Saturday, February 24, 2007

Toothless Nark Puggsin

I pity Thailand nowadays. Its military leaders do not seem to be able to get anything right. I do not doubt their sincerity in getting Thailand back on track, economically and socially. Only, there are 'professional protesters' standing by, ready to stage protests once an unpopular decision is made, like that of the appointment of Mr Somkid, once the No. 2 in the Thaksin government, to a senior government position.

The threat of protest forced the government and Mr Somkid to back down. Now I wonder why these protesters (read: PAD) are not the government instead? They seem to wield veto power over government decisions. But of course we know that there are talkers and there are doers. Unfortunately, in Thailand today, the talkers hold sway. And so long as this is so, the government, military or otherwise, cannot expect to do much. The No. 1 task is to keep these people's mouth shut. In fact, if not for these protesters, Thailand wouldn't be in the state it is in today. OK, so the Thaksin government is seen to be corrupt, but the situation hadn't degenerated to one of dictatorship. The constitutional process of government change through elections should have been taken instead of mass protests. You say that Thaksin's control is so strong that it is impossible to unseat him through the polls? But is a military coup an appropriate answer? I doubt many will say it is. Mass protests only presents half the answer, it is silent on the other half when the doing needs to be done.

My only regret over the entire episode is that I cannot visit Thailand nowadays without thinking twice. Vietnam looks to be a more attractive destination, business and holiday-wise. Heck, even Burma seem more peaceful.

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