Advance Blog

July 17, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 17 July 2020

News  

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports three newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,239 cases. Out of the total number, 3,096 have been discharged from hospital; 85 are being hospitalised (at 95.59%). The death toll is at 58. The newly three confirmed cases are Thai nationals returned from the Sudan, all have been in state quarantine since. This is the 53rd consecutive day that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • Another drama from diplomatic immunity and COVID-19 restriction exceptions got media attention again as an Estonian diplomat who had come in to Thailand tried using his diplomatic right to stay at Millennium Residences in Soi 18. The diplomat is certified COVID-19 negative but the property management rejected the permission of stay.
    • CCSA spokesperson said the centre had resolved on Friday that all ambassadors and diplomats who entered Thailand would have to be in Alternate State Quarantine on arrival for 14 days.—The Nation
    • Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Natapanu announced that a third automatic visa extension will be proposed to the Cabinet soon. Earlier, the cabinet had decided to grant automatic visa extension to be until July 31.—The Nation
    • Saint Gabriel school in central Bangkok closes down for seven days after the rumour that one of the student’s parent is COVID-19 positive.—The Reporters

Politics

  • The Energy Minister became the highly competitive premium seat in the next cabinet reshuffle when the Energy Minister Sondhirat resigned with others yesterday. Media reaches a rather consensus that PM-backed Mr Pailin Chuchottaworn will replace the resigned position. However, Industry Minister Suriya has long eyed for the position. Who will be the next Energy Minister will show how much political power the PM have.–Matichon
    • MP Anucha denied the reports that there will be a movement by MPs to go against Mr Pairin to be the next Energy Minister, and the position needs to be secured for Industry Minister Suriya only. The MP said that someone in the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) leaked the rumour.—all media outlet
  • Breaking: Related to the expected name for the next cabinet portfolio, Mr Thossaphorn Sirisamphan, the secretary-general of Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, denied the rumour that he will join the cabinet in the next reshuffle. He said in a statement that he will assist the government from behind the scene, after his upcoming retirement in September.—Than Settakij
  • It is coming to be a decisive moment for traditionally big political parties as the third largest ruling Democrat Party is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting this Sunday. And the main Opposition Pheu Thai Party is scheduled to hold its AGM this Tuesday.–Prachachart
  • The Royal Gazette published the Prime Minister Office order to appoint National Reform Committee. This 5-year-term committee composes of 185 personnel, overseeing reforms in 13 areas, including politics, public administration, media, and education.
  • Two protestors who held derogatory signs condemning PM Prayut when he was in Rayong on Wednesday were charged by the Police with four legal cases (violating Emergency Decree, violating Disease Control Act, resisting security personnel order, and fleeing during apprehension). The two protestors went to the Parliament to file a complaint to the House Legal, Justice and Human Rights Committee.—all media outlet
  • Free Youth Movement has scheduled the mass student protest at the Democracy Monument this Saturday from 5.00pm. The organiser said that we should tolerate the PM and the current political atmosphere no more and that change needs to happen within this generation. The two protestors who were apprehended in Rayong will be joining this rally.

Business

  • The baht continued to weaken on Thursday after the resignations of Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and four other key officials, reflecting foreign investors’ concerns about the continuity of the government’s economic policies. The THB is now Asia’s weakest currency against the US dollar on a year-to-date basis.—Bangkok Post
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the remaking of Thailand’s automotive industry, the backbone of Southeast Asia’s auto sector, as factory shutdowns compound a shift toward electric vehicles. The government in March targeted EVs at 30% of production, or 750,000 vehicles, by 2030, initially for domestic use in a bid to curb pollution.–Reuters
  • The Bank of Thailand expects that over the next 12 months, average inflation was projected at minus 0.9% adding supply-side pressures would remain low as a slow global economic recovery continued to weigh on world energy prices.—Bangkok Post

Australia

  • The Director-general of Department of Primary Industries and Mines dismissed the rumour that Thailand lost the case against Australian King’s Gate gold mine in the tribunal and needs to pay the compensation of 70,000 million. The DG said that the tribunal is still in process and the verdict is not finalised yet.–Manager, Thai News Agency, Siam Rath

Opinion

  • Opinion piece on CCSA and government “misguided” mindset in aiming over for zero local COVID infection, jeopardising Thai economic and well-being in “Covid success coming at a heavy price”.—Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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