Jump to content

Chiwit Thai


Yamato
 Share

Recommended Posts


https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Thailand-s-slow-tourism-recovery-keeps-unemployment-rate-elevated?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20210825190000&seq_num=17&si=44594

 

Thailand's slow tourism recovery keeps unemployment rate elevated
Pattaya, Chiangmai to postpone September reopening due to insufficient vaccines

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am

A couple pass a closed bar in Pattaya, Chonburi Province, on April 3. The reopening of the popular beach town will be delayed due to a low vaccination rate.   © Reuters
MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writerAugust 25, 2021 15:16 JST

 

BANGKOK -- A slow recovery in tourism is expected to leave many Thais jobless, and Pattaya and Chiangmai look to postpone reopening to international visitors by a month to October due to insufficient vaccines.

 

Thailand's unemployment rate during the second quarter was 1.89%, the Office of National Economic and Social Development Council announced on Wednesday. That was a slight recovery from 1.96% in the first quarter but remained elevated compared to pre-COVID times, when the rate was below 1%.

 

The recovery was a surprise to labor market watchers. Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the economic planning agency, said in May that the rate was "expected to rise again." Tanit Sorat, vice chairman of the Employers' Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, predicted that the jobless rate might reach 2.5% in the second quarter.

 

Thailand is struggling from ongoing outbreaks of the delta strain, which spread in early July. Affected provinces have been put under business lockdowns and a nighttime curfew since mid-July, pushing more companies, especially small- and medium-size enterprises, to consider slashing workforces and job offers. The second-quarter data did not include the impact of the delta epidemic.

 

Traditionally, going back to rural areas was a safety valve when people lost jobs in Bangkok and other cities. People were able to easily enter the agricultural sector and other forms of self-employment. But the elevated unemployment rate suggests that the number leaving urban areas has been too large to handle.

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am

 

Tourism and related businesses, which used to account for 20% of the nation's gross domestic product in pre-COVID times, had been the hardest-hit sector since the dawn of the pandemic because of travel restrictions.

 

In June, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha launched a plan to fully reopen the country in 120 days for inoculated travelers, in hopes of lifting the economy and employment through reviving tourism. But the delta outbreaks and slow vaccine rollout have clouded the country's road map to reopening.

 

Two major tourist destinations look to postpone their reopening. Chiangmai, the largest city in northern Thailand, is expected to delay it by a month to Oct. 1. The city aims to fully inoculate 70% of its population to minimize the risk of outbreaks caused by tourists as new variants emerge globally. But the vaccination rate had not been reached as of Aug. 19, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand Deputy Gov. Thanet Phetsuwan.

 

The reopening of Pattaya, a beach town on the Gulf of Thailand, will be delayed for the same reason. Bun-anan Phatthanasin, president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, admitted to local media that a plan to achieve herd immunity before September appeared unlikely to be accomplished. He said he had no idea when the plan would be completed.

 

The road map began in July, with Phuket launching a "sandbox experiment." The country took a calculated risk to welcome vaccinated visitors without any quarantine period in a closed environment where the government could halt the test if epidemics evolved on the island.

 

The island of Koh Samui followed Phuket in mid-July. The island of Krabi was to accept tourists from the beginning of August, but that was delayed, and the reopening started in a different fashion from what the government originally anticipated. From Aug. 17, Krabi began welcoming tourists who had already spent over seven days in Phuket.

 

The September reopening of Chiangmai and Pattaya, along with other tourist destinations such as Buriram, was going to be an important opportunity for Thailand to assess the pros and cons of inviting tourists to the mainland for the first time in the pandemic. The delay clouds the country's path ahead, as it will have less data to use in weighing a full reopening.

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am

Chiangmai, the largest city in northern Thailand, is expected to delay its reopening to tourists from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1.   © AP

 

The government, however, has indicated optimism. "Based on the figures currently available, it has been agreed that the outbreak situation has reached its peak and will slow down," said Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

 

The outbreak situation slightly eased this week. In the past few weeks, daily cases had been at roughly 20,000, but daily confirmed cases on Monday and Tuesday were both under 18,000, and 18,417 cases were reported on Wednesday.

 

Opas said the assessment on reopening will be made after the lockdown measures are lifted. The current restrictions are scheduled to expire by the end of this month.

 

The government also has expressed confidence on securing vaccines. As of Aug. 19, 8.2% of Thais were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, while 19.9% were partially vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. Raising those proportions is vital to the safe and full reopening of the country.

 

AstraZeneca, which has been locally producing its vaccine since June, was contracted to deliver 61 million doses before next May, but Prayuth's government has been pushing the pharmaceutical company to advance delivery to the end of this year. On Monday, AstraZeneca confirmed that it will step up vaccine deliveries and aim to deliver the remaining doses by the year's end, according to a government spokesperson.

 

The country also received 150,000 AstraZeneca doses from Bhutan in order to contain the outbreaks of the delta strain. The government said that they were borrowed, not donated, from Bhutan and that it intends to return an equal number of doses or more in the future.

Edited by Yamato
  • Like 1
  • Geek 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/Thailand-pro-Thaksin-group-resurfaces-as-COVID-worsens?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20210827190000&seq_num=29&si=44594

 

Thailand pro-Thaksin group resurfaces as COVID worsens
Returning Red Shirts and student protesters make strange new bedfellows

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am
Protesters have been using firecrackers in regular recent clashes with riot police in Bangkok's Din Daeng area with its major road junctions.    © Getty Images
TORU TAKAHASHI, Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Headquarters for AsiaAugust 27, 2021 14:01 JST

 

BANGKOK -- In recent weeks, hard-core protesters have been clashing with riot police on an almost daily basis under an overpass at Din Daeng, a major intersection area 10 minutes north of central Bangkok.

 

The clashes erupted after police erected roadblocks to prevent protesters from reaching an army compound that contains Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's residence.

 

Political agitation resumed in June, and the violence has mounted steadily with fireworks and other small explosive devices being thrown at police lines. The police have responded with water cannons and tear gas, and the disorder appears to be deepening.

 

Mostly young people took to the streets after the Constitutional Court ordered the dissolution of the Future Forward Party, an opposition party with strong youth support, in February 2020. The student-led protests condemned the government, the military, the often compliant judiciary, the military-drafted constitution and the monarchy for undermining democracy.

 

In addition to demanding Prayuth's resignation and constitutional reform, the protesters shattered the old taboo against criticism of the royal family.

 

The government reinstated use of the law of lese-majeste late last year, and multiple charges were brought against key student leaders, whose bail applications were denied for months. The detentions combined with anti-COVID-19 measures took the wind out of the protests for some months around the New Year.

 

But this year's lockdowns have failed to contain the spread of infections, and public distrust in the government has mounted because of its failure to secure sufficient vaccines. The increase in infections has fueled protests and changed the demographics with the involvement of more radical and violent elements.

 

One of the most significant changes is the reemergence of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), a civilian group that backs Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister deposed in a coup in 2006. Thaksin's supporters, collectively known as Red Shirts, have historically pitted themselves against the Yellow Shirts, which support the traditional establishment, especially the monarchy.

 

Particular attention has been given to the resurfacing of Nattawut Saikua, 46, the UDD's secretary general. After three years of seclusion, he has announced a campaign to oust Prayuth. In the beginning and middle of August, he and other UDD leaders led fleets of cars and motorcycles blaring horns through Bangkok in protest against the government.

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am
Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua, secretary general of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, addressed anti-government protesters at a 'car mob' rally in Bangkok on Aug. 1.    © Getty Images

 

The UDD was formed after Thaksin's overthrow in 2006. One of its early acts of defiance was a march on the home of Prem Tinsulanonda, a former prime minister. The UDD believed that as president of the Privy Council, Prem had masterminded the coup against Thaksin. Prem, also a former army chief who wielded enormous influence in military circles, died in 2019.

 

Thaksin's disbanded Thai Rak Thai party was reconstituted as the People's Power Party, which won the 2007 general election under a new constitution. Thaksin's proxy prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, and his successor, Somchai Wongsawat (a brother in law of Thaksin), were both removed after short terms by court orders. After various judicial and military interventions, they were replaced in December 2008 by Abhisit Vejjajiva, who headed a coalition led by his Democrat Party until August 2011.

 

The UDD claimed the Abhisit government stole power "undemocratically," and became increasingly militant. The Red Shirts, some of them armed, occupied much of central Bangkok, reprising Yellow Shirt occupations of Government House, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and other parts of the capital on Samak's and Somchai's watches in 2008 by the People's Alliance for Democracy, led by Sondhi Limthongkul.

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am
Portraits of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra have been seen at recent protests in Bangkok as supporters raise his profile.    © Getty Images

 

In May 2010, troops were sent in to end the Red Shirt occupation of major parts the capital, and over 90 people were killed in the violence. Nattawut had spearheaded the pro-Thaksin movement, both on the streets with the UDD and in parliament as a member of the lower house, but as chaos descended at the end he called for the abandonment of the demonstration on May 19.

 

When Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's younger sister, formed her cabinet after a general election in 2011, Nattawut served as deputy minister for agriculture and cooperatives and deputy minister for commerce.

 

UDD activities wound down after the 2014 coup that ousted what remained of Yingluck's caretaker government, and Nattawut was imprisoned for alleged offenses committed outside Prem's home in 2007. He was pardoned and released from prison at the end of 2020.

 

Nattawut has returned to political life citing the Prayuth government's failure to contain COVID-19 as a reason. His reappearance locks step with Thaksin's recent moves -- although Nattawut denies it. The former prime minister, who remains in exile because of corruption convictions in absentia against him, has recently stepped up his social media activities. In mid-July, he caught major attention after pledging on the Clubhouse social audio app to return to Thailand at any cost.

 

Anti-government protests have been led by students in recent years. Will the protests gather steam if experienced members of the UDD join them? It is fair to say that students and UDD members are "strange fellows in the same bed."

 

Nattawut has been tested by fire, and would never be naive enough to imagine Prayuth and his government could be unseated by honking motor horns. The road demonstrations may in fact be more of a signal relating to the next general election, which will be held in March 2023 at the latest -- only 19 months away.

 

Thaksin supporters want to lure votes to the Pheu Thai Party, building on the former premier's popularity and financial expertise, and mobilizing the UDD's organizational skills. Nattawut will himself be unable to run due to his ban from politics, but he can still mobilize public attention and amplify Thaksin's words and deeds to use the UDD as a vote generator for Pheu Thai.

 

There is much to ponder. How are pro-Thaksin parliamentarians likely to proceed? Will Pheu Thai, which cooperated with the Future Forward in the March 2019 election, work with the Move Forward Party that replaced Future Forward after it was disbanded by court order?

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am
Future Forward, the party led by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, was disbanded by court order in early 2020, and replaced by the Move Forward Party. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

 

Thai politics can breed strange alliances in which "oil and water" mix. There is even a possibility that Pheu Thai might link up with the Palang Pracharath Party, the main party in Prayuth's coalition, according to Satithon Thananithichot, director of the Innovation for Democracy Office at the King Prajadhipok Institute. "If many more people become infected and die from COVID-19, it could force the prime minister to resign," Satithon said. "Then Palang Pracharath could team up with Pheu Thai to set up a new government."

 

At present, reform of the election system is being deliberated in parliament. If the two largest parties agreed to reduce the number of seats allocated to politicians on party lists by proportional representation, and to increase the number of single seat constituencies contested, the change would be a blow to Move Forward. It is the only major party to have more seats allocated by proportional representation than by constituencies.

 

A no-confidence motion submitted by opposition parties on Aug. 16 does not apply to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the head of Palang Pracharath, and Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Thamanat Prompow, the party's controversial secretary general.

 

Move Forward demanded the pair's inclusion but Pheu Thai rejected the call, according to local media. Some interpreted that as a possible sign of collaboration between Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharath.

 

But what would Pheu Thai gain from dumping Move Forward and linking up with Palang Pracharath, its adversary? A much better chance of getting close to power would be one obvious answer.

 

Under the existing constitution, Thailand's prime minister is chosen by a majority of the 500 elected members of the House of Representatives combined with 250 military-appointed members of the Senate. Assuming no support from the Senate, the pro-Thaksin group would need to secure over 75% of the lower house to install a prime minister from its own ranks -- a virtual impossibility.

 

In order to enter the cabinet, Pheu Thai would have to set aside its resentment toward Palang Pracharath to form a ruling coalition, secure ministries and perhaps achieve a degree of political stability.

 

Why might Palang Pracharath involve itself in such a counterintuitive maneuver? The main government party has been struggling with the current fractious and unwieldy 20-party coalition, so a grand coalition between the Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharath might fly under a "national unity" banner for post-pandemic economic rehabilitation.

 

The monarchy could also be a factor. While not uncritical of the institution, Pheu Thai has been silent on the question of actual reform. When asked about youth demands for reform of the monarchy under the constitution, Nattawut has so far played coy, merely saying that society should listen to the opinions of young people.

 

A pardon from King Maha Vajiralongkorn wipes away lese-majeste charges and facilitate releases from prison. An unconditional pardon would also provide a route home for Thaksin. There is no upside for Pheu Thai -- which is overall the largest party in parliament -- to endorse street protests by being openly critical of the monarchy -- nor to being stuck ineffectually in the opposition with Move Forward, which has backed them.

 

It would be a major reversal of history if the gap between pro- and anti-Thaksin forces that has endured 15 years suddenly closed because of youth calls for reform of the monarchy, but such a development would shine a light on the unprincipled, transactional nature of Thai politics.

 

Many young people would react badly to such a marriage of convenience, but their idealistic demands on the streets have failed to dent the parliamentary gridlock the military has created. Post-pandemic, Thai society will fall into an even deeper abyss if it cannot unlock its generational and ideological differences peacefully.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2172463/restaurateurs-fume-at-new-rules

Restaurateurs fume at new rules
Staff, customers must have 2 jabs and antigen tests weekly
published : 28 Aug 2021 at 06:44

 

c1_2172463_210828084822.jpg
People walk in the quiet Siam Paragon shopping centre as the government orders all malls in Bangkok and other provinces hit hardest by Covid-19 to close. (Photo: Arnun Chonmhatrakoo)

 

Restaurant and retail operators have vented their deep disappointment over the government's new directives, saying such requirements are impractical and unrealistic.

 

Leading restaurant chains such as Minor Food, the Mall Group, Zen Plc and Mae Sri Ruen restaurant all predict it is unlikely they can revive their business with the new guidelines issued by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday.

 

The CCSA lifted most restrictions on retail and dining from next month. Restaurants are allowed to resume dine-in services, with 75% capacity allowed for outdoor dining spaces and 50% for air-conditioned locations.

 

But all service staff at restaurants must have two doses of vaccine and be tested with antigen test kits every 5-7 days. The new guidelines also require customers to show proof of vaccination and have negative tests before entering restaurants.

 

"This means only a small number of customers will be allowed to dine in restaurants. We plan to only open restaurants where we already provide delivery," said Prapat Siangjan, chief operating officer of Minor Food Group.

 

4072567.jpg
Riverside Plaza Bangkok on Charoen Nakhon Road temporarily closes as diners queue for deliveries and takeaways.

 

"The new directive does not help restaurant operators as much as we hoped, so it is better to keep our 280 restaurants shuttered until more practical guidelines are provided. We will only open some branches when we are confident it will not lead to a loss."

 

Mr Prapat called on the government to relax the measure by reducing the staff requirement to one jab.

 

Chan Ruengrung, executive vice-president of Mae Sri Ruen restaurant chain, said that it is very difficult for both restaurant operators and customers to follow the new restaurant's guidelines.

 

"Thais love freedom. They will not be happy to take an antigen test every time they want to eat at a restaurant," he said. "This requirement is not practical because restaurants are never as crowded as supermarkets or convenience stores.

 

Mr Chan said roughly 50% of his restaurant staff received a first jab and none have a second shot.

 

"We believe many restaurateurs are in the same situation. If the government really wants to help us, it should prioritise restaurant employees for vaccine allocation, he said.

 

Mae Sri Ruen has closed three restaurants permanently in the first half this year and plans to shutter two more restaurants soon.

 

Voralak Tulaphorn, chief marketing officer of the Mall Group Co, said it is quite difficult to ask all of the Mall's tenants to have two jabs.

 

"Could the CCSA ease the requirement to only one jab and one antigen test a month?" asked Ms Voralak.

 

Boonyong Tansakul, chief executive at Zen Corporation Plc, the operator of Zen, AKA, On the Table and Tummour chains, called for flexibility on the condition of two jabs.

  • Like 1
  • Wahaha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Yamato said:

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2172463/restaurateurs-fume-at-new-rules

Restaurateurs fume at new rules
Staff, customers must have 2 jabs and antigen tests weekly
published : 28 Aug 2021 at 06:44

 

c1_2172463_210828084822.jpg
People walk in the quiet Siam Paragon shopping centre as the government orders all malls in Bangkok and other provinces hit hardest by Covid-19 to close. (Photo: Arnun Chonmhatrakoo)

 

Restaurant and retail operators have vented their deep disappointment over the government's new directives, saying such requirements are impractical and unrealistic.

 

Leading restaurant chains such as Minor Food, the Mall Group, Zen Plc and Mae Sri Ruen restaurant all predict it is unlikely they can revive their business with the new guidelines issued by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday.

 

The CCSA lifted most restrictions on retail and dining from next month. Restaurants are allowed to resume dine-in services, with 75% capacity allowed for outdoor dining spaces and 50% for air-conditioned locations.

 

But all service staff at restaurants must have two doses of vaccine and be tested with antigen test kits every 5-7 days. The new guidelines also require customers to show proof of vaccination and have negative tests before entering restaurants.

 

"This means only a small number of customers will be allowed to dine in restaurants. We plan to only open restaurants where we already provide delivery," said Prapat Siangjan, chief operating officer of Minor Food Group.

 

4072567.jpg
Riverside Plaza Bangkok on Charoen Nakhon Road temporarily closes as diners queue for deliveries and takeaways.

 

"The new directive does not help restaurant operators as much as we hoped, so it is better to keep our 280 restaurants shuttered until more practical guidelines are provided. We will only open some branches when we are confident it will not lead to a loss."

 

Mr Prapat called on the government to relax the measure by reducing the staff requirement to one jab.

 

Chan Ruengrung, executive vice-president of Mae Sri Ruen restaurant chain, said that it is very difficult for both restaurant operators and customers to follow the new restaurant's guidelines.

 

"Thais love freedom. They will not be happy to take an antigen test every time they want to eat at a restaurant," he said. "This requirement is not practical because restaurants are never as crowded as supermarkets or convenience stores.

 

Mr Chan said roughly 50% of his restaurant staff received a first jab and none have a second shot.

 

"We believe many restaurateurs are in the same situation. If the government really wants to help us, it should prioritise restaurant employees for vaccine allocation, he said.

 

Mae Sri Ruen has closed three restaurants permanently in the first half this year and plans to shutter two more restaurants soon.

 

Voralak Tulaphorn, chief marketing officer of the Mall Group Co, said it is quite difficult to ask all of the Mall's tenants to have two jabs.

 

"Could the CCSA ease the requirement to only one jab and one antigen test a month?" asked Ms Voralak.

 

Boonyong Tansakul, chief executive at Zen Corporation Plc, the operator of Zen, AKA, On the Table and Tummour chains, called for flexibility on the condition of two jabs.

 

dont worry, siamland govt is not the only kumgong one.

 

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/malaysia-mco-covid19-malls-visits-2hour-limit-impractical-1399026

 

but hor, sgp zheng hu also not much better.

 

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/home-isolation-pilot-programme-for-mildly-ill-covid-19-patients-from-aug-30

  • Wahaha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Mugentech.net uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site you agree to Privacy Policy