ԴЪҸԻ (English)
January 2019 : Coronation Day Set for 4-6 May

  • Coronation Day set for 4-6 May
  • 24 March set for the general election
  • NACC cleared Prawit from luxury timepieces charges
  • NLA disapproved 5 HR candidates
  • Medicine-Services added to the controlled list
  • 10 most popular government projects
  • EU delisted Thailand on illegal fishing
  • Child allowance increases to 600 baht monthly
  • Patent Act amendment
  • NCPO ordinance to cancel cannabis patents application
  • Schools in Bangkok metropolitan closed due to air pollution
  • Thailand Transparency Index dropped
  • End of the concession of satellites

    Coronation Day set for 4-6 May

    The Royal Household Bureau announced on 29 January that the coronation ceremony for His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be held during May 4-6. On May 4, the King will grant an audience to the royal family members, privy councilors, cabinet members and senior government officials.

    On the following day, His Majesty will be on a royal parade in Bangkok.

    The King will appear on the balcony of Phuttaisawan Prasat Throne Hall at the Grand Palace for the celebrations on the next day followed by an audience with diplomats at Chakri Maha Prasat Throne hall to celebrate the occasion.

    24 March set for the general election

    General elections are scheduled on Sunday 24 March 2019. Candidates for election can apply for registration for February 4-8 and their names will be announced on Feb. 15.

    Regarding to the constitution, the government will be in office until the new government formed and their authority is not a caretaker administration.

    Prohibition of political meetings and activities are cancelled shortly after the election date announced.

    NACC dropped charge over Prawits watches

    On 27 December 2018, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) resolved with 5 to 3 votes to drop a charge over Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan of wrongdoing in concealing his assets when he entered the government. The allegation was based on 22 luxury wristwatches and a diamond ring he wore several times when appear in public.

    Prawit claimed the timepieces had been lent to him by a friend who was a collector who now passed away. All were returned to their rightful owner. The diamond ring is inherited from his mother after taking up his cabinet post; therefore, he did not include it in his asset list.

    NACC chair Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit had withdrawn from the probe making the commissioner members eight. The three who voted that the investigation must be continued are Ms. Supa Piyajitti, Mrs. Suwana Suwanchuta and Pol Gen Sathaporn Laowthong while the other five who resolved the investigation was cleared and could be terminated are Mr. Preecha Lertkamonmart, Mr. Narong Ratamarit, Mr. Wittaya Akompita, Mr. Surasak Kiriwichian and Gen Bunyawat Kraw-hong.

    NLA endorsed 2 of 7 HRC nominated

    On 27 December, the National Legislative Assembly endorsed only two of the seven nominees for post in the National Human Rights Commission. Both of them, Pitikan Sithidej , former director-general of the Justice Ministrys Department of Rights and Liberties Protection and Pornprapai Ganjanarintr , former ambassador to the Hague, Netherland. They received 146 and 152 votes respectively from the NLA members which are more than the required at least 120 votes.

    The other five nominees who lost out and would not be able to re-enter the selection process are: Somsri Han-anantasuk, from the Peoples Network for Election in Thailand (PNET); Phairoj Pholphet, from the Thai PBS policy committee; Jaturong Bonyarattanasoontorn, an academic on social works and welfare; Boontan Tansuthep-veravong, director of the Peace and Human Rights Resource Centre; and Surapong Kongchantuk, a rights activist and member of the ThaiPBS panel on democracy-promotion policies.

    Medicine-Services added to controlled prices list

    On 22 January, the cabinet approved Commerce Ministrys proposal on the 2019 amendment of goods and services list which added Medicine and Services in the controlled list on reason pricing must be reasonable and transparency. Every medical institution, particularly private hospital should clearly post services cost and rights where patients could check before accepting treatments.

    There will be a sub-committee representing relevant agencies to oversee that all partners; the service providers and service receivers are conform to the regulating measures. Non-conforming actions or unjust of services can be reported to the sub-committee.

    However, the listed can be revised every two years.

    Four goods had been delisted this year. They are refined sugar, paper pulp, plastic pallet and vehicle battery, making a total of 52 currently enlisted. 46 are controlled goods and 6 services.

    The cabinet also concluded on emergency treatment which is free-of-charge to everyone in every hospital within the first 72 hours. Hospital fee starts after 72 hours or three days in a reasonable price and not a heavy burden to the patients.

    10 most popular government projects

    On 30 December, the SUPER POLL unveiled its field study, conducted between 10 to 29 December 2018, on the most popular government projects in 2018 from 2,437 samplings.

    Among them the top score 39.0 went to the peace making and suppressing influential persons.

    Following are: resolving human trading 31.9, installing social order 31.8, social security card 30.9, solving corruptions 30.5, forest- natural-environment conservation 25.3, Pracharat project 24.0, solving illegal fishing 20.9, solving agricultural products prices 18.3 and solving unrest problems in the southernmost provinces 11.1.

    Moreover, when being asked who is the most suitable next prime minister. The highest score went to Gen Prayut Chan0ocha 23.7, followed by Sudarat Keyurapan 16.6, Abhisit vejjajiva 11.5, Tanakorn Jungrungreangkij 11.0. The rest 37.2 went to others and some no one is suitable.

    Though the outcome reflected the junta government big support comes from ability to reinstall peace-solving influential and human trading problems, it also pointed that there is a Political Paradox in the Thai society. While Phue Thai is the most popular political party, Gen Prayut is the most suitability for the next prime minister.

    EU delisted Thailand from illegal fishing countries

    On 8 January, the European Commission (EU) has delisted Thailand from the group of warned countries as recognition of its progress in tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    The EU executives gave a yellow card on Thailand in April 2015 over its shortcomings in fisheries monitoring, control and sanctioning systems.

    Thailand is the third largest seafood exporter in the world. Over two million people, including locals and migrants workers from neighboring countries, are working in the industry. The lifting of yellow card does have big impact on Thailand seafood export since the country is the only one among those receiving the lift.

    Recently, Thailand had made great effort to tackle illegal fishing and implement legal and administrative system on migrant workers. Wrongdoers were charged and prosecuted in court. Up to now a total of 4,427 cases had been filed and 3,883, 88 percent, sentenced. Among them 88 is human trafficking.

    Fishing boat owners are liable to treat their crews properly; signing employment contract, regularly payment and penalty and fine upon violation. A total fine collected is 223 million baht. Above all charges and legal process are rapidly prosecuted.

    Negligent state officials are investigated and pressed charges within 24 days.

    These measures reflected Thailand endeavor to solve illegal fishing problems.

    SS child allowance increases to 600 Bt.

    On 25 December, the Social Securitys ordinance increases child allowance, from a 400 baht monthly, to 600 and this is retroactive since 1 January 2018. Payment will start on 31 January 2019.

    Child allowance payment starts from birth until 6 years of age.

    Cabinet resolved to amend Patent Act

    On 29 December, the Cabinet resolved on the amendment of Patent Act which has three principles;
    1. Improvement of application to reduce processes and time in conforming to international practices. Application of various innovative is reduced from 120 to 90 days and substantive examination will be reduced from 5 to 3 years.
    2. A ministry may use compulsory licenses to produce and export patented medicines to least-developed countries that do not have pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity or sufficient manufacturing capacity and have submitted a request to import patented medicine to the WTO.
    3. An applicant on genetic resources (GRs), genetic material, derivative, and traditional knowledge (TK) is required to disclose of GRs or TK sources, access, and benefit-sharing for relevant inventions in patent application.

    Thailand Patent Act was last amended in 1999. Since then the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has gone through numerous rounds of review of potential revisions to the law. Public meeting was arranged during February 1-28, 2018, to obtain comments and recommendations on the proposed provisions.

    NCPO revokes patent applications on cannabis

    On 28 January, the Royal Gazette published the NCPOs 1/2562 ordinance on the amendment of Patent law and measures by allowing the Department of Intellectual Propertys director-general to cancel all applications, or the applicants rights on their innovations, relevant to cannabis or marijuana, within 90 days. Applicants may appeal to the patent committee.

    However, the patentees rights still remain under other laws concerning the controling, manufacturing, using, selling, importing, exporting or possessing of products or specific using. Moreover, in case of an amendment of law on narcotics to allow the use of cannabis for medical, state officials can proceed, to completed, the submitted applications in compliance to future regulations, methods and processes.

    Bangkok schools closed due to air pollution

    On 30 January, the government ordered approximately public 450 schools in Bangkok Metropolitan and 3 adjacent provinces, to close for two days, 31 Jan and 1 Feb, due to air pollution problem since P.M.2.5 was higher than the standard threshold.

    P.M. 2.5, the smallest 2.5 microns hanging particles in the air, had increased substantially since early January until reaching level that can be unhealthy for children, elderly and low resistant people. Regardless to the Interior Ministry requested public cooperation in solving the problems; refraining from burning agricultural and household waste, using public transport, the situation worsen.

    Thailand CPI dropped from 99th to 101th

    On 29 January, the Corruption Perception Index-CPI announced its 2018 report on Transparency International TI in which Thailand received 36 score from 100, resulting the countrys rank dropped from 96th in 2017 to 101th. Thailand was moved from 99th, with 35 score, in 2016 but failed to maintain its status.

    End of the concession of satellites

    On 29 January, the Cabinet acknowledged the National Space Commissions resolution to revoke the concession system of all operating satellites after their contracts end. All property will be returned to the state subjected to the regulations. Responsible agencies are authorized to licensing in regards to the joint venture law.

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