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NCPO ‘needs to reveal motive for bombings’

Posted by pakin On February - 3 - 2015

Private sector calls for True picture as incident occurred during martial law

The private sector yesterday urged the government to reveal the real reason for Sunday’s bombing of the skybridge to the upscale Siam Paragon shopping complex for fear that investor confidence and tourism could be seriously set back if the attack was repeated.

“Nothing is clear at the moment regarding the motive of the culprit and we will have to wait and see what the motive for such an action is,” said Stanley Kang, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce.

The minor explosion from the homemade device would not frighten foreign investors or ruin investment sentiment, but the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has a duty to clearly explain to the international community what is going on.

“But since the incident happened when martial law is still in effect, the NCPO must clearly clarify and explain to foreigners about the current political situation and the ongoing investigation to maintain visitors’ confidence,” he said.

Whenever there is such an incident in Thailand, the tourism industry is the first to feel the impact. It was fortunate that no one was seriously hurt, he said, but the government still has to explain what is really going on.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said he believed the government would be able to control the situation.

Supant, who made the remark on the sidelines of the 23rd meeting of the Thailand-Japan Joint Trade and Economic Committee, said he is still waiting to see how things pan out and will follow developments very closely.

Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand, said he thought the government could control the situation. The private sector will keep watching the situation.

He said he was still waiting to see what was the real cause of the incident. First it was said to be a transformer exploding but then it was reported to be a bombing, so he is still waiting to see what the real cause was.

If this kind of thing happens again, it might impact the investment climate. At the moment, the investment climate is not affected and one could say the political situation in Thailand is calm, he said.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Economic and Business Forecasting Centre, said that with the cause of the bomb blast in Bangkok unclear, it would only raise concerns among Thais for a short time.

The disturbance would only affect foreign tourists for a short spell if nothing happens again, while Thais may be more wary about travelling in crowded areas.

However, if the incident is repeated, it would destroy consumer confidence and create greater uncertainty about the political situation, which would weigh on the country’s growth in the long run, he said.

No specific comment

Siam Piwat Co, operator of Siam Paragon, said in a statement that the incident occurred on Sunday night outside the mall area, but management does not want to make any specific comment about the issue.

“Our security measures have been normally intensified, and we will maintain such intensive measures continuously,” said the statement.

The shopping mall will be open as usual and the situation will be evaluated day by day, it said.

Anat Arbhabhirama, spokesman for Bangkok Mass Transit System, said the company has put a high priority on security over the past 15 years of operating the Skytrain, and intensive security measures have been launched to ensure that all passengers will be safe during their transport by the BTS system.

“From a business point of view, we don’t have any serious concerns as passengers are still confident in our mass transit system and the strict security measures we have implemented all the time,” he said.

The Skytrain serves 700,000-750,000 passengers a day during the week and 600,000-650,000 passengers a day on weekends.

The security measures include checks by officials of all bags and baggage handled by passengers, metal detectors at all entrances and more than 1,000 closed-circuit television cameras throughout the Skytrain system.

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