Thailand News Today | Government publishes online questionnaire for foreigners
If you’ve ever wanted a chance to have your voice heard about Thailand – and judge from that our comment function, many of you really, really – now is your chance! The Thai government has released an impressively memorable survey entitled “Foreigner Awareness, Trust in Major Government Policies and Perceived Image of Thailand”.
The well-titled survey was put together by the Thai Government’s Public Relations Department to collect foreigners’ opinions and ideas on a variety of issues affecting Thailand today. Don’t get too excited though: the questionnaire is multiple-choice only and covers topics that the government has identified as important for Thailand and Thai tourism.
There are no written responses for foreigners, tourists or expats to rant and rant about their particular pet peeve in the kingdom. Save that for the Thaiger comments section.
The questionnaire on Thailand claims that all answers are completely confidential, apart from the fact that it’s a Google form that requires you to log in with your email.
The questionnaire also contains several questions to assess how foreigners feel about various aspects of Thailand.
They asked whether Thailand’s public health could be raised to a world-class level, whether Thai culture could be spread on a global scale, and whether respondents viewed Thailand as a developed economy with a good standard of living.
A question was asked specifically about whether Thailand is a country that promotes democracy. Another asked if there is a free market that promotes fair competition.
The last few questions were more of a feel-good question, asking whether respondents felt that Thailand was a special country that they felt connected to.
If you want to play around with the form, we’ve linked it:
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed claims that he was about to abandon ship and join another political party.
If rumors circulating in Parliament are to be believed, the Thai supremo will join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. However, the Thai prime minister denied that the emerging political party had approached him as their leader in next year’s upcoming elections.
Prayut claims he is from the Palang Pracharat party. He said: “The party supported me to become prime minister, didn’t they? At the next election I will stick with the PPRP. I still stand by my word.”
Ruam Thai Sang Chart was founded by Seksakon Atthawong, a former adviser to the prime minister.
The party gained nationwide attention last year. Political observers believe it was formed as an alternative to the Palang Pracharat Party should the ruling party run into legal troubles.
A number of high-profile politicians have joined the party, including Gen Prayut adviser Peeraphan Saleerathaviphak, who was a former member of Democrats and Palang Pracharat, former Democrat politician Akanat Promphan and former Secretary-General of the Action Coalition for Thailand Duangrit Benjathikul Chai Rungruang.
Pirapan reportedly applied for party membership on July 28, while Akanat and Duangrit enrolled on Monday.
The Nok Air plane that skidded off the runway in Chiang Rai on Saturday night has still not been removed. Mae Fah Luang Airport in northern Thailand announced that the airport will remain closed for two more days, this time set to reopen at 10pm on Friday 5 August.
The airport announced the suspension of all flights to and from the airport on Sunday morning after Nok Air flight DD108 from Bangkok went off the runway during landing and got stuck in the mud around 9pm on Saturday night.
Last night, August 2nd, Airports of Thailand and Chiang Rai Airport released a joint statement announcing that flights will not resume on August 3rd as planned. The statement said the airport needed two more days to move the Boeing 737-800 off the side of the runway. Flights will resume at 10pm on Friday.
The Thai civil aviation authority CAAT classified the incident as “serious”. Despite requiring cabin crew to evacuate “crashed” planes in 90 seconds, the 164 passengers on board were kept on board for more than an hour, sparking outrage among passengers and the public. The engine was shut down and passengers were stuck in the hot plane with no lights or air conditioning, one passenger complained.
Nok Air released a expression He explained that the poorly managed evacuation was due to the cabin crew following the “highest security procedures”.
The incident caused significant traffic delays. Mae Fah Luang Airport has a single runway, which means there are no incoming or outgoing flights for a period of (minimum) six days. The airport usually sees 36 flights a day, which is a daily average of 4500-5000 passengers.
Another round of “peace talks” between the Thai government and rebel groups in Thailand’s deep south concluded yesterday, with The Barisan Revolusi Nasional – one of the most active and well-established insurgent groups in the south – considering Thailand’s request for a three-month ceasefire for the duration of the Buddhist Lent.
The Thai government proposed a 108-day ceasefire between August 15 and November 30.
Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and parts of Songkhla province – covering the area of the historical “Patani” kingdom – have been plagued by intermittent violent attacks between government forces and “rebels” or “insurgent groups” since the resurgence of the insurgency in 2004. Since then, more than 7,000 people have been killed and 13,500 others injured in the deep south of Thailand. However, the roots of the uprising in southern Thailand go back much further story.
The BRN did not immediately agree to the Buddhist Lent truce and is still negotiating some aspects before reaching a final agreement. However, the idea of a ceasefire is certainly on the table.
During Ramadan, between April 3 and May 14 this year, the BRN and the Thai government honored a successful 40-day truce in which both sides kept their promise of a non-violent religious holiday.
However, the Patani United Liberation Front (PULO) – another major historical insurgency group – did not comply with the Ramadan ceasefire. PULO carried out two roadside bombings during Ramadan in southern Thailand, killing one villager and wounding three police officers. PULO claimed responsibility for the attack, citing the group’s exclusion from the Kuala Lumpur peace talks as the reason.
Thailand’s chief negotiator General Wanlop Raksanoh said PULO is welcome to request an invitation to the next round of peace talks from the Thai government
The fourth of five charges originally filed against “Red Bull heir” Vorayuth Yoovidya expired yesterday. All that remains is the accusation of reckless driving resulting in death.
Vorayuth – the grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yuwittaya – became a fugitive after driving in his Ferrari through Bangkok’s Thong Lor neighborhood, running over a police officer and dragging his body through the street, resulting in his death.
Boss has still not been brought to justice for the crime 10 years ago. His arrest warrants expire over time.
Yesterday, the deputy spokesman for the Attorney General’s office announced that the criminal charge against Vorayuth for “cocaine use” expired earlier than expected due to revisions to Thailand’s Narcotics Law.
The law change halved the statute of limitations on the warrant from 10 to five years, automatically removing Vorayuth’s “cocaine use” charge. The charges of “speeding” and “reckless driving with property damage” expired in 2013. The “running away from an accident without assistance” charges expired in 2017.
Currently, “reckless driving resulting in death” is the only charge against Vorayuth. Under Section 291 of Thailand’s Penal Code, reckless driving resulting in death carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The fee expires on September 3, 2027.