Steel firm not ready
Re: "Myanmar plant snag to cost Milcom B100m", (BP, April 23)
Your report said the SET-listed, Thailand-based steel company Milcom Steel Plc expected to suffer 100 million baht in losses due to a delay in the opening of its new plant in Myanmar, at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon.
Thilawa SEZ was developed under the previous administration of U Thein Sein in 2013-15 as a model SEZ, designed to eliminate red tape, streamline procedures and set high standards of transparency in the approval process, in line with international practices.
At Thilawa SEZ, investment licences are normally granted within two weeks of an application while company incorporation/registration takes only one day at its One Stop Service Centre.
Despite transparent procedures and the relatively short start-up time, the report implied Milcom Steel's projected loss was due to delays on the part of the SEZ's management committee.
In reality, Milcom's application for an investment licence was approved within seven days. Similarly, its Environmental Conservation and Protection Plan was approved within six days and building permit was approved within 17 days.
Milcom must still undergo a couple of final inspections. However, unless the company officially asks -- or, in other words, unless the company is ready, these inspections cannot be conducted.
As of late April, Milcom did not appear ready and had not asked the management committee for the final inspections.
Thus, it clearly was not prevarication by the management committee but delays at Milcom itself which have delayed the start of operations at the new plant. I am concerned your report about Milcom could create misunderstanding among investors and undermine the image of what is clearly an exemplary SEZ in Myanmar.
Thilawa SEZ Management Committee
Advice gone astray
Re: "Light shines on development goals", (Opinion, May 2).
MR Disnadda Diskul states, "Thailand stands ready to share the real living proof... that our experiences and lessons learned ... can create a strong foundation to countering the world drug problem."
If he is correct one wonders why such wisdom has not been effective in countering Thailand's own massive drug problem. Yes, a few farmers have switched crops away from poppies, but what does that have to do with the manufacture, smuggling, distribution, sale and consumption of drugs like methamphetamine?
Appalling shirt saga
A branch of one of the country's biggest chain superstores was accused of intimidating a young student when its officials accused her of stealing a student shirt she was wearing. They treated her badly, simply because they noticed the shirt was not embroidered with a school name (ThaiPulse, May 3).
Quite convinced the theft took place, a toilet cleaner called loudly for the girl to come out of the restroom, even while she was still using the facility. Everybody who worked at the store seemed to be treating the girl particularly contemptuously.
However, when a sympathetic onlooker took a look at the brand name on the girl's collar, that particular brand was not even on sale in the store -- nor was it listed in the store inventory!
In the end, realising they had made a mistake, the store officials offered an apology to the girl, and gave her a pencil case as consolation gift.
Worse, this entire regrettable act was done in a secluded walkway to the toilet -- not in front of the store as eyewitnesses might have expected. The pencil case was an apparent attempt to shut the girl up.
One question: Does a child like this one, who represents the future of our country, deserve to be treated in this way at all by the store?
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