Advance Blog

October 10, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 7 OCTOBER 2022

KEY ISSUES AT A GLANCE

  • The United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, has joined foreign embassies in offering condolences over the massacre in Nong Bua Lamphu province on Thursday…. The Australian Embassy in Thailand also posted a Twitter message sent by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. “It’s impossible to comprehend the heartbreak of this horrific news from Thailand,” wrote Albanese. “All Australians send their love and condolences.” Source: The Nation, Siamrath, Thaipost, Nation TV
  • Former cop kills 37 in massacre. His Majesty the King will provide assistance to families of the victims from Thursday’s massacre at a child development centre in the northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu that left 38 dead and another 10 injured, national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said. The death toll includes the killer, his wife and their 3-year-old son, who the perpetrator also shot. Pol Gen Damrongsak said a privy councillor representing His Majesty was scheduled to arrive in the province to follow up on the situation. According to police, 24 of those killed in the rampage at the centre were children, after former Pol Sgt Panya Khamrab burst into the childcare facility operated by the Uthai Sawan tambon administrative organisation in Na Klang district. At least another 10 were injured, six of them seriously, police said. The shooting began at 12.10pm. The gunman’s exact motive remains a mystery. Police said former Pol Sgt Panya, 34, was expelled from the force on June 15 for possession of methamphetamine pills. Source: Bangkok Post Online & Print Edition, Thai PBS World, The Nation, The Standard
  • Thai banks’ interest rate hikes spark economic concerns. Major commercial banks in Thailand have rushed to raise interest rates in response to the Bank of Thailand’s two consecutive rate hikes, sparking concern over rising financial costs that will eventually be passed on to businesses and consumers at a time when the Thai economy is still in the recovery stage from COVID-19. There are still risks lying ahead for the Thai economy, such as weaker Thai Baht, a larger trade deficit and swollen household debt. SMEs are expected to feel the most impact, while industrial sectors that rely heavily on massive capital outlays and loans will also be adversely affected, such as construction, land developers, electronics industries, renewable energy and the petrochemical sectors. Source: Asia Nikkei

AUSTRALIA IN THE NEWS

GENERAL

  • Former cop kills 37 in massacre. His Majesty the King will provide assistance to families of the victims from Thursday’s massacre at a child development centre in the northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu that left 38 dead and another 10 injured, national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said. The death toll includes the killer, his wife and their 3-year-old son, who the perpetrator also shot. Pol Gen Damrongsak said a privy councillor representing His Majesty was scheduled to arrive in the province to follow up on the situation. According to police, 24 of those killed in the rampage at the centre were children, after former Pol Sgt Panya Khamrab burst into the childcare facility operated by the Uthai Sawan tambon administrative organisation in Na Klang district. At least another 10 were injured, six of them seriously, police said. The shooting began at 12.10pm. The gunman’s exact motive remains a mystery. Police said former Pol Sgt Panya, 34, was expelled from the force on June 15 for possession of methamphetamine pills. Source: Bangkok Post Online & Print Edition, Thai PBS World, The Nation, The Standard
  • Four killed, 72,000 households in 30 provinces affected by floods since September 28th. Four people have died, two injured and more than 72,000 households affected by flooding in 30 provinces of Thailand since September 28th, according to the Department of Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. No details are available on how the four people died, but the department said that 13 provinces are still flooded. They are Phetchabun, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Loei, Chaiyaphum, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Lop Buri, Phichit, Nakhon Sawan and Prachin Buri. Altogether 2,557 villages in 85 districts are affected. Tak, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Pathum Thani, Sing Buri and Chai Nat are suffering from waterway overflows. Source: Thai PBS World

POLITICS

  • Ratsadon protest group calls for House dissolution. Thailand’s anti-establishment Ratsadon group is demanding the dissolution of the House of Representatives, before the end of the House’s 4-year term in March, so that a general election can be held. In a statement, issued today (Thursday) to mark the 46th anniversary of the October 6th political tragedy in 1976, the group urged the Constitutional Court to expedite its consideration of the bill on the election of MPs, which passed its final reading in parliament before being sent to the court to determine whether it is constitutional. The Ratsadon group also urged the Election Commission to accelerate the issuance of election rules, to define what election candidates can and cannot do, the calculation method for party-list MPs and public participation in monitoring the election, among others. Source: Thai PBS World
  • Anutin throws his hat into the ring for PM’s post, eyes 120 MP seats for Bhumjaithai. He said that his party has the potential to win at least 120 seats in the House of Representatives, as had been predicted by its de-facto patriarch, Newin Chidchob. “We are not kidding about this. We must be doing our best, going all out and not slowing down,” Public Health Minister Anutin told reporters. Newin had said during his birthday celebration on Tuesday in Buri Ram province that he expected Bhumjaithai to win no fewer than 120 seats at the next national vote, which would boost the party’s position in forming the next government. Source: The Nation
  • PPRP introduces 6 potential candidates. The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has expressed confidence in its popularity, introducing six potential candidates to run for MP seats in the northern region in the next general election. Introduced at party headquarters on Thursday were Dejnattawit Teriyapirom, Santi Tansuhat and Norapol Tantimontri who will run in Chiang Mai; Chamlong Rungruang and Pol Maj Chalerm Piyasiriwat for Mae Hong Son; and Phichit Moksri for Nan. Mr Dejnattawit is a son of Boonsong Teriyapirom, a former commerce minister who was jailed for corruption in connection with the rice-pledging project of the Yingluck Shinawatra government. PPRP secretary-general Santi Promphat said the ruling party was still going strong, regardless of what recent opinion surveys might say. He said the party is committed to improving people’s livelihoods and carrying out development projects to meet local people’s needs. Source: Bangkok Post

ECONOMICS

  • Liberalising sugar and cane. The Sugar Factory Association of Thailand rejects the government’s revised the Cane and Brown Sugar Act, given that the revised terms could still be considered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as government subsidies. Most importantly, the revisions to the Act would not be enough to convince Brazil to drop its WTO dispute action against the Thai government for excessive sugar subsidy, which translates into a loss of 63 billion Baht annually. The Thai Sugar Factory Association announced its full supports for the Thai sugar industry to be liberalised in compliance with WTO rules and regulations.  The move would enable factories to set their own price and pave way for market competition, thereby preventing future WTO dispute actions lodged against Thailand. Source: Thansettakij
  • Anutin talks China rail project. DPM Anutin Charnvirakul and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob met Laos’ Minister of Public Works and Transport and related agencies in the capital Vientiane to discuss the China-Laos-Thai railway. The government said it will connect the rail from Vientiane to Nong Khai province in Thailand, with an eye on extending it to Bangkok in the future. The China-Laos high-speed railway linking Vientiane to Kunming in China’s southern Yunnan province will benefit Thailand in terms of logistics and tourism. Source: Bangkok Post
  • Bank of Thailand rolls out the infrastructure plan for foreign exchange trading platform. Bank of Thailand (BOT) is currently studying the infrastructure of a central foreign exchange trading platform as part of its plan to create an FX ecosystem. The goal is to help SMEs that are unable to access financial services enjoy FX transactions quickly and at a lower cost. Source: Krungthep Turakij Print Edition
  • Thai banks’ interest rate hikes spark economic concerns. Major commercial banks in Thailand have rushed to raise interest rates in response to the Bank of Thailand’s two consecutive rate hikes, sparking concern over rising financial costs that will eventually be passed on to businesses and consumers at a time when the Thai economy is still in the recovery stage from COVID-19. There are still risks lying ahead for the Thai economy, such as weaker Thai Baht, a larger trade deficit and swollen household debt. SMEs are expected to feel the most impact, while industrial sectors that rely heavily on massive capital outlays and loans will also be adversely affected, such as construction, land developers, electronics industries, renewable energy and the petrochemical sectors. Source: Asia Nikkei

For further information please see the embassy’s Facebook Page ‘Australian Embassy, Thailand’ or the Ambassador’s Twitter Page https://twitter.com/AusAmbBKK

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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