Prince Charles and wife visits MalaysiaThis week, Malaysia welcomed the heir to the British throne, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall as the couple continued their 11-day tour of South and Southeast Asia.
The Kra Canal – also known historically as the Isthmus of Kra – is a proposed canal spanning 102 kilometres which would connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea. The construction of the canal would serve as an alternative to the current maritime trade route that passes through Singapore and the Straits of Malacca.The proposed construction of the Kra Canal that would save approximately 12,000 kilometres, or two to three days of sailing time for traders has recurred in recent times.
This week, tensions have been running high particularly in Bali as its iconic volcano – Mount Agung – which threatens to erupt at any moment. Over 144,000 people have fled the rumbling volcano, but Indonesian officials urged evacuees who live outside the immediate danger zone to return home. According to an official statement made by the Bali Government Tourism office, the threat level of Mount Agung was raised from level three (alert) to level four (danger).
“The return on investment is not attractive enough to go ahead with the plan. International canals like Panama and Suez have been effective because they are essential to trade, cutting off weeks and months of travel," Damrong Kraikruan, Ambassador of Thailand to Malaysia, said in a special media briefing held in Kuala Lumpur.“The most Kra Canal would save shippers is only a few days. Another factor to consider is would west-going ships use it or will they go down to Singapore?