Advance Blog

December 1, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 1 December 2020

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesDischarged from hospital
+104,0083,811 (at 95.08%)
Local transmissionFrom aboardBeing hospitalisedDeath toll
0+1013760

Traffic Alert:

  • Today, ‘Bad Student’ group is going to gather in front of the Ministry of Education from 4.00pm.

Politics

  • The German Parliament is having development on the status of residency of His Majesty the King Vajiralongkorn in Germany. Nikkei Asia interviewed Bundestag’s research service, which unveiled that the King has been residing long-term using private visa. Researchers concluded that the German government could choose to tie the king’s visa issuance to an explicit requirement that he appoint a regent in Thailand to act in his place there whenever he is absent in Germany.—Nikkei Asia
  • Media is focusing its attention on the upcoming Constitutional Court verdict on the status of the PM tomorrow:
    • The Court is set to rule if the PM should lose his post for violating the charter for his continued stay in an army residence after his retirement as an army chief in 2014. The court will read the verdict from 3.00pm.
    • The PM said that regardless of the verdict, he will respect that. He said by doing good deeds, he is confident that the verdict would be good for him.—Than Settakij
    • The student-led protests are going to gather at the Court in Northern Bangkok tomorrow.
  • Yesterday, the largest party in the House Pheu Thai party is on bulletin:
    • As its former chief strategist and the party PM candidate Khunying Sudarat resigned from the party.
    • Apart from the Pheu Thai juggernaut, Pokin Palakul, Watana Muangsook and Pongsakorn Unnopporn also resigned from the party.—Thai Rath
    • A media point out that the last straw for Khunying Sudarat to resign from the party (though she resigned from the Chief Strategist position earlier on) is when she went to help a candidate in North-eastern Roi Et PAO Executives election and the candidate was threatened by the new management team to be expelled from the party.—Inside Thailand
  • The student-led protest is facing its challenges:
    • Piyarat ‘Toto’, the leader of ‘WeVo’ We Volunteer protest guards, posted on his social media outlets saying that the volunteer guards will no longer active as there was a violence emerged from vocational student guards against the WeVo guards.—Kom Chad Leuk
    • Three students from ‘Bad Student’ movement group went to acknowledge the allegations of violating the emergency decree as the three went on stage defying the authority in mid-October.–Manager
    • Main figures of the protest went to acknowledge the allegations of violating Article 112 lese majeste at a police station. They said the allegation would not deter them from keeping on with the demonstration.–Reuters
  • The Election Commissioner has made a resolution to investigate the Progressive Movement (the political movement of the now-defunct Future forward Party) for acting like the Political Party which is against the Political Party Bills. The EC will investigate the three main figures of the movement. Should the movement is guilty, the three figures will face criminal charges and might have an effects on the candidates of the PAO supported by the Movement. The EC can temporarily halt the candidacy status or even hold a new election.—Thai Post
  • The Progressive Movement held a press conference on the latest IO (Information Operations) the army has been using to uphold the images of the monarchy; while undermining the protestors.—Progressive Movement
  • Student activism groups are calling for a nation-wide school uniform defiant campaign today. There have been reports and sighting of students not wearing their school uniforms. ‘Bad Students’, the main coordinator, set up a website https://badstudent.co/ to receive a petition from harassment by their teachers on today’s activity. St. Joseph Convent School in central Bangkok is the first on the batch with 257 reports of abuses by the teachers and school.—Bad Student
    • ‘Bad Student’ is going to gather in front of the Ministry of Education from 4.00pm as some teachers and schools are harassing students.
    • The Education Minister said to the press that not wearing uniforms is against the Ministry’s regulations and stressed that the organiser of this activity is cruel using students as façade.—Khao Sod

Economic

Ten for Ten Proposals

  • At the ‘Status and Progress of Thailand’s Ease of Doing Business Reform’ briefing session held on 30 November, the Public Sector Development Commission (PSDC) announced that the government has been implementing some of the Ten for Ten proposals put forth by the 5 Ambassadors, while others are hindered by regulatory barriers.  The Regulatory Guillotine project is underway and has identified that some 1,094 laws and regulations must be revised.  It expects that the 85 percent of the guillotine project will be completed by next year.  The government also eyes developing the National Single Window and National Digital Trade Platform, as well as promises to digitalize most of the license and permit issuing and renewal processes.  Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong added that the government aspires for Thailand to become the top 10 in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking by year 2022.  The DPM affirmed that this goal is attainable, given that the government has been laying the foundation for this ascension for the last 5 years, particularly through infrastructure projects in Bangkok and the EEC.  Sources:  Krungthep Turakij Thai Rath Bangkok Post

Others

  • The Bank of Thailand will organise a press conference on 9 December to announce a package to manage two-way movement as well as short and long term plans for foreign exchange rate.  On average, the Baht’s value strengthened by 2.9 percent against the USD between Nov 2 and Nov 27, compared with a 0.4 percent appreciation in October. The currency appreciated by 1.1 percent  against the USD on a YTD basis. 
  • BOT also reported that the Thai economy is well on its way to recovery in Q4 despite reporting a higher contraction in October month-on-month.  Private investment reported the greatest slump of -4.9 percent in October, whereas September was -2 percent, due to the fall in machinery, equipment and construction investments.  Private consumption was a -1.1 percent contraction following marginal expansion (+0.4 percent) in September as the effects from special long holidays subsided.  Public spending saw a -10 percent contraction due the delayed disbursement, but public investment was a +3.6 percent.  Tourism sector remains in the decline despite the launch of the Special Tourist Visas.  Sources: Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 1 December 2020 Bank of Thailand press release Bangkok Post
  • The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) introduced its digital blueprint for Thailand to drive digital transformation in a move to cope with changes in technology, consumer behaviour and the business environment.  The blueprint was crafted to support Thailand’s 20-year digital economy development roadmap, which started in 2016.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Hotel operators in Chiang Mai are monitoring the market closely after new coronavirus cases re-emerged in northern provinces recently.  The Thai Hotels Association’s northern chapter said that to date, only 1-2 percent of travellers has postponed or cancelled their trips.  Hotel operators urged authorities to put in place stringent preventive measures and called on the communities to cooperate in tackling the spread of the virus.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Many mobile banking applications reported problems yesterday due to the large number of transactions that exceeded that of last month by 20 percent, soaring from 22 million to 25 million transactions.  The banks have now cleared all the backlog of transactions and are working with the central bank to prevent future recurrences.  Source:  Prachachat Turakij
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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