Michael R Bloomberg said in his recent article on free speech that “respectful and reasoned dialogue is essential in a democratic society, and its survival depends on leaders — inside and outside government — who will vigorously and unflinchingly defend the rights of speakers with unpopular viewpoints”.
I suggest that the need for such dialogue is vital in Thailand as much as in the US — or else we will be ruled by the emotions of the moment, be they for good or ill.
Yet such discussion and debate are not only lacking, they are forbidden under penalty of law in Thailand, for the sake of “law and order”. Thus, for example, we are marching off locked up to follow a 20-year plan which we have neither thoroughly discussed nor agreed upon, crafted by an institution that’s given us 19 failed constitutions and zero successful ones.
Why do I fear disaster looming?
Yingluck deserves her penalty
Dear Ms May,
Please do not even consider granting political asylum to Yingluck Shinawatra as this would be a mockery of your laws. She did not leave her country as a political refugee; she left to avoid going to prison after being convicted for crimes she committed while holding and grossly abusing her powers when she was prime minister.
She had a lengthy trial at which she was represented by the best team of lawyers all her money could buy, but decided to run away even before a verdict was read.
Please, Ms May, don’t believe the mantra of every crooked politician who, when finally caught for their crimes, chants: “But it was political.”
Full of sound and fury
So the car used to transport former PM Yingluck to the border is now “illegal”, with a changed engine and filed serial numbers. And so …? While a big noise is being made about prosecuting the police officers who used the car, nothing will come of it. You can bet a dime to a dollar on that, or a baht to a 100-baht note if you prefer.
As Shakespeare’s character in Macbeth says: “‘Tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
David James Wong
Give Prayut a chance
I think we all agree with Vint Chavala in his Sept 29 letter, “Time for democracy”. However, when did Thailand ever have a real democracy, and for how long? Democracy is associated with corruption, corruption and more corruption.
So if Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has to stay around for 20 more years to eliminate corruption, let him stay. We are no worse off for it.
When service takes a nosedive
I used to buy everything from washing machines to TVs from Lazada over the last few years.
So many purchases I cannot count.
Their service has been exceptional.
All were delivered on time and if something was not quite right, you would take it to your local 7-Eleven convenience shop to return.
They have been bought out by Ali Express and everything has changed, not in a good way. I am still waiting for my delivery and replies to my emails before it is forgotten.
Such a shame something so good has clearly gone.
Case of do as I say, not as I do
According to the treaty, both Russia and the United States were supposed to destroy their chemical weapons simultaneously.
However, as the US unilaterally postponed the destruction several times, Russia had to follow.
It is really very good that Russia has finally eliminated its chemical weapons despite wide opposition at home.
Many people remain very sceptical of the intentions of the US.
For them the questions remain. Why does the US still keep its chemical stocks? Have not they totally rejected the use of this barbaric weapon in the future conflict?
Life in the unsafe lane
Re: “200 ‘safer’ microbuses take to roads on Oct 1 to replace vans”, (BP, Sept 29).
The Land Transport Department and relevant authorities are wrong. Switching from minivans to microbuses is definitely not a solution that makes public transport safer.
Unless strict examination and elimination of bad contractors and drivers are made, public transportation system is still unsafe.
The truth about owning a condo
Re: “CBRE says foreigner condo appetite strong”, (BP, Sept 27).
One of the big impediments about investing in real estate in Thailand is its arcane immigration policies. Thailand lags behind the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore when it comes to accommodating the needs of foreign investors or potential residents. Why would any foreigner buy a property in Thailand when they are required to take a trip to the immigration office or police station every 90 days? There is a separate process for becoming a resident and that costs about 100,000 baht.
Being an owner of a Lumpini condo, I do not see any benefit in owning a condo in Bangkok. The Thai market for used or old condos is very low and appreciation on the investment is almost negligible. So beware of such deceptive hype and headlines?
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