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February 2019 : His Majesty Comment on Royal and Politics

  • His Majesty comment on Royal and Politics
  • CC accepted Thai Raksa Chart dissolution case
  • NLA passed 2 cyber security acts
  • Court uphold jail in Alpine land case
  • AIDS allowance to cover inmates
  • Gold card budget increases to 3600 baht
  • NLA passed an amendment of Road Traffic bill
  • Local council members can help political campaigns
  • Pre-election registration
  • EC disclosed prime minister nominates from 45 parties
  • Regulations for online campaign
  • Cabinet approved Labor Relations draft bill
  • Cabinet endorsed amendment of Food draft bill
  • Supreme court upheld jail terms on 6 Yellow Shirt leaders

    His Majesty comment on Royal and Politics

    On 8 February, HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn made a statement on his sister Princess Ubolratana Mahidol nominated as a candidate for Thai Raksa Chart Party to run for prime minister in 24 Marchs election: Even though she has relinquished her royal titles in writing, she maintained her status and carried herself as a member of the Ckakri dynasty.

    Involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics, in whatever way, is considered an act that defies the nations traditions, customs and culture, and therefore is considered extremely inappropriate.

    Previously, on 7 February, Thai Raksa Chart Party submitted a list of PM candidate only a name of Princess Ubolratana to the Election Commission. The party reiterated she is capable, knowledgeable, the most appropriate and accepted its invitation.

    CC accepted Thai Raksa Chart dissolution case

    On 14 February, the Constitutional Court unanimously voted with 7 to nil to accept the Election Commissions request for disbandment of the Thai Raksa Chart Party for nominating a royal princess as its candidate for prime minister.

    On 27 February, the court scheduled the verdict will be delivered on 7 March, at 15:00 hrs.

    The verdict will be finalized regardless to one, or both party, are absented.

    NLA passed 2 cyber security acts

    On 28 February, the National Legislative Assembly passed three cyber bills: 1. The cyber security act, 2. The protection of personal information act and 3. The digital state administration and services act. The first two are relevant to the general public.

    The personal data-protection act provides a legal framework on personal data ownership, data controllers, and data processors while requiring data users to obtain consent from data owners in an explicit manner. This mean that data owners must be informed on mobile screens, for instance, stating the conditions and approval on data use.

    In addition, data owners have the right to cancel their consent at any time afterwards except in terms of data concerning public healthcare and non-profit education. A national committee will also be set up to take charge of protecting personal data.

    The cybersecurity act will set up the National Cybersecurity Commission (NCSC), chaired by the prime minister, encompass two subcommittees. The first will oversee a national cybersecurity agency (CSA), led by the Digital Economy and Society (DE) minister, and also promote national information technology by offering tax incentives to encourage strong cybersecurity standards and requirements. The latter will oversee national cybersecurity, led by the DE minister working with the supreme commander.

    Also in the works are an industry-specific Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) for collaboration with international organizations.

    The law covers critical information infrastructure in seven groups: finance, transport/logistics, energy, healthcare, telecommunications, government services and national security.

    Each critical information infrastructure agency will have its own cyber team to comply with the requirements and be audited by a third party.

    In the event that the critical information infrastructure agencies are believed to have been attacked, the NSA needs to ask for a court order before accessing their systems. The law also allows for appeals to deny a search by the authorities

    Court uphold jail term in Alpine land case

    On 28 February, the Appeal Court, at the Central Criminal Court for corruption and Misconduct Cases, upheld the 2-year jail term handed down to former Pheu Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit for abuse of power, when he was a deputy permanent secretary at the Interior Ministry, serving as acting permanent secretary, at the time of the offence, in connection with the sale of monastic land for the Alpine golf course.

    The National Anti-Corruption Commission alleged Yongyuth fault for cancelling a Land Department order which revoked the sale of 732 rai of monastic land owned by Wat Thammikaram to private firm Alpine Real Estate Co and Alpine Golf&Sports Club in 2002. It asked that he be prosecuted.

    The first court found Mr. Yongyuth guilty of malfeasance and dereliction of duty under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and of serious disciplinary violations and sentenced him, in August 2017, to two years in prison, without suspension.

    The land in Pathum Thanis Klong Luang district was donated by a widow, Noem Chamnanchartsakda, to Wat Thammikaram in Prachchuab Kirikhan province in 1971. After her death the Mahamongkut Ratchawittayalai Foundation was appointed executor of the estate. The foundation sold the land to Alpine Real Estate Co and Alpine Golf & Sports Club.

    The Council of State, the governments legal advisory body, later found the sale was illegal because it was monastic land, and the Land Department cancelled the sale.

    Mr. Yongyuth overruled the Land Departments order.

    The land was subsequently developed and sold to former prime minster Thaksin Shinawatra and former interior minister Sanoh Thienthong.

    Mr. Yongyuth was granted bail on 900,000 baht surety and released. The case will be finalized in the Supreme Court.

    AIDS allowance to maintain after imprison

    On 27 February, the Local Authority Promotion Department reaffirmed the provincial governors, in written statement, that a monthly 500 baht allowance given to patients with AIDS will be maintained to inmates on condition that the allowance was given before jail term.

    The matter was raised by local administration authorities who responsible on giving the living allowances.

    Gold card budget increases to 3600 baht per head

    On 12 February, the cabinet approved a 191 billion baht budget in the 2020 Fiscal Year to the National Health Security Fund in which 173 billion will be used for expenditures on48.26 million Gold Card holders, public health administration and services, and personals.

    The budget is 6,500 million baht higher than the 2019 allocation, but less than the 201 billion baht requested making allowance for each Gold Card holder 3,600 baht, 173 baht higher than last year.

    NLA passed an amendment of Road Traffic bill

    On 22 February, the National Legislative Assembly passed an amendment of the Road Traffic bill with 138 votes to 3 abstains and 1 no vote. Amendments are on the mandatory of jurisdictions to report names, addresses and other evidences, of wrongdoing drivers, to the officials, within 30 days of committed. Violation is liable to 5 folds of penalty fee.

    In addition, in case when the wrongdoers are foreigners living outside the country, that person will be informed via registered mail, or electronic mail or other appropriate means.

    Local council members can help political campaigns

    On 22 February, the Interior Ministry sent letters to provincial to inform on the Election Commission resolution on the assistance of local council members to political parties and candidates in the upcoming election. They can assist or help in the campaigns if they are not state officials.

    The practice does not apply to state officials who have to be in conformity with the cabinet resolution.

    There are 7,872 local authorities nationwide.

    Pre-election registration

    On 20 February, the Election Commission Office disclosed formal numbers of pre-election registration inside and outside the country, from 28 January to 19 February 2019, at total 2,632,935 voters. 2,318,548 people registered online and 314,387 at the registrar offices.

    The most ten provinces are:
    1. Bangkok Metropolitan 928,786.
    2. Chonburi 221,541.
    3. Samutprakarn 164,575.
    4. Pathumthani 134,783.
    5. Nonthaburi 97,321.
    6. Chiangmai 85,716.
    7. Rayong 81,827.
    8. Samut Sakorn 55,358.
    9. Phuket 48,980.
    10. Nakorn Ratchasrima 45,185.

    119,184 Thai citizens in 67 countries registered for pre-election balloting with 94 embassies and consulates. The top ten registrations are:
    1. Australia 16,183.
    2. USA 15,010.
    3. Republic of China 10,996.
    4. United Kingdom 7,926.
    5. Japan 7,758.
    6. Germany 5,748.
    7. Malaysia 5,183.
    8. Singapore 4,918.
    9. Korea 2,960.
    10. France 2,614.

    EC disclosed PM nominates from 45 parties

    On 11 February, the Election Commission Office disclosed the prime minister nominated from 45 political parties as follow:

          1. Green Party: Mr. Pongsa Chunam 2. Klang Party: Mr. Chumpol Krutkaew 3. Kasikorn Thai Party: Mr. Thatchon Pongpakawat 4. Kon Ngan Thai Party: Mr. Teera Chiaboonyok 5. Kon Thammada Haeng Prated Thai Party: Mr. Tanaporn Sriyakoon 6. Kru Thai Pheu Prachachon Party: Mr. Preeda Boonpleung 7. Klong Thai Party: Mr. Sayan Indarapak 8. Kwam Wang Mai Party: Mr. Chingchai Mongkoltham 9. Chart Thai Pattana Party: Ms. Kanchana Silap-acha 10. Chart Pattana Party: Mr. Suwat Lipatapanlop, Mr. Wanrat Chanukul, Mr. Thewan Lipatapanlop.

    11. Chart Pan Thai Party: Mr. Kowit Jirachananond, Mr. Polsuparak Sirichantranond, Mr. Paradon Pon-umnuay 12. Rak Than Thai Party: Mr. Boworn Yasindhorn, Sec. Lieutenant Yanwut Promdecha 13. Tang Luank Mai Party: Mr. Rachen Trakulwiang 14. Thai Tham Party: Mr. Anothai Duangdara, Mr. Phusit Phupapassiri, Mr. Kittikorn Wichairuengtham 15. Thai Sriwilai Party: Mr. Mongkolkit Suksintaranond, Mr. Kanisorn Sommaluan 17. Prachachart Party: Mr. Wan Nor Muhamad Nor Matha, Pol. Col. Tawee Sodsong, Ms. Nahatai Tewpaingam 18. Prachatham Thai Party: Mr. Pichet Satirachawan, Mr. Chaiwut Treuktrong 19. Pracha Tipatai Mai Party: Mr. Suratin Picharn 20. Democrat Party: Mr. Abhisit Vejajiva

    21. Pracha Niyom Party: Pol. Col. Ruamnakorn Tubtimthongchai, Pol.Gen. Yongyut Thepchamnong, Mr. Pathomruek Maneenetr 22. Pracha Piwat Party: Mr. Somkiat Soralum, Mrs. Nantana Songpracha, Prof. Suthiporn Jitmitrapab 23. Pandin Tham Party: Prof. Lt. Banchop Bunaruji, Mr. Korn Meedi 24. Polmuang Thai Party: Mr. Ekaporn Rakkwansuk 25. Palang Chart Thai Party: Maj Gen. Songkrot Thiprat 26. Palang Thongtin Thai Party: Mr. Chatchawan Kong-udom, Prof. Kowit Pawong-ngam 27. Palang Thai Dee Party: Mr. Sathu Anumotami 28. Palang Thai Rak Thai Party: Gen. Thamarak Issarangkul na Ayuthaya, Mr. Kathathep Techaruangkul 29. Palang Prachatipatai Party: Mr. Poonpipat Nilrangsru 30. Palang Praharat Party: Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha

    31. Palang Sangkom Party: Mr. Withoon Chalayonnawin 32. Pattana Prathet Thai Party: Mr. Silpin Harnpadungthamma 33. Phue Kon Thai Party: Mr. Wittaya Inala 34. Phue Cheewit Mai Party: Mr. Kritwat Klangchai 35. Phue Thai Party: Kunying Sudarat keyurapan 36. Phue Tham Party: Mrs. Nalinee Taweesin 37. Paradonpab Party: M.R> Damrongdis Disakul 38. Pakee Kraukai Thai Party: Ms. Kritanong Suwanwong 39. PhumJai Thai Party: Mr. Anuthin Chanweerakul 40. Mahachon Party: Mr. Apirat Sirinawin, Mr. Palinee Ngamprink, Mr. Supakit Kojaseni

    41. Sethakit Mai Party: Mr. Mingkwan Sangsuwan 42. Siam Pattana Party: Mr. Anek Panturat 42. Sangkom Prachatippatai Thai: Mr. Somsak Kosaisuk 44. Seri Ruam Thai: Pol. Gen. Seri Temeeves and 45. Anakot Mai Party: Mr. Tanatorn Jungrungruangkit.

    Regulations for online election campaign

    The Election Commission (EC) regulates online campaign to allow electronic media, by either the candidates or proxies, via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LINE, email, SMSs etc.

    The most important is that once an online message is published, the action is considered accomplished and can be evidence for legal prosecution even though it is later revised, amended, deleted or un-send,

    Cabinet approved Labor Relation draft bill

    On 5 February, the Cabinet approved the Labor Relation draft bill with principles to mandate enterprise of more than 20 employees to have employment regulations; working terms and conditions, payment, retirement or termination etc.

    Non-Thai citizens will be allowed to sit in the employers association in compliance with the ILO subcontract.

    More than ten employees will be able to apply for setting up a labor union and foreign employees are able to be members of the labor union committees.

    Objectives are to promote corporate equality, participation and cooperation.

    Supreme Court upheld jail terms on 6 Yellow Shirt leaders

    On 13 February, the Supreme Court upheld 8 months jail terms, without suspension, on six Yellow Shirt leaders. They are 1. Maj Gen. Chamlong Srimuang 83 year old, 2. Mr. Sondhi Limthongkul 70, 3. Mr. Pipop Thongchai 72, 4. Mr. Somkiat Pongpaiboon 68, 5. Mr. Somsak Kosaisuk 72, 6. Mr. Suriyasai Katasila 45.

    The six had led the demonstrators into the government house compound in 2008 and were sentenced by the First Court to a 3 years jail term, each. Their cooperations led to a reduction to 2 years jail and upon appealing, the jail terms were reduced to 8 months, without suspension.

    They received bails while the cases were prosecuted in the Supreme Court.

    After the Supreme Court delivered the verdicts, the five, excluding Mr. Sondhi who is being imprisoned on violating the Stock Exchange Act, were taken to the prison.

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