Pandora's On Soi LK Metro has just been converted from a coyote bar into an A-GoGo. The news owners have posted a new notice about its 65 Baht draft beer suggesting that the venue will now be known as the more logical Pandora's rather than the
unlikely Pandors's on the main sign.
Presumably the lack of apostrophe on the sign is yet another typo.
Thailand's Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda has responded to public criticism and scrapped the dreadful idea to include occupation and salary details on people's ID cards.
Social media exploded on Saturday after the military ruler, prime minister
Prayut Chan-o-cha, suggested that inclusion of wage and occupation data should be included on Thai ID cards by 2017.
Today, however, General Anupong clarified that such information would only be included in an internal ministry database. He
claimed that use of the data would not violate people's rights and the extra information was somehow being collected solely for the name of the public interest.
Human rights advocates opposed Gen Prayut's idea, calling it an invasion of privacy
and violation of basic human rights. They argued people's salary and occupation were personal data and should not be displayed on ID cards, even to electronic readers. The disclosure of such sensitive information could spur discrimination and put people
at risk of exploitation by criminals.
Gen Anupong said minimal additional funds would be needed to collect salary and occupation data, as only surveys were required, not the production of new ID cards or reader systems. Gen Prayut on Monday said
minimum-wage earners would remain exempt from taxes, but their incomes would still need to be recorded.
Throughout the last 24 hours, Thaivisa.com has received reports that suggest officers at Immigration check points along the Thai-Cambodian border are no longer stamping visa exempt entries, and are therefore effectively closed for people wishing to
complete an Out/In border run.
Reports started surfacing on Saturday afternoon (Sept 12), when several members posted similar information to the Thaivisa forum.
It remains unclear if this affects all land border checkpoints or only those on
the Thai-Cambodian border.
It is also unclear if only those people staying in Thailand on visa exempt entries are affected or if this also impacts people who have a valid Tourist Visa.
Thai police said they arrested a foreigner on Saturday who matched the description of a man who left a bag at the site of a Bangkok blast that killed 20 people nearly two weeks ago.
Police raided a decaying four-floor apartment block in a
suburb of the capital and found multiple fake passports and bomb-making materials they said may have been used in the Aug. 17 bombing at a Hindu shrine, the deadliest in the country's history.
The suspect was a 28-year-old foreign man who
had been in Thailand since January last year. He was being held at a military facility on charges of possessing illegal explosives and had admitted the passports were fake, police said.
Television showed still images of bags full of what appeared
to be bomb-making materials seized at an apartment in Bangkok's Nong Chok district, which has a Muslim community and is close to mosques and Halal restaurants.
Thai authorities arrested a second foreign suspect in the bombing of a shrine in central Bangkok two weeks ago.
A foreign man described as the
main figure behind the country's worst-ever terrorist attack, was detained as he was trying to cross Thailand's eastern border into Cambodia. Gen. Prayuth didn't say if he was the same man as the one caught on security cameras placing a pipe bomb beneath
a bench at the Erawan Shrine during the evening rush hour on Aug. 17, but other officials in the ruling junta said he could be.
A non-binding video game ratings system has been proposed by the Thai Ministry of Culture. Six age-based ratings for games have been mooted by the Ministry of Culture that would be placed on all games released in Thailand but would not be legally
binding on retailers to enforce. Pradith Posew of the Film and Video Censors Board said:
There won't be any legal effect in banning kids from playing games. It's merely a guidance for guardians to take care of their kids'
video game playing, based on the appropriateness to their age.
He said it was also intended to help internet and gaming cafes to advise kids who play games at their shops.
In addition to a general audience category, the six ratings would include recommendations for minimum ages of 3, 6, 13, 15 and 18.
The ratings system has been sent to the military government for final approval, Pradith said.
On several recent occasions video games have been banned in Thailand. In 2008, the Ministry of Culture banned sales of Grand Theft Auto IV , after a 17-year-old student stabbed a taxi driver dead and blamed the game for his actions.
In August 2014, three months after the military seized power from an elected government, Thai authorities also banned sales of Tropico 5 , which allows players to assume the role of a dictator running a fictitious tropical island nation.
The Film and Video Censors Board claimed the game could possibly affect the kingdom's political situation. The game creator hit back at Thailand this past June by launching a new Espionage mission tasking players with crippling the Thai tourism
Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) has consolidated all its beers under the Chang Classic brand in line with its rather hopeful vision to become a sustainable leader in the beer and non-alcoholic beverages market in Asean by 2020. Edmond Neo Kim Soon, chief
executive officer for beer in Thailand made the ludicrous claim:
We are able to make a perfect liquid for consumers. So, we would like to contribute a single-minded focus actually on one single brand.
We have also launched the new look Chang Classic bottle, with a more elegant and very nice contour and good hand-feel. The new Chang Classic will be easy to drink with only a 5.5-degree alcohol level, down from 6 degrees previously.
The company aims to increase Chang's share of the local beer market from about 30 per cent to 45-50 per cent, making it the market leader. The company has already ditched the distribution of several sub-par beer products - Chang
Light, Chang Export and Chang Draught.
The Chang Classic brand will be used for both the domestic market and export markets around the world.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry and tourism operators have announced the approval of multiple-entry visas effective for six months as a measure that will help to attract more tourists to the country.
The ministerial regulation under the Immigration
Act of 1979, approved by junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday, will allow tourists to get a visa enabling them to make multiple entries into Thailand during a six-month period .
The multiple-entry visa will cost 5,000 baht, while a visa
for a single entry will be 1,000 baht.
Multiple entry visas will become available 60 days after the regulation is published in the Royal Gazette.
Charoen Wangananont, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents commented:
It's a good start, although even the six-month period may still be short for some visitors.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry earlier proposed the cabinet approve the multiple visa for a 12-month period .
Thailand's military government threatened women posting photos of the lower half of their breasts, a current social media trend, saying their actions could violate the country's computer crime laws and lead to 5 years in prison.
computer crimes act 2007 bans material that causes damage to the country's security or causes public panic or any obscene computer data which is accessible to the public .
The culture ministry said offenders faced up to five years in
jail. Ministry spokesman Anandha Chouchoti said:
When people take these 'underboob selfies' no one can see their faces. So it's like, we don't know who these belong to, and it encourages others to do the same.
We can only warn people to not take it up. They are inappropriate actions.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 USA romance by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Jennifer Ehle.
The film adaptation of the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey will be screened uncut in Singapore.
It received an R21 rating from the Board of Film Censors, with an advisory that the film has a mature theme and sexual scenes.
Meanwhile in Thailand the film has been given a rare 20 rating. (20 is the age of maturity, similar to 21 in the UK)
For comparison, countries have rated the film as follows:
Australia: rated MA15+ (15A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity
Canada (Quebec) 16+
Canada (Ontario + British Columbia) 18A
Unavailable as distributors think Chinese film censors would ban it
Czech Republic: 15
New Zealand R18 for sex scenes and offensive language
Philippines R-18 after censorship cuts implemented by blurring
18+ (banned in Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya)
Singapore R21 uncut for mature theme and sexual scenes
South Korea 18
UK 18 uncut for strong sex
US: R rated (17A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.
Vietnam 16+ after cuts which
were required to make the film suitable for the masses
Virtually without notice, the government last week raised the entry fees for national parks. In fact it was more than just a raise , prices were doubled.
On Feb 1, national parks were instructed by the government's National Parks, Wildlife and
Plant Conservation Department to begin extorting higher fees from foreign visitors. Thai fees, to be shown only in Thai script, went from 40 to 50 baht. Tourist prices were doubled, from 200 baht to 400 baht per adult.
The following report
appeared on the super-popular Tripadvisor.com website last Friday:
We went to Khao Yai [National Park] for the day, and when we got there we realised that the entry fee for Thais is 40 baht, and for foreigners it is
Dozens of comments followed, ranging from outrage to mildly critical. It might not deter a tourist or a family from visiting Thailand, but it has already deterred visits to attractive sites, and it has brought the government
into disrepute as racist and greedy.
No topic sets a tourist's teeth on edge like double-double-double-pricing. It is the worst sort of disrespect displayed at the economic level. The government knows this. When it sets different prices for Thai
and foreign visitors, it prints the local price in Thai script. This merely compounds the sneaky intent, since tourists in Thailand and abroad know full well about this trick.
Thailand's telecoms police plan to make it mandatory to register all mobile-phone SIM cards and then to use mobile phone numbers as personal ID for access to public Internet nationwide.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission
(NBTC) has said it will ask Cabinet to approve a plan to register prepaid mobile phone users as part of the national censorship policy. NBTC secretary general Takorn Tantasith explained:
SIM registration is the first
step to force all to have individual numbers, then the next step is the 'Single Sign On' policy.
The policy will require users of mobile phones to register their user name and password to access the Internet on all networks
The agency would propose the plan, known as Single Sign On , to Cabinet to enact the registration process within six months.
Years ago, the NBTC tried to impose controls requiring operators to register the
details of people who buy new prepaid SIM cards but few consumers cooperated, as they were reluctant to provide copies of their ID cards. But now the NBTC has suggested to method to make the registration process a little more practical.
operators who sell SIM cards will download an app onto their mobile phones. They will use the app to take a picture of the SIM card code and the buyer's ID card. The app will then immediately send data to the NBTC's computer server, connected with the
servers of the five telecom operators. The NBTC server will verify the identity-card information and, if correct, send the verified data back to the telecom operator's server, to activate the SIM card. The data will not be stored on mobile phones of shop
staff. Expats who don't have Thai ID cards can use passports.