Earlier this week, the National Institute of Development Administration revealed its recent poll results of potential candidates in the country. The NIDA poll showed that the incumbent PM’s popularity is fading. Prayut insists he’s done a good job and so has the government under his leadership. But the voting public appears to think otherwise.
According to the poll for the post of prime minister, Prayut was outpolled by the leader of the Move Forward Party Pita by 13.4% to 12.6%. The incumbent PM’s popularity had already sat at less than 17% in December, while nearly 28% of voters indicated that none of the names on the list were well suited for the job of leading the country.
Speaking to the press at the Government House on Wednesday, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said…
“I am trying to do my job to the best of my ability. Despite criticism and insults against me, I hold no grudge against anyone (hah I believe that)… I cannot please everyone, but I have to act for the benefit of MOST people. If I have a chance, I will carry on. If not, I will just go back home. ???? That’s all.”
Prayut also justified his Tuesday trip to SapanKhao market, where he met with vendors, saying he wanted to mingle with the locals and boost their morale during a time of “economic hardship” (i wonder what caused it)— and not to improve his public image before the next election.
He told reporters “I told them I am doing all I can to help them. I know people are experiencing hardship and unhappiness. Therefore, as a prime minister, how can I be happy? I receive reports 24 hours every day. I also get information from social media. I know how people are suffering.”
Regarding the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has caused fuel prices to rise and compounded existing pressures from the pandemic, Prayut said…
“The government is trying to tackle problems, though we may not yet achieve 100% of our goals and not everyone is satisfied with it. But we have to admit that the crisis is unprecedented. This must be taken into account and the government should be given fair treatment.”
Meanwhile, Prayut will continue his “not a political campaign” campaign, saying he’ll visit more people to give them moral support — whether they like him or not. And he intends to show up unannounced, kind of like Santa Claus, but without the gifts, and instead of reindeer, military men…
A Thai government spokesman has announced that Thailand and Cambodia plan to sign an MOU together soon to crack down on call centre scams.
The spokesman said the Police Cyber Task Force recently raided the operational base of a network of four gambling websites in Nonthaburi. He said the network had more than 200,000 clients with 200 million baht a month in circulation.
In the past year, Thailand and Cambodia have cooperated to arrest as many as 6,348 suspects, in 5,517 cases. They have arrested the owners of 344 bank accounts and closed down 742 URLs. The websites were blamed for causing damages worth 157 million baht to Thais.
The spokesman says PM Prayut has told related agencies to launch awareness campaigns to educate people on how to spot scams. He said the Digital Economy and Society Ministry had also integrated its operations with other government agencies to suppress call-centre gangs and gambling websites.
One major scam against a foreigner happened last month when scammers pretended to be police. The quote-unquote ‘police’ called a Swiss man in Phuket, saying a FedEx package couldn’t be delivered. Since the man was expecting a FedEx package, he listened.
The story then changed to say Bangkok police were holding a package in his name. The scammers told the man that one man transferred 800,000 baht to him, and another had transferred 900,000 baht to him. The scammers were eventually able to coax the man into transferring 57,000 baht to them.
Electric vehicles took centre stage at the Bangkok International Motor Show this week, where thousands gawked at the latest fuel-efficient models that car manufacturers have to offer – I think they were gawking at the motor showgirls, but whatever floats your boat.
Attendants were intrigued by the additional perk of a 15 percent government subsidy for select EVs. The show highlights the increasing demand for EVs after a slow start in Southeast Asia. Now Thailand has become a prime target for Chinese manufacturers, who hope to sell their EVs at cheaper prices. The number of registered EVs doubled last year to nearly 4,000, according to CNA. But it’s still a drop in the oil pan compared to a total domestic car sales of 759,119 last year.
The year that government subsidies for EV buyers were announced, Great Wall Motor’s ORA Good Cat EV drew special attention, with people lining up to take a look at the meow interior. The car is competitively priced, compared to EVs from other well-known manufacturers. The company’s Thailand GM Michael Chong said more people will adopt EVs while fuel prices remain high and car prices remain low. It makes economic sense.
Thailand is currently the fourth-largest auto export and assembly hub in Asia for global brands like Honda and Toyota. The government sees EVs as essential to maintaining its stake as the main player in Asia’s automaker industry, with plans for EVs to comprise 30% of its total auto production — or 725,000 vehicles — by 2030.
The man who has been in the centre of the highly-publicised death of his 3 year old niece known as “Chompoo” has been sentenced to a year in jail… but not for charges related to the unsolved murder case. He was convicted of possessing protected wood and was sentenced to four months in jail, which has been suspended for a year.
44 year old Chaiphol Wipha, also known as “Lung Phol,” has been a suspect in the death of his niece. In 2020, the naked body of Arawan who had the nickname of “Chompoo” was found on a mountain just 2 kilometres from her home in the Isaan province Mukdahan. Two witnesses say they saw Lung Phol walking from the foothills of the northeastern Thailand mountains near where his niece went missing.
A court warrant was issued for Lung Phol in June 2021 for depriving a child of parental care, abandoning a child under 9 years old in a way that caused her death, and tampering with a body to influence an autopsy and police investigation. He was later released and the investigation is still open.
With the overdramatised media coverage and continuous updates, Lung Phol became a minor celebrity and gained a fan base, some of who have raised donations to help prove his innocence. Two Thai TV channels even covered the case on a daily basis, as if it were a reality show. He even got into the music industry and released a song.
In the case of the protected wood, forestry officials had inspected his home, which is also a deity shrine, and found มะค่าแต้ wood from the protected sindora siamensis tree. Mukdahan’s lower court ordered Lung Phol to four months in jail, which was suspended for one year, and fined him 6,666 baht.
A western man’s gold necklace was stolen as he was taking a video of himself walking in Bangkok’s Asoke area off Sukhumvit Road.
As he was walking by the BTS station at night, a person who appeared to be a transgender woman approached him, wrapping her arms around his neck in a hug and unclasping the necklace. The foreigner didn’t notice and she walked off with the necklace.
A video has been circulating on social media with the caption “Sukhumvit road. Gold chain rip off. Be careful of the ladyboy gangsters.” The man says a transgender woman was standing on the sidewalk by the Westin Grande Sukhumvit hotel at around 11 pm when she approac
Be careful of the ladyboy gangsters in Thailand
hed him, wrapping her arms around him in a hug.
Reports in Thai media say the foreigner has reported the incident to the police. He added that his phone had also been stolen last week on Khao San Road.