World Briefs: Thai King postpones royal barge procession

Thai King postpones royal barge procession

BANGKOK • Thailand's newly crowned king has postponed next week's final event marking his historic coronation - a royal barge procession down Bangkok's Chao Phraya River - by almost two months, a deputy premier announced yesterday.

The 52-barge procession had been scheduled for next Thursday. Yesterday, Thai oarsmen in hats and gold-flecked attire rowed down the Chao Phraya for the first full-dress rehearsal.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told reporters that the procession was moved to mid-December due to concerns over "water conditions and weather".

The elaborate ceremony is the final phase of the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who will travel on a barge downriver, allowing Thais a rare chance to greet the monarch and his queen.


Vietnam minister dies after fall from balcony

HANOI • Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Education died yesterday morning after falling from the eighth floor of his office building.

The Education Ministry said Mr Le Hai An's death was an accident, although it failed to specify the exact cause.

According to Vietnamese newspaper Dan Tri, the 48-year-old minister had fallen from a balcony outside the ministry's canteen.

His sudden death has led to speculation and suspicion on social media.


JB-S'pore rail link will proceed, says Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR • Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that Malaysia will proceed with the 4km rail line linking Johor Baru to Singapore.

His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link came after Transport Minister Anthony Loke said on Tuesday that the Malaysian Cabinet will decide the details of the project within two weeks.

Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters: "We will proceed with the RTS, but we will take some time."

Asked if this meant that the government had resolved a land dispute involving a plot in Bukit Chagar, Johor, owned by the state's ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, Dr Mahathir declined to give a firm answer, Malaysiakini news site reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe