#WhatsHappeningInThailand – June 8, 2024

#WhatsHappeningInThailand – a weekly news roundup of the latest news in Thailand. Hosted by independent journalist Matt Hunt.

Jurassic Park 4 in Thailand

Ang Thong National Marine Park – Matt Hunt / Getty Images

Jurassic Park 4 has been granted permission to film in Thailand. Though much of the movie will be produced by CGI in a studio, the production will take place in key Thai destinations, including Bangkok and some Thailand National Parks in Trang, Krabi, and Phang Nga provinces, from June 13 to July 16, 2024. This decision has raised concerns due to the history of environmental destruction after the production of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Beach’ in 2000. Many Thai Government officials, as well as producers for the film, have acknowledged these concerns and announced plans to learn from what went wrong with ‘The Beach,’ including its draw of mass tourism to Thailand, which has caused long-term damage to Maya Bay.

MILLI Creates Thai ID Card Craze

Thai rapper MILLI in her new ID photo. Source: X @millimdk

Thai Rapper MILLI’s online post about her positive experience renewing her Thai National ID Card at the Bang Phlat (บางพลัด) district office created a significant stir. Her post drew attention and led to a surge in ID card renewals at the same district office in Bangkok, showcasing the growing power of social media influence in TPOP and Thai entertainment.

Thailand seeks new foreigner tax on “worldwide income”

Someone exchanges currency at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Matt Hunt / SOPA Images

The Revenue Department of Thailand is considering a significant change in the tax landscape. Under the proposed ‘worldwide income’ principle, new taxes are set to be imposed on foreigners residing in Thailand for over 180 days per year. These taxes will encompass all their income, regardless of its origin, even if it is not brought into Thailand. This potential shift in taxation policy could have far-reaching implications, and it’s crucial for all residents, foreign and local, to stay informed.

1 in 10 Thai Children facing severe food poverty

Source: UNICEF – The Child Food Poverty: Nutrition Deprivation in Early Childhood report

According to a new report from UNICEF, one in 10 Thai Children faces severe food poverty. The report warns that while still recovering from the impact of COVID-19, the effects of growing inequities, conflicts, and the climate crisis have pushed food prices and the cost of living to record highs.

Thai Government Plans “Retirement Lottery”

Thai Lottery tickets for sale on the street in Bangkok. Matt Hunt / Neato

The Thai Government announced a ‘retirement lottery’ for citizens in the National Savings Fund, including freelancers and those who otherwise contribute to the Social Security Fund independently. This lottery is designed to help combat the effects of a rapidly aging society that cannot afford daily life. The proposed digital lottery would have weekly games and payouts, with a portion of the funds going towards increasing the National Savings Fund. This would allow people to withdraw some of their spending on this lottery upon retirement, potentially providing a supplemental income source.

Thai Journalists charged for reporting Grand Palace graffiti

Two Thai journalists for reporting on graffiti at the Grand Palace. Source: X @post_learning

Two Thai journalists, including one freelance photojournalist, will now be charged as equal participants, ‘principal’ actors, for reporting on graffiti at the Grand Palace last year. This development raises serious concerns about media freedom in Thailand, as it suggests that journalists could be held responsible for the content they report on, even if they are not involved in the story. This issue has sparked a renewed debate about media freedom in Thailand, a regular topic in discussions about #WhatsHappeninginThailand.

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