The government began testing the effectiveness of the cleaned-up canal drainage system on Wednesday, releasing water into western outer Bangkok, but the second drill, to the east, was abruptly called off on Friday morning after widespread, heavy rain in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces in the past few days caused some flooding.Royol Chitradol of the Water and Flood Management Committee said on Friday the decision to cancel the test was jointly made by his committee, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Department of Disaster Mitigation and Prevention.
Low-lying areas in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Bangkok were briefly flooded on Thursday after heavy rain, he said.The planned three-day flood drill to test the preparedness of the canal network drainage system was ordered by the Water and Flood Resources Management Committee headed by Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi. The decision initially prompted fierce resistance from City Hall, which warned the test inundation could cause flooding in some areas because some sluice gates were not yet operational and storms were predicted.The latest conflict between the BMA which is controlled by the Democrats and the Water and Flood Resources Management Committee headed by Mr Plodprasop, a Pheu Thai party executive, is nothing new. In fact, they were at the loggerheads during last year’s flood crisis, resulting to a messy management of flood prevention and relief.The hit-and-run case involving a son of Krathing Daeng (Red Bull) energy drink tycoon took a new twist when a police inspector was accused of helping the drunk driver was on Thursday suspended from the police force pending a disciplinary probe. The metropolitan police chief has recommended his dismissal.Pol Lt-Col Pannapon Nammuang, crime inspector at Thong Lor police station, was faulted for serious disciplinary violation for trying to protect Vorayuth Yoodvidhya, son of Red Bull tycoon Chalerm, from a hit and run charge in a fatal accident by deliberately arresting a scapegoat instead.The scapegoat was a caretaker and family driver, Suwes, who works at Vorayuth's house in Soi 53, where the Red Bull scion sought refuge, together with his damaged Ferrari sports car, after hitting and killing a police motorcyclist on Sukhumvit road near Soi 47 on Monday morning.Police said that an alcohol blood test showed Mr Vorayuth was over the legal limit at the time of the accident, about 5.30am. Video footage from the scene showed the Ferrari ran into the rear of the motorcycle driven by Pol Snr Sgt Wichian Klanprasert, who was killed. The body of the victim was not dragged under the car for 200 metres as earlier reported by the media, but rather carried on top of the bonnet before falling off.
It was reported that Mr Vorayuth claimed he was not drunk at the time - but had a bit to drink after fleeing back to his home, to settle his nerves.It was reported that the suspect’s father, Mr Chalerm, apologised to the victim’s family during a visit to the temple where funeral rites were being held. He also offered help to the family.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra made her second visit to the restive deep South on Wednesday. Accompanied by the commanders of the three armed forces, she spent two hours at Narathiwat provincial hall, getting a briefing by Lt-Gen Udomchai Thammasarojrat and meeting people who gathered to see her.Her first visit to the region was on April 29, about nine months after taking office. She visited Pattani then, but confined her trip to the Sirindhorn military barracks in Yaring district.Her arrival in Narathiwat was delayed due to a change of itinerary following a bomb blast in Muang district in which four soldiers were wounded.The prime minister told the press that her visit was meant to as a show of support for the people there and to get a first-hand briefing about the situation and problems there.Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha admitted that the unrest could not be resolved through military means alone. He urged all parties to help resolve the problem.He shrugged off the idea of foreign help, insisting that the problem was an internal affair, apparently referring to a visit to the region by the chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Countries.To mark Anti-Corruption Day on Sept 6 and to honour the late Dusit Nonthanakorn, former president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and an anti-graft crusader, the Anti-Corruption Alliance Network staged a talk show at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre featuring well-known speakers such as former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak, former central bank governor Pridiyathorn Devakula and Pramon Sutheewong, head of the anti-corruption alliance.Mr Somkid called on all parties involved to join forces to resist corruption and set the elimination of graft as a national agenda. Corruption was flourishing because government leaders lacked the will to stamp it out and the people themselves were too weak to resist the temptation, he said.He pointed out a very disturbing attitude among Thai youths, citing a recent opinion poll which showed more than 70 per cent of the young peopre polled agreed that corruption is all right as long as they also benefit from the scourge.
Mr Pridiyathorn lashed out at the government’s rice price pledging scheme which, he said, had ruined Thai rice exports, dethroned Thailand as the world’s number one rice exporter and, above all, was a massive waste of taxpayers’ money. The scheme benefits only unscrupulous rice millers and a few rice exporters, many whom were blacklisted before, he said.