Colder New Year awaits
Or so forecasted by Thai the Meteorological Department that we will celebrate New Year holidays amid 3-5-degree Celsius cooler atmosphere until the Dec 31 especially in the North. Bangkok already felt the cooler temperature but it seems surreal for Bangkok people to get the same drop.
The current strong high pressure will become weaker during the Jan 1-4 so we can expect 2-4-degree Celsius rise. Until Jan 4 however, people in the Northern area should be concerned about their health, possible thunderstorm and hail and driving in fog. Fishermen in the East part of Southern Thailand should beware of waves and not leaving the shore in small boat.
Top: A remote village in Chiang Mai mountains at dawn. Photo: Rex Gray (CC-BY-2.0)
Hua Hin – Pattaya ferry offers 15-day free ride
The Marine Department is to give a New Year present to Thai people by providing free rides of the long-awaited Hua Hin – Pattaya ferry during Jan 1 -15.
Sorasak Sansombat, director-general of the Marine Department, said the two hours, 113 kilometers route would take two hours in traveling. The ferry can carry 346 passengers at a time and there will be two trips per day at the start.
After Jan 15, the fare will go back to its normal 1,200 baht per person rate.
Inset: While people welcome the new Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry service, the Koh Larn service has been operating for decades. Photo: Thanate Tan (CC-BY-2.0)
Hackers faces tough PM orders
Though some have already been arrested, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told law enforcement to get even tougher on hackers or anyone committing illegal act against government websites.
Netizen were upset over the amendment to the Computer Crime Act that was recently approved by the National Legislative Assembly. Some self-proclaimed hackers decided to launched attack in retaliation on government websites and computer systems including those of Government House, the Defense Ministry and the National Council for Peace and Order.
MRT stations gap to be connected by PM order
Ever since the two stations started their operations in August 2016, commuters were boggled that there was no connecting train or even walking platform that they could use. They must resort to shuttle bus, motorcycle taxi or even walk the kilometer-long distance which defies the rational of having the MRT.
On Tuesday Dec 27, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has acknowledged the order by PM Prayut, who invoked the power under Article 44 of the interim charter to resolve the issue.
NCPO Spokesperson Colonel Winthai Suvaree said the Blue Line operator Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM) was ordered to operate the one-kilometer link between the Bang Sue station (Blue Line) and Tao Poon station (Purple Line).
The Mass Rapid Transit Authority chairman General Yodyuth Boonyatikarn said that the MRTA planned to open services bridging the missing link in September 2017 and thus would speed up negotiations with BEM to expedite the project and it would take about eight months after the contract is approved by the cabinet.
Inset: Commuters catch a bus to across the one-kilometer “missing link.” Photo: www.nationmultimedia.com
Scholarship project resurrected
Newly-appointed Deputy Education Minister Panadda Diskul said that the ministry plans to bring back the One District One Scholarship (Odos) project originated by the Thaksin Shinawatra administration and revise some criteria to offer international education for only needy students with strong academic records.
ML Panadda said the revised criteria will focus on supporting scholarship in vocational fields which the country needs. The minister also said the ministry may change other regulations so that, unlike during Thaksin and Yingluck administrations, the applicants are required to truly live and study in the district where they apply for a scholarship, and return to serve the government.
Below: Students vying for a scholarship under One District One Scholarship (Odos) project. Photo: www.bangkokpost.com
By Piboon Awasdaruharote