Absurd Thai laws list

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Absurd Thai laws list

Post by buksida » Fri May 26, 2017 2:11 pm

Taken from Khaosod English ...

1. Roller-Skating or Bowling After Midnight (1972)
The 45th Revolutionary Decree issued in January 1972 bans public skating and bowling in any venue, whether commercial or noncommercial, between midnight and midday. The law said the ban was meant “to encourage frugality and health of the people and to prevent ill incidents that can occur” because “criminals exploit opportunities to use these venues to gather and commit crimes.”

2. Forming or Joining a Secret Society (1800s)
The offense dates back to Rama IV, when Chinese triads (secret societies) were formed, sometimes with criminal intent. Triads, known in Thai-Chinese lingo as Ang Yi, were also accused of sparking riots and revolts against the authorities in Thailand.

Although long gone in history, Ang Yi remain alive and well in the law. Section 109 of the Penal Code specifically outlaws Ang Yi and similar organizations. The law defines Ang Yi-like behavior as belonging to a secret society with an intent to break the law.

3. Being a Lazy Cop (1934)
Laziness, negligence of duty, getting drunk on duty or using foul language are violations under Section 5 of the 1934 Act of Police Disciplines. Signed by Rama VII only two years after the revolution that established a democratic regime in Thailand.

4. Cutting Down a Tree in Military Sensitive Areas in Full View of the Enemy (1935)
A 1935 law specifically outlaws unauthorized removal of trees in any place declared a “military sensitive area.” You will go to jail for one year for such a treasonous act.

But if the enemy sees you doing it? Cutting down trees while in view of the enemy gets you five years in jail.

5. Don’t Let Go of the Harness (1979)
Section 111 of the Land Traffic Act bans riding a chariot without hands firmly gripping the horse’s harness. Driving any animal-teamed carriage without control over the animal is also illegal.

6. Inspecting a Crime Inside a Catholic Church Without Priest Permission (1909)
Section 11 of the 1909 Act of Catholic Churches in Siam states that priests have full authority over their respective churches and requires laws enforcement officers to first ask for their permission to investigate any crime reported inside.

7. Wear It and Wear it Correctly (1972)
If you are a student and don’t wear your uniform according to code, you break not only school regulations but the law. As enshrined in the 132nd Revolutionary Decree, repeated offenses may land students in a state welfare facility, with their parents fined 1,000 baht.

8. Booze Ban, Old School Edition (1972)
While booze bans come and booze bans go, the central pillar of such laws – an order it only be sold from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to midnight – was first enacted by the 253rd Revolutionary Decree in 1972.

9. No Caps for Cabbies (2002)
According to 2002 order issued by the Royal Thai Police, taxi drivers must only dress in plain shirts, with their shirts always tucked into their pants. They must also wear “ankle-covering shoes” at all times, except when their feet are hurt, and they cannot wear any hat or cap, unless it is military-styled headgear.

10. Refusing to Help a Postman (1934)
Kind of like those Good Samaritan laws but with a very specific application. Section 47 of the 1934 Post Act states that if a mail bag falls by accident (whether on land OR sea!) it is the “duty of every capable individual to provide assistance” to the postman and ensure the mail bag goes on its way. Be warned: Refusal to help a mailman in distress will get you a hefty fine of 50 baht.

11. Can’t Speak Thai? Put the Microphone Down
Every time you hear a Thai (or anyone) say “hello test” into a microphone, you are witnessing a criminal offense. Section 7 of a 1950 law on sound-amplifying devices bans speaking “any language other than Thai” into a microphone. Violation is punishable by a month in prison. Concerts, religious ceremonies and state events are exempt.

12. No Late-Night Snacking
The 252nd Revolutionary Decree enacted by the military government in 1972 banned selling food between 1am and 5am without the explicit permission of a police chief or provincial governor. Given the scene of all-night street food scene and ubiquitous 7-Eleven stores, rest assured that this law is totally unenforced.

13. No Dissing Foreign Heads of State
We’re all familiar with lese majeste, a draconian law that once banned insults to the top members of the Royal Thai Family and today is applied to pretty much everything said about the monarchy.

Little known is that insulting foreign monarchs or heads of state is a crime under Section 133 of the Penal Code. Please remember to say only kind things about Prince Charles and Donald Trump or risk seven years in prison. Thanks!

14. Don’t Show Your Colors
Want to show some pride in your homeland by raising its flag in public? Don’t! Under the 1979 Flag Act, passed during the Cold War and Red Scare, flying the flags of other countries in public places is illegal but for a few exceptions such as embassies and diplomatic residences. Violators go to prison for a month.

15. And Please Don’t Burn Any of Them
Scofflaws torch an American flag in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok on Sept. 22, 2012. They escaped punishment.
While we’re talking about flags, the same 1979 Flag Act outlaws that common protestor pastime of form of protest. In fact, display any disrespect toward a Thai flag and get up to six years in prison.

Doing the same to foreign flags isn’t okay either; such gestures are banned under Section 135 of the Penal Code. Offenders face up to two years in jail.

16. No Royally Rude Newspapers or Hotels
Want to show your contempt or devil-may-care attitude with your business name? Forget launching the ***** You Daily or Hotel Erdogan Is An Asshole because two separate laws ban naming newspapers and hotels using “curse words.” Names resembling those of Their Majesties the King and Queen are also banned.

17. Don’t Insult Royal Guests
Defaming representatives of foreign states who have been invited to Thailand as guests of the Royal Thai Family bears a penalty of up to five years in prison. So, if Aung San Suu Kyi or Hun Sen are here in town on the palace’s invitation, it’s best not to insult either of them.

18. Holy Blasphemy!
The well-known Thai proverb mai chue yah lob luu (If you don’t believe it, don’t disrespect it) should probably be amended to say, “If you disrespect it, go to jail for it.” Section 206 of Penal Code prohibits showing disrespect to any “object or venue” deemed sacred by any religion at the pain of seven years in prison.

19. Sing It Like the Thais
Apart from piles of documents and a fat monthly salary, one requirement to become a naturalized Thai citizen under immigration regulations is the ability to sing the national and royal anthems. Online anecdotes say applicants must sing them in front of a panel of officials on interview day.

20. Guests Must be Reported
Got a friend visiting from overseas or someone over for more than one night? If they aren’t a Thai national, you must alert local immigration officials within 24 hours of their arrival, even if it’s your private residence. Failing to do so is a 20,000 baht fine under Section 38 of the 1979 Immigration Act.

21. No Improperly Fastened Cattle
Next time you’re looking for a proper place to hitch your buffalo, horse, how or other livestock, please be mindful that it is not a telegraph pole. Does Section 34 of the 1934 Telegraph and Telephone Act’s clause forbidding their use for such a purpose apply to today’s telephone poles or cell-phone towers? Find out the hard way – it’s only a 100 baht fine.

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crim ... 454677599/
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/2017 ... thai-laws/

The scary thing is that there are probably hundreds more ... and they can be enforced at any time ...
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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by PeteC » Fri May 26, 2017 2:47 pm

There's one from long ago concerning boat accidents and throwing coconuts, the life saving device of the day. :shock: It goes something like if an important passenger falls into the water the assigned boat crew is to throw the coconut lifesaving device. If you miss the mark and the person in the water can't reach it, you lose your head. If you hit the person in the water with the coconuts, you and your entire family lose their heads. No pressure there for the boatman...perhaps best to get it over with and jump in the water and drown yourself. :idea: Pete :cheers:
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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by laphanphon » Fri May 26, 2017 8:03 pm

Forgo two:

Can't leave house without under garment

Can't drive car without a shirt / top on
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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by oakdale160 » Sat May 27, 2017 1:11 am

Every country has a ton of forgotten laws on its books

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by hhinner » Sat May 27, 2017 12:39 pm

^^ Yep! Every so often there's a UK news article on the subject. Here's a fairly recent one. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 32586.html

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by STEVE G » Sat May 27, 2017 5:40 pm

prcscct wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 2:47 pm
There's one from long ago concerning boat accidents and throwing coconuts, the life saving device of the day. :shock: It goes something like if an important passenger falls into the water the assigned boat crew is to throw the coconut lifesaving device. If you miss the mark and the person in the water can't reach it, you lose your head. If you hit the person in the water with the coconuts, you and your entire family lose their heads. No pressure there for the boatman...perhaps best to get it over with and jump in the water and drown yourself. :idea: Pete :cheers:
I remember reading something about that, I think it referred to members of the Royal family that commoners weren't allowed to touch, on pain of death as well, so making any rescue attempt a risky issue.

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by HarryVardon » Sat May 27, 2017 5:44 pm

You'll find these types of laws in every country in the world and probably a lot more stupid than this. Why criticise Thailand? You're living here be glad about the good things. If there weren't more good than bad you'd be living somewhere else!

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by Big Boy » Sat May 27, 2017 6:04 pm

I guess you need to ask Khaosod English.
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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by squire » Sun May 28, 2017 11:32 am

It's an interesting compilation. However, it's worth noting that under item 19, I've been informed that singing is not required if you are married to a Thai national.

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by bluelagoon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:27 pm

Despite this being the absurd law thread, people would surely appreciate article xx under the taxi act that obliges Bangkok Taxi drivers to turn on the taxi meter without discrimination of nationality or distance!!
Nonsense is better then no sense :laugh:

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by baningpu » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:59 am

I wonder how broad rule 13 really is. If it applies to not standing up in movie theaters or even lighter offenses, tourists should definitely be warned. I just remember a family member (back in the 1990's) who took off his shirt next to a buddhist statue and the thai were most certainly not pleased

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Re: Absurd Thai laws list

Post by handdrummer » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:09 am

cows are not allowed on the boston common.

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