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A lifetime of love and achievement

Posted by pakin On October - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

In his 70 years as the doting monarch of the Kingdom of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej brought peace when it was needed and showed the way towards easing the plight of the poor and bringing prosperity. His Majesty’s life was one of great achievement in every field imaginable, from science to agriculture to sport and music. Here is a list of some of the notable moments in his illustrious life.

Dec  5, 1927: Birth of His Majesty the King at Cambridge Hospital, Massachusetts

Dec  13, 1928: Return of HRH Prince Mahidol and his family to Thailand

Sept  24, 1929: Death of Prince Mahidol

May  9, 1933: Mahidol family settles in Lausanne, Switzerland

March  2, 1934: King Rama VII abdicates to London, England

Accession of King Ananda

Nov  15, 1938: Return of King Ananda, 13, to Thailand as sovereign for the first time

June  9, 1946: Death of King Ananda

Prince Bhumibol named King Rama IX

1946: His Majesty writes his first and second music compositions, ‘’Love at Sundown’’ and ‘’Candlelight Blue’’

April 28, 1950: Marriage of HM King Bhumibol and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kittiyakara

May 5, 1950: Coronation ceremony. “I shall reign with righteousness for the happiness and benefit of the Siamese people.”

April  5, 1951: Birth of HRH Princess Ubol Ratana

1952: The first rural development project at Huai Mongkol village of Hua Hin is established

July  28, 1952: Birth of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn

April  2, 1955: Birth of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

1956: Royal ordination

June  4, 1957: Birth of HRH Princess Chulabhorn

1959: First royal state visit to Vietnam

1960: Revival of royal ploughing ceremony

1965: The King’s Scholarship Fund is launched

1967: His Majesty wins the SEA Games gold medal in international OK sailing with HRH Princess Ubol Ratana

The Royal Medical Team unit is established

1969:  The first trial of artificial rain is a success. Rain falls in the targeted area at Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima

The Royal Project is established.

June 9, 1971: His Majesty celebrates his Ratchadapisek, or Silver Jubilee.

A demonstration rice mill is set up at Chitralada Palace

1973: His Majesty puts an end to street violence after the Oct 14 democracy protests turn into a bloodbath

1979: Cow and buffalo bank is established

The first Living Museum is opened at Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre in Phanom Sarakham district, Chachoengsao province

1988: The Chaipattana Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, is established. His Majesty is named president

The Royal Project wins the Magsaysay Award for international understanding

July 2, 1988: His Majesty celebrates 42 years and 23 days on the throne, an event marked by Rajamangalapisek celebrations to, in the words of His majesty, “apologise for overtaking King Chulalongkorn” as he becomes the longest-reigning monarch in Thailand

1989: The first model of the oxygen-enhancing aerator is installed for trial at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital and Wat Bowon Niwetvihara

May 20, 1992: During street violence in what has become known as the Black May incident, His Majesty convinces then prime minister Gen Suchinda Kraprayoon and protest leader Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang to end their confrontation for the sake of public peace and harmony.

1994: His Majesty unveils his concept of a “New Theory”, a new approach in agricultural development during his birthday speech

June 9, 1996: His Majesty celebrates his Kanchanapisek with the Grand Golden Jubilee Royal Rites at Chakri Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.

1997: His Majesty’s concept of sufficiency economy earns public recognition and helps save the nation from economic crisis

His Majesty’s book, Mahajanaka, is launched

2002: The best-selling book, The Story of Tongdaeng, is released and the Tongdaeng T-shirt becomes a popular item

2004: Tongdaeng comic book by four cartoonists becomes another bestseller

2006: The European Patent Office issues patents on His Majesty’s rain-making technology

His Majesty addresses judges of the Supreme and Administrative Courts to explore legal solutions to get the country out of political gridlock

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presents the first UNDP Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty the King

June 9, 2006: The sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty’s accession to the throne

Grief sweeps across crowd at Siriraj Hospital

Posted by pakin On October - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The grief of thousands reverberated throughout the grounds of Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok yesterday evening following the news that His Majesty the King had died – a scene echoed nationwide.

After the official announcement of the King’s death from the Bureau of the Royal Household at around 7pm, the outpouring of grief at the hospital began, with many learning of his passing on social media. They shouted: “Long live the King”.

All day yesterday at the hospital, people sat on the ground around a monument of His Majesty the King’s father and wept. Some passed out. Nurses performed first aid.

“Please don’t leave us,” screamed a tearful Pornprapa Srisang, a 43- year-old businesswoman, who arrived at the hospital late yesterday afternoon. “Please wake up and stay with your people. You just sleep, I know. You are so tired and you just fall asleep. Please stay with us.”

Waraporn Sertsurin, a 28-year-old corporate employee from Bangkok, had refused to believe the rumour that the King was dead, which spread until about 7pm.
After composing themselves, people sang royal songs expressing their best wishes for the King before shouting relentlessly: “May the King go to heaven”.

The singing continued for almost half-an-hour before fading as the crowds descended into a quiet period of mourning.

Some tried to edge closer to the hospital, while others thought they saw a curtain close in a hospital room. It could not be confirmed it was the room where the King had been treated.

At 9pm, some people began to leave the hospital grounds, while others stayed and continued to sing the royal songs and shout: “Long live the King”.

Nationwide, millions of people simultaneously were grief stricken. Several residents in the far Western Tak province, who were praying with monks in temples, burst into tears after learning the news.

In Chiang Mai, people had followed reports on the King’s health in major venues including the busy markets via TV, before falling into silence upon learning of his death. The old city went quieter than usual.

Ubon Ratchathani resident Supit Phongsri was shocked by the news, and struggled to accept it.

“I feel today is the saddest day in my life, but I do wish he rests in peace and goes to heaven,” Supit said.

A retired Royal Irrigation Department chief who worked for His Majesty, Pramote Maiklad, said he felt very lucky to have had the chance to serve him closely.

Pramote said that in the King he saw genius, which he wholeheartedly embraced as a guide for his own life.

“His Majesty the King was very knowledgeable and masterful,” he said. “He was also extremely patient, not giving things up easily. And more importantly, he worked well with others for the best outcomes.”

Rattana Vejjanchai, a civil official, wished that the news of the King’s death was not true but she would continue to follow in his footsteps – working for the people without thinking of herself.

State agencies including the Secretariate of the House of Representatives, praised His Majesty the King as a champion of democracy.

The Office of the Prime Minister issued an instruction to government officials nationwide to wear black to mourn the King for one year and fly flags at half mast for 30 days.

KPN Motor has listing in sights

Posted by pakin On August - 8 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

KPN Motor Car Co says its ambitious plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand is still on track despite unfavourable conditions including a slow economic recovery.

Founder Keattisak Keeratiyakornsakul said the company’s two main businesses, assembly and distribution of taxis, and tyre distribution, have performed strongly with about 1 billion baht in combined revenue.

Mr Keattisak, who is also managing director, said KPN Motor is conducting a feasibility study to offer hire-purchase loans to taxi drivers who want to buy their own vehicles.

He said at least four financial companies have offered to serve as financial advisers and offer loans for the company to manage hire purchase, an activity that will strengthen the financial status of KPN Motor.

At present, the business of taxi-assembly and selling taxicabs has a small margin of only 3-5%, but financial services are likely to create higher profit, according to Mr Keattisak.

He said before listing the company on the bourse, KPN should operate a hire-purchase business, together with taxi assembly and tyre distribution.

The company has no connection with KPN Group Corporation, a conglomerate owned by the Narongdej family.

KPN Motor Car was formed in 2000 by Mr Keattisak as a small auto-parts trader before expanding into the wholesale trade for auto parts for Toyota.

The company later expanded into selling several tyre brands. Its distribution channels includes two outlets and an online platform.

In 2008, it started to assemble and distribute taxicabs. Since then, the company has distributed more than 5,000 units, said Mr Keattisak.

The competition in the taxi-assembly business is intense with a number of assemblers.

However, the potential remains strong thanks to the growing demand for replacement taxis in Bangkok and Greater Bangkok.

The number of taxis in the metropolitan area totalled 97,766 with 72,439 drivers as of April, according to the Land Transport Department. In 2015, new registered taxis rose by 23.1% to 9,409 units in Bangkok and Greater Bangkok.

About 10,000 taxicabs need to be replaced every year as the average lifetime of a taxicab is only nine years.

KPN’s taxicabs are sold via 25 outlets in Bangkok and vicinities, 20 of which are partnerships with Toyota dealers and gas installers. The rest are run by KPN.

Toyota’s Altis is a popular model for taxi assembly and the model sells at 800,000 to 900,000 baht a unit.

Other models from Toyota such as the Innova, Camry and Fortuner are also available.

Mr Keattisak expects to sell 1,000 taxicabs this year.

After listing on the stock market, Mr Keattisak said the company will expand into property development with its first project, a low-rise condominium on Pradit Manutham Road, scheduled to start construction in 2019.

“Urbanisation and new mass-transit routes in Greater Bangkok are positive factors for the property sector to develop both residential and commercial projects,” he said.

Nissan’s new models aim to drive growth

Posted by pakin On August - 3 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Nissan Motor (Thailand) aims to raise its market share to double digits by 2018 from 5.6% now.

President Kazutaka Nambu, who yesterday outlined the Japanese carmaker’s mid-term plan ending in 2018, said Nissan plans to launch five new models by 2018 to help boost market share.

He said the company is also confident in the strong fundamentals of Thailand’s car market and expects it to recover to hit annual sales of 1 million vehicles again in 2020.

“Although the current market has been hit hard by massive car sales driven by the first-time car buyer scheme that expired in 2012, the market remains full of potential for Nissan to grow its sales and market share,” Mr Nambu said.

Under its three-year plan, Nissan will also focus more on upgrading its dealership network and after-sales service.

According to marketing consultant J.D. Power’s survey of the customer service index for Thailand’s automotive market in the mass segment, Nissan was ranked sixth with 858 points.

Honda and Toyota were ranked top with 882 points each, with Isuzu third on 875 points.

Mr Nambu said Nissan would develop its 200 outlets and service centres nationwide to move up to the top three in the near future.

For the fiscal year that started in April, Nissan is also upbeat about achieving sales growth of 2% to 50,000 vehicles, with market share up by 0.5% to 7%.

However, Nissan reported its sales dropped by 5.2% from April to June to 10,392 vehicles.

“The overall market is expected to shrink by 7-8% this year to only 740,000 units,” Mr Nambu said. “The market is expected to recover from next year.”

Nissan reported its highest sales during fiscal 2012 with 138,000 vehicles, propelled by the first-time car buyer scheme, before dropping to 74,000 in 2013.

Nissan sold 56,600 vehicles in its 2014 fiscal year, down 23.5%.

Nissan reported last month that its eco-car production had passed 500,000 vehicles, comprised of the March and Almera models. Its plant in Samut Prakan started to make eco-cars in March 2010.

Some 50% of the output was for export to 13 countries including Japan.

Although the parent firm has yet to disclose plans for Nissan’s eco-car expansion, it remains committed to production.

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