดเร็ว
reconciliation – the process of creating a new and friendly relationship again with someone you argued with or fought with การปรองดอง
position – stance; an attitude or view about an issue that you state clearly; position จุดยืน
stakeholder – someone who has an interest in the success of a plan, system, or organization, for example a worker in a company or the parent of a child at a school ผู้ถือผลประโยชน์ร่วม
stage – to organise an event or activity จัด, ก่อให้เกิด
confrontation – a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting การเผชิญหน้า
forgive – to stop feeling angry with somebody who has done something to harm, annoy or upset you ยกโทษให้, อภัยให้
cause – an aim, idea, or organisation that you support or work for  วัตถุประสงค์ อุดมการณ์
pride – the feeling that you are better or more important than other people ความภาคภูมิใจ, ความทะนงตน
commemorate – to remember someone or something officially การระลึกถึง
auspicious – suggesting a positive and successful future ที่มีฤกษ์ดี
occasion – a special event, ceremony or celebration โอกาส, งาน
target – a particular number or amount that you want to achieve เป้าหมาย
confidence – the quality of being certain ความมั่นใจ
address – to deal with a problem จัดการปัญหา
enact –to pass into law ออกกฎหมาย
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
civil service – the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action ราชการพลเรือน.
economic fundamentals – basic economic measures such as interest rates, government income and spending, exports and imports), inflation, confidence, the inflation rate, employment, home prices, stock prices, etc. ปัจจัยพื้นฐานทางเศรษฐกิจ
implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำ แผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ
resources – things such as water, coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากร
mass transit – the system of moving large numbers of people around in a city, including buses, trains, subways, etc.  การขนส่งมวลชน
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
shallow – not deep ตื้น
reclaim – to make land that is naturally too wet or too dry suitable to be built on, farmed, etc  ถมทะเลหรือคลองให้เป็นพื้นดิน
essentially – the true, important or basic nature of somebody/something เป็นหลัก, อย่างตามความจริง
gauge – the distance between the rails of a railway/railroad track or the wheels of a train
outdated – old and no longer suitable or useful ล้าสมัย, ที่พ้นสมัย
capacity – the total amount or number that can be contained or handled ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
assets – things owned by a country, person, company etc. ทรัพย์สิน
link – to connect เชื่อม
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
generate – to produce ก่อให้เกิด
revenue – income from taxes or business activities รายได้
offset – to balance the effect of something, with the result that there is no advantage or disadvantage ชดเชย
referee – a person who is in charge of a sports game and who makes certain that the rules are followed ผู้ตัดสิน, กรรมการตัดสิน
respect – to accept the importance of something; to act according to a rule or law เคารพ
retribution – severe punishment for something seriously wrong that somebody has done การแก้แค้น, การจองเวร,กรรมสนอง
ill feelings – anger between people, especially after an argument or disagreement ความไม่เป็นมิตร, การมีเจตนาไม่ดี
in line with – following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with สอดคล้องกับ
regardless – paying no attention, even if the situation is bad or there are difficultiess ไม่ว่าอย่างไรก็ตาม,
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
pursue – to try to achieve something ดำเนินตาม, พยายามเพื่อให้ได้มาซึ่ง
interests – good results or an advantage for somebody/something ประโยชน์ส่วนบุคคล
abroad – in or to a foreign country  ในต่างประเทศ

Triathlete in Bangkok

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About sports

Published: 8 Jul 2011 at 19.00

Triathlons are more than running, cycling and swimming, they make you mentally tough says a French hotelier and top-ranked triathlete.


Click button to listen to Triathlete Hotelier and rightclick to download

PROFILE: Triathlon man, Hotelier Erwann Mahe talks about his passion for themulti-sport event by Yvonne Bohwongprasert

triathleteErwann Mahe’s decision to become a triathlete five years ago has lead him to have a more disciplined mind andpositive attitude towards solving problems. The Frenchman – who is an executive general manager for Ibis Erawan Thailand – shared that while playing sports in general is good for the body and soul, triathlon sets itself apart in that it is a mind game. It takes much more than physical training to compete. Athletes can sometimes experience such acute fatigue, says Mahe, that only people with mental toughness can often make it to the finish line

Mahe admits that he got into triathlon very much bychance, developing his passion for the disciplinegradually. An avid cyclist since his younger days, theglobe-trotting hotel executive has always indulged in sports to let off steam. When he first came to Thailand seven years ago it was no different.

In a vain search to find a sport that would enable him to de-stress from the pressures of managing five properties for the Ibis hotel brand in the Kingdom, he decided on take up the multi-sport event which involves strenuous swimming, cycling and running on the advice of friends he had met at the cycling club he had previously joined.

Mahe took to the sport like a fish to water. He jumped at the opportunity to compete in his first ever competition – the Phuket Laguna Phuket Triathlon. Still wet behind the ears, he competed in the event with very little knowledge of the mechanics of the discipline.

”I had only six months to train for the event, which by any standards for a triathlete is low. The experience taught me so much about preparation. I was so unprepared, right from my attire to the sporting equipment for three-leg event. The entire experience on the other hand was highly memorable. I finished in the top 200 in a group of about 900 that day. So overall, I thought I did pretty well.

”If you don’t happen to be leading in front of the pack, it is difficult to know just where your position is in a race up until the very end. During the entire course you attempt toimprove on your previous timing, because that is the one aspect of the race that you arein full control of. You are constantly fighting against yourself because you always are looking to improve on your time.”

Three of the most memorable events that Mahe has competed in so far include the 2009 Ironman Langkawi, Malaysia, his first full Ironman course which he completed in over 11 hours of immense physical and mental power. Second, the 2009 Ironman 70.3 China, where he finished 9th overall, qualifying him for the world championship. Last but not least, the Ironman 70.3 Clearwater, Florida in 2009. This race was the world championships, a great experience for the expat hotelier to rub shoulders with the best racers in the world, while having the chance compare the skills between Asian and competitors from Europe and the US.

Training in Phuket and Pattaya was relatively easier, especially with the ocean and areas to swim, cycle and run. Any free time he could snatch from his busy schedule he trained, periodically competing both in Thailand and overseas.

However, when he moved to work in Bangkok, and his workload intensified, it became increasing difficult for him to train. A limited amount of places to run and cycle only added to his dilemma. As he was already hooked on the discipline by then, he worked around it to find both the time and places to train.

After five years he is still going strong. ”Triathlon tests your physical endurance like none other,” says Mahe. ”It’s such an adrenalin-pumping experience that you can fall for it hook, line and sinker.” Being a triathlete has empowered him with more than just the opportunity to unwind from daily stress at work but also, it has taught him the conceptof mind over matter.

Training in Bangkok for a triathlon is not always an easy task. Most Bangkok residents do their training for the running leg of the event at either Queen Sirikit or Lumpini park, but if you are lucky to live on the outskirts of Bangkok, there are many lush areas located in national parks where triathletes can train.

Practicing for the cycling leg can be somewhat of a pain as one has to get out of Bangkok’shorrendous traffic. He suggests his regular hangout, Rama 9 on the way to the airport, to be the most accessible because cyclists meet up regularly over the weekends to practise there. If time permits, he advises people to head to Pattaya or Khao Yai for training, not only does it give them a change of scene, it helps then to get acquainted with courseobstacles which they might encounter during an event.

Mahe polishes his swimming skills in his apartment swimming pool, and adds that Bangkok has actually quite few 50-metre and 25-metre pools at fitness club, schools and in someeducational institutions, which can be utilised for practice

[Read the rest of the article here]

(Source: Bangkok Post, Triathlon man, Hotelier Erwann Mahe talks about his passion for the multi-sport event, 8/07/2011, Yvonne Bohwongprasert, link)

Athletics Vocabulary 

triathlon – a sporting event including combined endurance swimming, cycling and running, races vary in distance (See Wikipedia)
triathlete – a triathlon competitor, a person who competes in Triathlon events

hotelier – a person who works in the hotel business, either as a hotel owner or a high level manager
executive – the highest level managers in a company
hotel executive – a high level manager at a hotel company

disciplined – controlled มีวินัย (ในการใช้จ่าย)
disciplined mind – when you are able to control your mind (to successfully complete difficult tasks and projects)

positive – good ที่ดี
attitude – the way you think and feel about something, as shown in behaviour
positive attitude – a good attitude; hopeful and confident, or giving cause for hope and confidence ซึ่งมองในแง่ดี

soul – the spiritual part of a person or thing วิญญาณ
sets itself apart – makes it different (from other activities)

 training – fitness, exercise (for health and a strong body)

acute – happens suddenly; very serious เฉียบพลันและรุนแรง
fatigue – being tired
acute fatigue – being very tired, very suddenly

finish line – the end of a race or competition (when competitors pass by this line they are finished with the race)

by chance – what happens when you don’t control events (example: gambling = games of chance)
passion for Y – love of activity Y
discipline – self-control;  following rules and standards of behaviour, forcing others to follow these rules (See glossary) ปฏิบัติตามระเบียบข้อบังคับ

avid – extremely eager or interested กระตือรือร้น
avid cyclist – bicycling was a hobby that he really loved doing

globe-trotting – travelling around the world

indulge in – do some fun activity (giving yourself a gift) (example: She indulged in a piece of chocolate cake after a hard day’s work.)

stress – a feeling of worry and tension from difficulties in life; when you worry and think too much about problems
de-stress –  to get rid of strees (reduce worry and tension)
let off steam – relieve stress; reduce tension and worry

vain – fails to achieve what is intended
search – look for something; to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
vain search – look for something but not find that thing

strenuous – using a lot of effort, energy or strength ด้วยความมานะ บากบั่น

enable – to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible ทำให้เป็นไปได้
 – a type of product made by a particular company ตรา, ยี่ห้อ

multi-sport event – a sporting event with more than one sport

took to the sport like a fish to water – really liked the activity and started doing it a lot
jumped at the opportunity – when he had an opportunity, he took the opportunity (with great joy)

wet behind the ears – inexperienced, not having a lot of experience
mechanics – the details how something works (such as a machine or a complicated process)
opportunity – a situation when it is possible to do something that you want to do (Seeglossary)

standards – an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน
which by any standards is low – is very low (everyone would believe)
memorable – likely to be remembered or worth remembering ซึ่งมีค่าน่าจดจำ, โดดเด่น

three-leg event – three part sporting event/competition/race (swimming, biking, running)
cycling leg – the bicycling part of the three part race

if you don’t happen to be Y – if you are not Y (and if you were it wouuld just be because of luck or chance)
leading in front of the pack – be the person who is in first place (leader) or at least close to the leader in a race or other competition

improve – to get better ดีขึ้น
improve on your previous timing – get a shorter and better time in the race (shorter than previous races you ran) 
aspect – one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc ด้าน,มุม
in full control of
constantly – continuously; all the time อย่างต่อเนื่อง

immense – extremely large มหึมา มหาศาล
skills – a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
snatch – take something quickly

workload – the amount of work that a worker must do each day ปริมาณงานที่คนหรือเครื่องจักรทำได้ระยะเวลาหนึ่ง
workload intensified – had more work to do in the same or less time 
dilemma – 
difficult problem to solve 
 – finding something so interesting or attractive that you want to do it as much as possible ติดใจ ตกกระไดพลอยโจน

endurance – the ability to continue with a difficult experience or activity for a long period of time
physical endurance – the ability to do hard physical activities (usually sports) over long periods of time (long distance running, being an example)
tests your physical endurance like none other – the activity is the best test of whether you have endurance (and not just give up when the going gets tough)

adrenalin – a substance that the body produces when you are frightened, excited, anxious or tired, the substance makes your heart beat faster and gives you energy (See Wikipedia)
adrenalin-pumping experience – makes you feel excited and anxious and makes adrenalin pump through your blood vessels

fall for it hook, line and sinker – believe something that is not true (completely believe, completely “taken in”)
empowered – given the legal power to do something

unwind from daily stress at work – do something after work to reduce stress
concept – a principle or idea ความคิด

matter – physical substance in the universe สาร,วัตถุ
mind over matter – “the belief that the mind is more powerful than the body. Specifically, mind over matter refers to controlling pain that one may or may not be experiencing, such as holding one’s hand under extremely hot water and feeling no pain” (See Wikipedia)

task – a piece of work that someone does หน้าที่ ภารกิจ
residents – people who live in an area ผู้อยู่อาศัย ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ
outskirts – the areas of a town or city that are furthest away from the centre, the areas at the edge of a city ชานเมือง
lush – green and healthy (of plants) เขียวชอุ่ม
national parks – a large park (usually in a forest) owned and operated by the government

traffic – the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง
horrendous traffic – very bad traffic 

hangout – a place where you like to stay with friends after work and on weekends (when you have freetime) 
regular hangout – a place you regularly stay at in your freetime
accessible –  easy to get to (from other places)

give them a change of scene – see other places (because you are bored of the one placeyou go to all the time)
obstacles – things that makes it difficult to go somewhere or do something อุปสรรค
get acquainted with course obstacles – learn about the obstacles you will meet during a triathlon competition (fields, streams, mountains, beaches, etc that you have to cross)
encounter – to meet; to experience or deal with something, especially a problem เผชิญกับ (ปัญหา)

polishes his swimming skills – improve and perfect his swimming skills
institutions – large and important organizations, such as universities or banks สถาบัน
educational institutions – universities, high schools and other schools

practice – do some activity often (regularly) in order to do it better
utilised for practice – used for practice

Where are you land reform?

Published พฤษภาคม 21, 2013 by SoClaimon


About economics

Published: 8 Jul 2011 at 15.15

Will Pheu Thai sweep land reform under the carpet? Armed thugs hired by a landlord burned down a squatter village on the edge of Bangkok last week.

village burning

Click button to listen to Land Reform and rightclick to download

Bangkok Post EDITORIAL: Lessons from Thai Melon (8/07/2011)

Rows of thatch-roofed shacks set ablaze sent black smoke swirling into the sky, aspassersby ducked for safety amid a thundering exchange of gunfire.

This was not a scene from a movie. It was a violent attack in broad daylight by some 200armed men to evict a community of squatters from a deserted plot of land right on busy Paholyothin Highway.

The 616-rai plot of land in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district was where the textile factory Thai Melon Polyester once operated. Following the firm’s bankruptcy the land wasconfiscated by the Thai Asset Management Corporation and the deserted premises were taken over by hundreds of landless squatters, who refused to leave when the property finallychanged hands, making the new owner furious. Hence the violent eviction. He is now under arrest.

The Klong Luang police chief has also been transferred for allowing the eviction to occur right under his nose and for failing to arrest the gangsters on the spot.

The occupation of Thai Melon Polyester and the violent eviction reflects the severe problem of landless-ness which has led to heated conflicts all across the country. Though accused of breaking the law, the encroachers’ tears and painful cries as they watched their huts engulfedby the fire was heart-rending. They only wanted as piece of land to live on, they said. Why can’t the government help the landless when there is plenty of idle land around, they asked. Why, indeed?

Disparity and social injustice has been the mantra of the Pheu Thai Party, which now has a mandate to run the country. Ironically, the party does not have any policy to effect landreform to help the landless.

Its priority is political reconciliation. But reconciliation among different power cliquescannot prevent future violent conflicts when structural inequalities are left unaddressed.

How can peace be possible when nearly 5 million farmers are landless, while 90% of arable land belongs to only 10% of the people? How can the landless not be furious when 70% ofland is left idle when they desperately need farms to till? Or when 30 million rai of land is actually available for redistribution – if only the government had the political will to free theplots from bankruptcy confiscation to help the poor, instead of selling these plots at firesale prices to the landlords.

How can politicians explain their inaction on land reform, when 134 of the MPs in the last government today own as much as 42,221 rai of land worth more than 10 billion baht combined.

Whichever political party is in power, the government cannot sweep land reform under the carpet if it wants to avert a land rights war and pave the way for social equity. During its tenure, the Democrat-led government made the right move in recognising community land ownership, to maintain farmlands within the communities, and to set up aland bank to buy idle land for redistribution to the landless.

But much more needs to be done, such as building an online database of land ownership, as well as implementing progressive land, property and inheritance taxes to free up unproductive land from the hands of the privileged few. The country stands to lose if the momentum towards reform comes to a standstill. With Pheu Thai’s emphasis ondisparity and double standards as the country’s main problems, it faces even higher public expectations to make equitable land distribution a reality. Without land reform, equity remains a pipe dream and Pheu Thai’s promise to eliminate disparity becomes nothing but empty rhetoric.

(Source: Bangkok Post, EDITORIAL, Lessons from Thai Melon, 8/07/2011, link)

Land Reform Vocabulary 

thatch – straw or reeds
thatch-roofed shacks -small houses with rooves made of straw or reeds

ablaze – on fire ถูกไฟไหม้
set ablaze – lit on fire

swirl – moving around and around quickly, moving in a circle
swirling into the sky – moving in a circle as it moves up in the air

passersby – people passing by a place (in cars, motorcycles or walking)
ducked for safety – fall down or lean down (so you don’t get hit by bullets that are flying through the air)
violent – involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง

broad – wide กว้างๆ
in broad daylight – not a secret; done in a way that everyone can see (not hidden at night)
armed – carrying guns or other weapons ติดอาวุธ

eviction (noun) – the process of forcing someone to leave a building or place where they have been living or working การขับไล่ออกจากพื้นที่ การไล่ที่
evict (verb) – force people to leave the place they are living or doing business in (the place they “occupy”)

 – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
squatters – people who live on land other people own illegally, without the permission of the owners คนที่เข้าครอบครองสถานที่โดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต

evict a community of squatters – force a group of people who are living in a place without permission of the owner to leave
deserted – empty ที่ถูกทิ้งให้ว่างเปล่า ร้างไป
plot – a piece of land used for a particular purpose

bankruptcy – when a company loses money and does not have enough money to pay their debts and continue in business, the company’s assets are sold off to pay debts (See Wikipedia)
confiscated – taken away ยึด ริบทรัพย์ หรือสินค้า officially took away someone’s possessions for legal reasons or as a punishment ยึดทรัีพย์ ถูกยึด

 – the buildings and land that a business or organisation uses ที่ดินและสิ่งปลูกสร้าง
deserted premises – an empty building

 changed hands – when land and real estate changes owners (new owner)
make furious – make very angry

transferred – changed someone’s job or responsibilities โยกย้ายตำแหน่ง
occur right under his nose – some bad event happened (when he was there and should have seen it and stopped it)
on the spot – immediately (do it when it happens at the place it happens)
arrest the gangsters on the spot – arrest the gangsters immediately

occupation – the act of staying or living in a place (example: the company’s occupation of the building lasted for 10 years)
severe – very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
severe problem – a very serious and worrying problem
conflicts – angry disagreements and fighting between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง

 – covered or surrounded by something harmful, in this case, fire ปกคลุม
engulfed by the fire –  covered and surrounded by fire, by flames

heart-rending – makes you feel very sad and pity the people
landless – people and families without land (to live on and farm)

 – having more than enough of what you need to live อุดมสมบูรณ์
idle – not being used; not working อยู่นิ่ง ไม่ให้บริการ หยุดนิ่ง ไม่ดำิเนินการ ซึ่งยังไม่ได้ใช้การ
there is plenty of idle land around – there is a lot of land that is not being used

disparity – a big difference

 – when something unfair happens to people; failure to treat someone fairly and to respect their rights ความไม่ยุติธรรม
social injustice – when something unfair happens to one group of people in society

 – a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes (See Wikipedia) นโยบาย
reform – a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

 – something important that must be done first สี่งที่สำคัญเป็นลำดับแรก
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก,การคืนดี, ประสานสัมพันธ์

clique – a small group of friends (other people cannot join, exclusive)
power clique – a small group of friends who share power amongst themselves

address a problem – try to solve a problem
problem remains unadressed – the problem has not been solved yet
unaddressed – (of a problem) not taken care of

arable land – land that can be farmed
land left idle – land that is not farmed (or used for any productive purpose)
till the land – plow the land (to make it ready for planting seed)
desperately – extremely or very much อย่างเต็มที่
desperately need farms to till – very much need farms
redistribution – taking from one group of people and giving to another group, sharing something out differently from before, especially in a fairer way การปันส่วนหรือจัดสรรอย่างเป็นธรรม
plots – pieces of land
landlords – the owners of land or real estate (here farmland)

sweep under the carpet – hidden away and forgotten about (don’t talk about it, so people forget about it and never think about it anymore)
sweep land reform under the carpet – don’t talk about land reform anymore, so people forget about it
rights – things that people must or should have as a matter of law or morals, things they are entitled to (See Wikipedia) สิทธิ์
land rights – land and real estate that people own (or should own as a matter of morals or the law)
land rights war – a big fight over who gets land
avert a land rights war  – avoid a big right over who gets land
pave – to cover an area of ground with a hard flat surface of pieces of stone, concrete or bricks
equity – being fair and reasonable, treating everyone equally
social equity – a situation when all people in society are treated fairly
pave the way for Y – prepare the way for Y, do what is needed for Y to happen
pave the way for social equity – do what is needed to achieve social equity
tenure – the period of time during which someone has an important job ช่วงระยะเวลาที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง the period of time spent in a position or government office ในระยะเวลาที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง
maintain – to keep รักษา
land bank – the buying and holding of land for future development or use (here: agricultural land or “arable” land, to be used for farming)  (See Wikipedia)

online – connected to the internet
database – a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way ฐานข้อมูล
online database of land ownership

implementing – turning a plan into a functioning system นำมาใช้จริง
inheritance – money or objects that someone gives you when they die มรดก ทรัพย์สินที่ได้รับมรดก
progressive land, property and inheritance taxes –

unproductive land – land that is not producing anything (rich owner holding the land to make a long-term profit from appreciation in land value)
free up unproductive land – take land that is not being used to produce crops or in business and give it to someone who can use it
in the hands of the privileged few – owned by a small group of rich people

momentum – forward movement and progress towards achieving goals
come to a standstill – stop
momentum towards reform comes to a standstill – the movement and progress towards improvement stops

emphasis – special importance or attention that is given to one thing in particular การเน้นย้ำ
disparity – a big difference between two things
standards – a rule for behaving which should be obeyed มาตรฐาน, บรรทัดฐาน, กฎเกณฑ์, กรอบ
double standards – when there are two rules (a special rule for a special group of people and another rule for ordinary people)

expectations – what people believe will happen in the future การคาดคะเน
faces even higher public expectations – people believe they will get even more in the future 

distribution – giving or delivering things to many people การจำหน่ายออกไป
equitable distribution – when people are given the same amounts (or at least fair amounts) of something (here: land)
equitable land distribution – when people have fair amounts of land (farmers often become landless during bad economic times when they have to sell their land to big landlords who then accumulate large amounts of this land which remains idle)

reality – actually happening ความเป็นจริง
make a reality – make it real, make it true (not just a plan or a dream)

eliminate – to get rid of completely กำจัดหรือขจัดให้หมดไป
eliminate disparity – end the difference (in income and wealth, for example) 

empty – having nothing inside ว่างเปล่า
rhetoric – language that tries to convince or persuade people (but may not be completely honest and sincere)
empty rhetoric – things that people say or promise to achieve a goal (such as election) which are not true or they will not do (therefore meaningless)

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