'Put off Thailand visit'

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:23 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have been advised against going to Thailand following the military coup there.

"Malaysians should postpone their visit at the present moment," Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said after meeting his Turkmenistan counterpart Rashid Meredov at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations in New York yesterday.

A spokesman for the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok said officials were assessing the situation and determining how best to advise Malaysians staying there.

A 10pm-to-5am curfew has been announced by the Thai military.

"Everyone here is anxiously waiting for more details from the Thai army about the coup," he told The Star yesterday.

The military invoked martial law on Tuesday and had earlier denied that the move was an attempt to seize power.

Malaysians already in Thailand were advised to avoid potential hotspots where supporters of rival political parties had gathered in the past.

They were also told to be vigilant and follow the latest developments via the mass media.

A total of 596 Malaysians in Thailand had registered with the embassy in Bangkok as of Tuesday. So far, there had been no reports of Malaysians being affected by the new developments in Bangkok.

Malaysians who require consular assistance can contact the embassy at 33-35 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek, 10120 Bangkok. They can also call +662 629 6800 (during office hours) or +6687 028 4659 (after hours)

Coup in Thailand

Posted: 22 May 2014 10:58 AM PDT


Thailand's army chief declared a coup Thursday, detaining key party leaders and suspending the constitution in what he said was a bid to restore order and institute political reform after six months of political chaos and violence.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, flanked by military leaders and the Thai police chief, announced the military takeover in a televised address.

The full-blown coup -- the 12th since 1932 -- came three days after the military had invoked martial law over the political stalemate that followed the resignation of of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over corruption charges on May 7.

The statement said Prayuth would head a ruling military body -- the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council -- but that the upper house of parliament and courts would continue to operate.

The army ordered acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan and his cabinet to begin reporting immediately to the military "in order to keep peace and order."

The ousted prime minister's billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in exile, was also removed from power, in a military coup in 2006.

The army chief also imposed a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. coup and ordered an immediate halt to all non-military broadcasts on radio and TV.

In addition, the military also ordered all protesters to go home and banned "political gatherings" of more than five people. Shortly after the coup announcement soldiers began clearing the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) rally site in the capital.

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