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Updated: Thailand has become a surveillance hub...

And is now considering mandatory GPS tracking for cars


Link Here 4th November 2019

Thailand may become the first country in the world to have all its vehicles monitored by GPS devices in a radical plan being considered by authorities. The Thai Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, has ordered a study into a plan to have all cars and motorbikes in Thailand monitored and policed using fitted GPS devices as a radical measure to control dangerous driver behaviour on Thailand's roads which is at the root of the country's disastrous mortality and injury rates.

The study into introducing GPS tracking devices will consider all private vehicles being driven on Thailand's road network to include both four-wheel vehicles and motorbikes. GPS would be mandatory and continuously monitor driver behaviour on all vehicles.

No doubt the devices will be also be useful for revenue generation via automatic speeding fines and also for road pricing.

Update: Transport minister loses his way

4th November 2019. See article from thethaiger.com

Thailand's Ministry of Transport is backing down over plans for all private cars and motorcycles to be equipped with GPS devices. He now says that the issue needs further study on real-time connectivity with the database of the Land Transport Department and will measure the cost of that connectivity.

 

 

Fake news...

Thailand opens its new internet control center


Link Here 2nd November 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking
Thailand's Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, has launched the government's 'anti-fake-news' centre at the head office of the country's state telecoms company TOT.

Buddhipongse said that any challenged infomation will be verified within two hours by the centre. The verification process is said to include both human and artificial intelligence. He added:

Some 200 organisations in our network will each send two people to serve as contact persons within 24 hours who have to receive cases and help verify whether their obtained information is true or false.

The centre will look at the top 10-20 most-shared news items or messages on social media platforms, including Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter.

People are also allowed to send information they find suspicious to the centre so it can be checked and verified with relevant organisations. The verified information will be shared through online channels.

Any information deemed as infringement will be forwarded to the Royal Thai Police for investigation.

The center will employ about 30 checkers who will target news about government policies and content that broadly affects peace and order, good morals, and national security.

 

 

When Swampy becomes more of a prophecy than a nickname...

Climate Scientists predict that Bangkok will be underwater by 2050, you'd better start recycling those plastic bags


Link Here 31st October 2019
Researchers from Climate Central claim that Bangkok could be completely submerged within 30 years.

In the study published in British journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, researchers used a new digital elevation model based on artificial intelligence to examine data from 135 countries.

The model indicates that by 2050, land occupied by 150 million people around the world will be wiped out entirely. Most of these areas are in Asia.

According to the Climate Central website, Bangkok, as well as Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh are some of the cities most at risk, all of which are projected to fall below annual flood level by 2050.

 

 

The GoGo Express...

Bangkok airports to Pattaya and U-Tapao high speed railway given the go ahead


Link Here 25th October 2019
Thailand's plans for a new $7.4 billion high-speed rail link from Bangkok to Pattaya got the go ahead on Thursday after months of negotiations.

The Thai government said it had signed an agreement to begin construction with a consortium led by conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group and including China Railway Construction Corporation.

Some Japanese banks have also agreed to provide part of the financing for the link, which will span 220 kilometres and is scheduled to start operating in 2023.

The High-Speed Rail Linked 3 Airport Project makes use of existing structures and routes as seen in the form of an airport rail link system. Expansions will see the implementation of standard gauge 1.435-meter tracks with 2 new connecting routes from the Phaya Thai -- Don Muang route as well as the Lad Krabang -- U-Tapao (Rayong) route offering ease of access to and from the airports. These expansions will largely make use of existing routes from the State Railway of Thailand and in total comprise 220 km. of seamless railway routes. Urban line within Bangkok will see slower speeds of 160 km/hr. (Don Muang Station to Suvarnabhumi Station) while intercity line will reach a maximum speed of 250 km/hr. (Suvarnabhumi Station to U-Tapao Station). This system comprises 9 high-speed stations, namely, Don Muang, Bang Sue, Makkasan, Suvarnabhumi, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Sriracha, Pattaya, and U-Tapao.

 

 

One branch of the authorities considers how to encourage foreign visitors to Thailand...

Whilst another reminds those potential visitors that they are liable to be arrested, jailed, humiliated in the local press, deported, and banned from Thailand for 5 years, just for as little as a 1 day overstay


Link Here 14th October 2019
The council of the economic ministers on October 11th approved in principle new measures, proposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, to enhance tourism in the short, medium, and long terms.

The short term measures, to be implemented this year, will see an increase in the numbers of agents and locations offering VAT refund service to foreign tourists. Also, some rules governing the travel of foreigners in Thailand will also be reviewed (TM30?)

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, also acknowledged the latest assessment of the local and global economies.

Meanwhile in Ko Samui, a contingent of immigration and tourist police arrested a German man who had overstayed in the kingdom, by two weeks. The unfortunate victim was taken into custody, presumably deported, and his details published in a humiliating way in the local press.

The paper reported that the arrest was in line with immigration chief Lt-Gen Sompong Chingduang's policy, and should anyone like to inflict this treatment on someone else, then they can call 1178 to report violators.

 

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