The Thai New Year Festival has come to en end, the streets are eerily quiet, and online news media is mopping up the aftermath of the festival’s more negative impact on society. This year, arguably, was a stand-out out year for official extremism concerning safety initiatives, with Thai people being exposed to a very long list of crackdowns relating to: water-squirting weapons, alcohol consumption, dangerous driving, and “improper dances or performances that do not reflect Thai culture”. Read more...
Thailand’s roads claimed 364 lives over the 7-day Songkran holiday, with a further 3,559 people injured, the Road Safety Centre said Thursday. There were 42 more deaths this year than in 2014, making it the highest Songkran death toll since 373 people were killed in 2009. Read more...
PHUKET, 16 April 2015: Phuket province stepped up security measures after last week’s car bomb attack on Samui Island. Phuket governor Nisit Chansomwong vowed to deliver the highest safety and security for tourists visiting the island, according to Thailand’s National News Bureau. Phuket Police are inspecting all vehicles particularly pickup trucks at the only bridge […] Read more...
In an episode of the American TV drama 'The West Wing', a scene depicts how new ambassadors are welcomed in Washington, D.C.: "I understand that you're a sports fan?" asks the fictional president Josiah Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen. "Yes sir, Mr. President. Golf!" replies the fictitious new Thai Ambassador Tada Sumatra (who came up with that name?), both men standing in the president's Oval Office with their respective aides. "Okay, well - golf's not a sport. It's fine, don't get me wrong, but let's not you and I get confused with things that men do," rebuffs the president before proceeding with the acceptance process. Read more...
BANGKOK 13 April 2015: Thailand’s military has detained a man for questioning after the car bomb attack which wounded seven people on the resort island of Samui as security was tightened there, police said Sunday. Samui was packed with tourists just just two days ahead of Songkhran festival when the car bomb exploded in a […] Read more...
BANGKOK, 11 April 2015: A car bomb wounded seven people, including an Italian girl, when it exploded in the parking area of a shopping mall on the Thai tourist island of Samui, police said Saturday. The bomb was packed inside a Mazda pick-up truck and exploded late Friday in the car park of the Central […] Read more...
BANGKOK, 10 April 2015: Thailand will celebrate the annual Songkhran Festival Monday, 13 April through to Wednesday, 15 April. The celebration will start with families paying respects to elders by sprinkling water on their hands or heads. However, thousands of tourists are visiting Thailand to enjoy the water battles that take place in every village […] Read more...
KRABI, 10 April 2015: A 12-year-old Israeli girl who was reported missing after a blaze destroyed a ferry packed with tourists in southern Thailand has been found dead, police reported on Thursday. Divers discovered her body trapped inside the toilet of the vessel a day after more than 100 foreigners were plucked from the Andaman […] Read more...
It’s been a while since the red carpet has been rolled out at Bangkok Government House for a foreign leader who isn’t from an Asian country. That hiatus ended mid-week with the visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday. Read more...
BANGKOK, 9 April 2015: The Thai Cabinet has approved measures by the Ministry of Interior to combat the annual road carnage that accompanies the nation-wide Songkhran festival holiday. Government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalap said measures focus on improved traffic flow management and ensuing roads and vehicles are well maintained. The casualties are not likely to fall […] Read more...
BANGKOK, 9 April 2015: Centara’s latest family friendly resort soft open,  later this month, at the popular southern beach resort of Krabi. Centara Pelican Bay Residence & Suites Krabi has been designed as a cluster of low-rise buildings surrounding a swimming pool. It offers a choice of modern apartments and pool suites varying from one […] Read more...
Laotians may have bristled at hearing about Bangkok's massive new EmQuartier high-end shopping centre. But those gripes don't stem from envy of the number of outlets selling high end brands in the Thai capital. Instead, the point of contention is how much electricity soaked up by Bangkok's ever growing number of retail plazas, power that relies on hydro dams that are wreaking ecological havoc in the neighbouring Southeast Asian nation. Read more...
BANGKOK, 8 April 2015: Kasikorn Research Centre estimates Bangkokians will spend THB22,800 million during the upcoming Songkhran holiday an increase of 3.6% over the same holiday period last year. The centre said Songkhran remains the most popular annual festival for Bangkok residents and this year it should be celebrated in style as the political situation has stabilised after […] Read more...

New Prevention of Terrorism Act will give Najib Razak’s government powers to detain people without trial, and could usher in new wave of repression

The passage of Malaysia’s new Prevention of Terrorism Act, which has been approved by the lower house of parliament, deals another heavy blow to the cause of human rights in south-east Asia. Three years after the hated colonial-era Internal Security Act was repealed, the government will once again have the power to lock people up arbitrarily and indefinitely, without trial and without legal redress.

The ostensible justification for this stark anti-democratic regression is the perceived threat posed by Malaysian Muslims who support Islamic State. Police say 92 Malaysians have been detained over the past year for alleged links to Isis in Syria, while others are sympathetic to the group. However, the numbers are small compared to the many hundreds of European Muslims who have joined Isis.

Related: Thailand – time for the west to get tough on Prayuth Chan-ocha

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CHIANG MAI, 7 April 2015: Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has identified Chiang Mai as a priority destination for the bureau’s promotions. TCEB president, Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, said the bureau would concentrate on generating more events in Chiang Mai by tapping neighbouring countries such as Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It will also promote  Royal Projects as […] Read more...
It was a 30-minute car chase worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. But unfortunately, it was all too real. Thai police opened fire on the tyres of a speeding vehicle Thursday afternoon in order to deflate its tires, after the 29-year-old American woman behind the wheel sped the wrong way down a Pattaya road, damaging 13 vehicles and injuring two motorcyclists who were forced off bikes and injured in what Pattaya One described as a "wrecking spree". Read more...