Thailand coup: Situation mostly normal in Bangkok, say Malaysians

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 22 May 2014

PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian who lives in Bangkok said life continues as normal for the people of Thailand despite the declaration of a coup and imposition of a curfew.

Yvonne Lim, 27, said business was as usual in the area where she lives, but she noticed a sudden increase in the number of soldiers in the streets Wednesday.

Lim, an Asia News Network's assistant news editor, lives in Bangna, a predominantly a "red-shirt" area.

"When martial law was declared on Tuesday, there were few soldiers on the streets, but their presence has increased since the coup was announced.

"Earlier in the day, several soldiers came to my office but I am unsure why they were there," she said.

Lim, who has been living in Bangkok for the past year, said she was as nervous as she was excited as this was her first time witnessing a coup up close.

"Half of me want to look for the soldiers to take pictures and to talk to them, but the other half wants me to pack my bags and leave!" she added.

Lim said local TV stations suspended their routine programming for army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to announce the coup.

She also said Internet speeds have slowed and online banking has been disabled.

Lim added her Thai friends seem unperturbed by the situation.

The Star's reporter Loshana Sagar, who is on holiday in Bangkok, said that the situation in Bangkok appeared normal when she left early Thursday.

"We were told to avoid certain areas and there were police presence on every street corner. Other than that, everything seemed normal.

"People were still walking around and shops were still open," she added.

"They are only stopping people from going into Bangkok. I do not think those already there are affected except for the roadblocks," she said, adding that it took her longer to get to places due to the roadblocks.

In his television address, Prayut announced the armed forces were seizing power after months of deadly political turmoil in the country.

The commander-in-chief said the coup was needed to prevent the conflict from escalating.

Thailand's National Peacekeeping Committee, comprising its army, armed forces, Royal Air Force and police, declared a curfew from 10pm to 5am daily across the country, hours after the coup was announced.

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