BANGKOK, Dec 8 -- Thailand and Malaysia will meet to prepare the next round of the peace dialogue between the Thai government delegation and insurgents in Thailand's country’s southern region in the middle of this month, according to Thai Army chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr.

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 15:01

PM vows to conscientiously tackle corruption

BANGKOK, Dec 8 --  Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said his government is seriously trying to tackle corruption but the attempts would comply with laws and regulations.

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 8 -The government proposes to amend relevant laws next year to impose heavier penalties on those who offer or give bribes, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.

He said imposing heavier penalties on those who offered or gave bribes was seen as appropriate because not only those who accepted bribes should be punished.

"While we have targeted the receivers, the givers should also be severely punished because corruption can destroy all that we have built in this country," he said when addressing the monthly assembly of the Prime Minister's Department (JPM) here.

XIAMEN, Dec 8- China now has 475 Confucius Institutes in 126 countries and regions.

According to a statement released by the Confucius Institute headquarters during the institute conference in Xiamen, there are also 851 Confucius Classrooms in middle and primary schools. The institutes and classrooms have received a total of 3.45 million students.

Established in 2004, the Confucius Institute is a non-profit public institution which promotes Chinese language and culture abroad.

There are about 100 million Mandarin learners around the world, more than four times of the number ten years ago, the statement said.

During the past ten years, about 100,000 teachers, volunteers and managers have been involved with the institutes, which have also trained more than 200,000 Mandarin teachers in more than 100 countries.

SEOUL, Dec 8 - Nine out of 10 Chinese tourists on VIP package to South Korea spent over 50 million won (US$44,840), making them the biggest foreign consumer group, a survey said Monday.

According to the survey conducted by Cosmojin Tour, a Seoul-based travel agency, 87 percent of 596 Chinese who traveled to South Korea on exclusive VIP tours between Feb. 1 and Nov. 20 spent over 50 million won. Another 8 percent spent over 300 million won.

Seven out of 10 bought luxury brands at duty free shops, two in 10 preferred Korean brands such as cosmetics and rice cookers, and one in 10 opted for Korean herbs and food products.

Among the affluent Chinese, 30-somethings were the most avid shoppers. They spent over 50 million won per visit, with 9 percent buying 200 million won's worth of goods. Another 20 percent spent 100 million won on shopping.

"VIP Chinese tourists want top quality service and luxury brands, so they spend much more than what people imagine during their visit here," Chung Myung-jin, the CEO of Cosmojin Tour, said.

Chinese last year overtook Japanese as the No. 1 source of tourists visiting South Korea, encouraging local retailers to roll out customized services such as limousine pickups and special shopping privileges.

About 4.3 million Chinese tourists visited Korea last year, and the number is expected to reach 6 million this year, according to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.

BANGKOK, Dec 8 -- Eight Chinese rubber processing entrepreneurs are interested in investing in Thailand, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Amnuay Patise.

BANGKOK, Dec 8 –  The popularity of the three-month-old government of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has declined slightly, but a majority of respondents still want him to continue ruling Thailand, according to a  survey conducted by the Bangkok Poll. 

Monday, 08 December 2014 14:08

Ministers will be elected following reform

BANGKOK, Dec 8 --  As a new Constitution is being written, its drafting committee members have debated and concluded that cabinet ministers should be elected directly because it would be easier to investigate while it is also difficult to buy votes as in past administrations, according to Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, chairman of the National Reform Council (NRC) committee charged with political reform. 

Jakarta, Dec 6 - The number of passengers who will travel using public transportation during Christmas and New Year holidays is estimated to reach 14 million, according to the directorate general of land transportation of the ministry of transportation.

"The increase in the number of passengers can reach 14 million this year," Acting Director General of Land Transportation Sugihardjo told a press conference here on Friday.

Sugiharto said that in 2014 the number of passengers is predicted to increase by 4.88 percent to 14,047,912 from 13,392,788 in 2013.

Of the modes of transportation, Sugihardjo said train will get the biggest number of passengers reaching 3.85 million passengers followed by air transportation with 3.72 million passengers, land transportation 2.94 million, inter island waterway transportation service 2.60 million and sea transportation 0.91 million passengers.

SEOUL, Dec 6 - The national professional football federation announced on Friday it has issued a warning on the first-division club Seongnam FC after its owner openly criticized officiating, saying his action tarnished the image of the league.

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