Advance Blog

November 15, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 11 November 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
7,496 (240 from prisons); (excluding ATK 2,358)1,996,969 (last seven days: 53,545)1,846/ 4251,880,636 (+7,452)1,968,106            44,579,576  (+125,899) BKK: 8,583,014 (+ 516,278)2,675,847 (+31,288) BKK: 740,333 (+5,676)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Percentage of detection rate (past seven days)
7,244 [6,942 (get tested in hospital) + 302 (active case finding)]12 (in SQ)96,450 [53,266 in field hospital]407,985 (+752)19,883 (+57) (last seven days: 421)82,532,531 (+ 792,255) BKK:  16,426,546 (+ 771,469)                           35,277,108 (+516,278) BKK: 7,103,199 (+85,491)11.73 %
  • Labour Minister said that in a bid to help curb the pandemic in the Kingdom, the government will set aside 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for foreign workers as it prepares to welcome them back to the country to help ease a labour shortage. The government plans to allow workers from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos to re-enter the country, entitled to two-week quarantine, beginning next month and fill up shortages in big exporting industries such as food and rubber production.–Reuters

Politics

  • On Thursday morning, the Constitutional Court website https://www.constitutionalcourt.or.th/ was hacked-the interface of the site showed Guillotine (It goes Yah) song and the title of the site has been changed to be ‘Kangaroo Court’.—Krungthep Turakij
  • On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court made a verdict which has political ramifications that the 10 monarchical reform proposals are seditious and overthrowing the constitutional monarchy regime. The court imposed no penalty but ordered them and their groups “to cease further action in these matters”.–Reuters and all media outlet In its televised brief, the court also said that “the monarchy will be with Thailand forever as the revere institution and must not be violated. The political history has proven that the authority lies with the monarch since the Sukothai era.” There have been various reactions from all sides of the political aisles:
    • Panusaya ‘Rung’ on the key leaders of the student-led protest expressed her defiance of the ruling and said that the court has no legitimacy as it did not go through any investigation of the defendants. The figure who delivered the 10 proposals historical speech said that her only intention was to call for the reform of the monarchy.—Krungthep Turakij
    • Deputy PM General Prawit
    • Deputy leader of the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party and its party-listed MP Paiboon Nithitawan has suggested the Election Commission to look into politicians and political parties who are conducting similar actions to the protestors whether those actions are also deemed as seditious and an attempt to overthrow the regime.–Matichon
    • The leader of opposition Move Forward Party said that the court verdict is dragging Thailand into a perilous and narrow path as it leaves no room for people holding different opinions on how the country should look like. The MP said that the attempt by the ruling elites to annihilate the (younger) people who are thinking differently cannot reach a plan to realise a stable nation.–Matichon
    • A senior member of the royal family and the King’s Guard Julajerm Yugala wrote on his social media thanking the royalist lawyer who place the case to the Constitutional Court, saying that the lawyer has served the Kingdom well.—Thai Post
    • An academia from Thammasat University said that the court verdict has, in effect, establish a new constitution and regime (beyond constitutional monarchy) which does not involve people participation. Prajak Kongkirati, the political scientist, said that the verdict also distorts the principle of constitutional monarchy and undermine the principle of popular sovereignty.—Krungthep Turakij
    • Associate Professor Dr.Paungthong Pawakapan from Chulalongkorn University gave an interview saying that the verdict will be a stepping stone for the government to file a case to dissolve the opposition Move Forward Party due to its progressive platforms. The senior political pundit said that the dissolution, if happens, will bring about the greater wave of anti-government protests.—Matichon TV
  • On Wednesday during the United Nations Human Rights Review, a foreign ministry representative defended the expanded and strict usage of royal defamation laws that the lese majeste law “reflects the culture and history of Thailand, where the monarchy is one of the main pillars of the nation, highly revered by the majority of Thai people”. European countries, including, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland called for the Kingdom to amend or review the law. The US expressed concerns over the expanded use of the law and its impact on freedom of expression.–Reuters
  • The government spokesperson said that as there have been calls to amend the royal defamation laws, the PM has made the government stance clear that it will not revise or amend the law.—Krungthep Turakij

Economic:

APEC

  • PM Prayut is prepared to take up the APEC chairmanship from New Zealand on 12 November.  The handover will be televised on 13 November, together with PM Prayut’s official statement to the Thai people on NBT (channels 5 and 9) and Thai PBS at 8:02 am.  Source:  APEC 2022 Thailand fb page

Others

  • The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to maintain the policy rate at 0.5 percent to support economic recovery.  It reiterates that the Thai economy has passed the lowest point in Q3 of 2021 and identified the government’s stimulus measures and tourism as the propellers of economic growth.  BOT will continue to monitor the Baht volatility as well as inflation, which has been on the upward trend due to the higher global energy prices and global supply constraints.  BOT maintains its GDP forecast of +0.7 percent for 2021 and +3.8 percent for 2022.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Bank of Thailand press release Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 11 November 2021
  • AirAsia Group forecasts that the aviation business will return to normalcy in 3 months, on the condition that more borders in the region re-open with no quarantine and RT-PCR test requirements.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Ministry of Commerce plans to upgrade 500 Thai exporters to develop BCG products next year, up from 50 this year.  The BCG export products will focus on 3 sectors, namely functional food & organic food; lifestyle products and health & medical products.  The plan is in line with the global climate agenda and global megatrends.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has signed an MoU with 7 Thai – Japanese companies to conduct a feasibility study on developing the Carbon Neutral Industrial Estate at Rayong province’s Map Ta Phut industrial estate.  The Carbon Neutral Industrial Estate will utilise energy-saving technology, hydrogen fuel and a variety of clean energy.  This is in alignment with Thailand’s goal to become a low-carbon country in accordance with the BCG policy and to level up the standard of industrial estate and Smart Park in the EEC.  Source:  Daily News  Bangkok Post
  • Ministry of Public Health is promoting marijuana, cannabis extract and kratom into economic cash crop.  It aims to promote a total of 12 herbal products with the goal of tapping into global the market worth 1.8 trillion Baht.  It expects the domestic market to grow by 78 billion Baht in 5 years.  Source:  Thansettakj
  • The National Shippers Council supports Thailand to join RCEP as joining more FTAs will prepare Thailand to adapt to future trade rules and regulations in the global arena.  RCEP will also expand Thailand’s trade and investment opportunities in 15 countries.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 11 November 2021
  • RCEP is expected to boost FDI in the ASEAN region since it presents investors with an opportunity to tap into the Global Value Chain forged by a large number of RCEP member countries.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 11 November 2021
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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