The Transport Ministry aims to add 67 new bus routes in Bangkok as part of its reform plan for public bus services in the capital. The move would help ensure bus service coverage for a larger area, said Deputy Transport Minister Pichit Akrathit. The reform plan encompasses work to re-organise bus routes, set up a body to regulate bus services in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, help develop service potential among bus operators, ensure effective oversight and deal with bus infrastructure management. Other bus operators would be sought to boost competition, which would be beneficial to passengers, he said. The DLT will have to set up a new bus management division, which will allocate bus routes and consider issuing licences for bus operators, he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva. (Reuters photo)GENEVA - China will build a new model of relations with the United States as part of its creation of a "circle of friends" around the world, President Xi Jinping said in a speech at the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday. "We will strive to build new model of major country relations with the United States, a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia, a partnership for peace, growth, reform and among different civilizations," he said. US President-elect Donald Trump was particularly critical of China during his election campaign, accusing it of exploiting the United States economically. Xi called for unity on climate change and the fight against terrorism, as well as nuclear disarmament.
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim scored a minor legal victory on Wednesday, as a court ruled that he can proceed with his bid to challenge the rejection of his petition for a royal pardon. Clemency is the only option left for Anwar, 69, to get out of prison and clear his name. "I'm here for the big fight," Anwar told reporters in court before being whisked away by prison officers following the ruling. Anwar is widely expected to be released by mid-2018, as Malaysia grants a one-third reduction of jail terms for good behaviour. But the conviction disqualifies him from political office and from contesting the next election that must be held by 2018.
(Agency photos)WASHINGTON - The incoming Trump administration criticised President Barack Obama's commutation of the 35-year prison sentence for Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking classified material. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks said its founder Julian Assange could travel to the US to face investigation after the Manning commutation - but only if his rights were "guaranteed". Republicans have roundly joined Trump in criticizing Obama, arguing that Manning endangered the lives of US troops, diplomats and intelligence officers. Earnest said that Republicans criticizing the commutation are hypocritical because they support Trump, who has defended WikiLeaks and Assange. Assange had said he would agree to extradition to the US if Obama commuted Manning's sentence.
The Justice Ministry, citing fresh evidence in the case including Sap’s alleged confession, has now secured a trial date for it to be weighed. The police remain confident in their original charge, with the lead investigator and several of his supervisors publicly suggesting that Jomsap is not telling the truth. If she is telling the truth, the case will be another example of serious flaws in our justice system. In fact her case, should it prove to be an instance of false conviction, might well be merely the tip of the iceberg. With a retrial ordered in the Jomsap case, all parties should be focused on marshalling their evidence and testimony convincingly, rather than attempting to discredit the other side through the media.
Kriengkrai Kanjanapokin, co-founder and group chief executive officer of Index Creative Village, said yesterday that the Energy Ministry had appointed his company to take care of Thailand Pavilion at this world event. Under the contract with the ministry, Index Creative Village will handle planning strategy, organise exhibits, manage and oversee the construction, and plan media exposure. The content within the Thailand Pavilion will be presented in an edutainment format. Total expenditure on the construction of Thailand Pavilion has been set at Bt249 million. Index Creative Village has had similar opportunities in the past to create and manage Thailand Pavilions, such as in Expo 2010 in Shanghai and Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea.
But the promised reform and reconciliation has yet to yield any substantial outcome and signs of success in the near future are few and far between. The drawn-out “freeze” on political activities has spurred professional politicians to accept any gesture that might lead to a thaw. Premier Prayut has described the proposed agreement to be signed by all parties related to national politics as a “pledge” to join the peace and reconciliation process. Military brass and politicians may be about to get into bed together. But there is a crucial difference between reconciliation among politicians and national unity among the people.
This, together with low interest rates, has provided cheap money – lots and lots of it. When Barack Obama took office eight years ago the national debt was around $9 trillion. With interest rates at an all-time low of 0.25 per cent and the economy floating on borrowed money, the situation is potentially explosive. Interest rates will have to rise. But of course Obama, having created the mess, will most likely be on the golf course, leaving the problem squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders.
As US founding father James Madison noted, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgement and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.”Thus an impartial organisation – not the Royal Thai Police – should investigate the force’s handling of teacher Jomsap Saenmuangkhot’s case. Was the police investigation faulty, leading to her being wrongly jailed for 18 months in the hit-and-run case? It appears, for example, that witnesses told police the guilty driver was male, but the teacher is female. And the male driver, tracked down by the teacher’s friends, insists he was the guilty party, not the teacher. While the case is being impartially investigated, the police should stop threatening Jomsap by saying that, if they have correctly identified the guilty party, it would take the teacher to court for claiming otherwise.
Banking accounts for more than 70 per cent of Turkey’s financial-services industry, implicating that it is a key driver for the country’s economic success. Regardless of the country’s situation, Turkish banks remain well subsidised and meet the Basel III requirements, with their average Tier 1 capital ratio at 13.3 per cent at the end of 2015. Most banks are expected to remain buoyant in the phase of weakened operating conditions anticipated going forward. Moreover, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency data suggest the combined net profit of Turkish banks increased by 63 per cent to 26.55 billion lira (Bt248 billion) in the first eight months of last year. Regardless of the global banking crisis, Turkish banks have emerged reasonably well while meeting regulatory capitalisation requirements, indicating their strengths.
Following a meeting at the ministry yesterday, Somkid said the domestic economy would play a key role in driving the country’s growth. The Commerce Ministry should therefore strengthen the economy around the Kingdom by developing local markets for the more efficient promotion of growth in each area, he said. The planned main central market in each key province will trade in general goods, while each specialty central market will be developed to sell a local product for the area, such as seafood, rice, silk, textiles, garments or fruits. Somkid said that unlike other markets, the market plan under the Pracha Rath project would be promoted in linkage with local tourism and e-commerce. Deputy Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said about 20 items would be selected and produced as a new brand under the Pracha Rath project for sale to low-income earners.
But the alleged getaway motorist Supatchai Jansri, 25, denied murder and the court judge will examine evidence at a session set for February 27. Wasin, 26, was murdered in Lat Phrao district on the night after two men demanded he hand over his Bt26,000 smartphone. The incident was captured on CCTV footage that went viral in social media.
As part of the Chula Unisearch study commissioned by the ministry, it advised bringing Thaicom’s two licensed satellites – Thaicom 7 and 8 – back under the ministry’s concession regime. The concession for Thaicom 6 expires in 2021 but its life span will continue for eight years after that. Thaicom also offered to help the government build up the state’s satellite system by capitalising on its long experience. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the ministry have redundant roles in supervising the satellite service industry. The ministry oversees the Thaicom 4, 5 and 6 satellites, while the NBTC licenses and oversees Thaicom 7 and 8 and future Thaicom satellites.
THAI ECONOMIC policymakers and business leaders should adopt a wait-and-watch attitude towards the incoming Trump administration’s trade and related policies, though free trade would still be a key component of the new government’s policies, US Ambassador Glyn Davies said. Although it is difficult to say how the new US administration will spell out its trade and related policies at this stage, Davies assured that free trade between the United States and the rest of the world would continue. Though no official policy direction will be forthcoming until after the presidential inauguration, it is speculated that the Trump administration would pursue trade, security and other related policies that would better serve US interests. On trade policies, it is likely that the direction would lean more towards bilateral deals rather than regional and multilateral free trade agreements, but it remains unclear how the Trump-led government will arrive at the many paths leading in that new direction. The United States also hopes to play a crucial role in helping to upgrade the education sector.
Sandy Zhou, head of marketing at TCL Electronics (Thailand), said TCL Thailand was keen to add a broader range of electrical appliances to its offerings in Thailand, meeting rising consumer demand in the segment. She said that TCL Thailand achieved sales of Bt2.5 billion last year, maintaining its position as a top-three TV player in Thailand with 8 per cent market share. “TCL Thailand expects to increase our market share in the local TV market to 10 per cent or approximately 300,000 units (Bt3.2 billion in sales value) this year. TCL Thailand has been established in Thailand for more than 13 years, building up a brand loyalty and good teamwork in its workforce. “TCL Thailand will focus on Thailand only.