Readers' Submissions

What’s The Prognosis For Thailand?

  • Written by Anonymous
  • October 9th, 2006
  • 4 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

By Tom Lloyd

The recent submission by Camaschula was right on the money in its assessment of Thailand and its political and societal ills.

I like to think of myself as a liberal democrat too and having lived in Thailand during all the Thaksin years, my disappointment was all the more acute for his failings to finally set the country on the path of democracy. So much promise, yet so much arrogance, ego and greed!

There is nothing I can add to Camaschula’s observations, except perhaps differ to his rather pessimistic conclusions as to the future of Thai society.

The current military coup represents a solution to the impasse that existed between 2 competing urban, middle to upper middle class forces for the spoils of running the country and all the benefits that go with it. However, the coup actually guaranteed that the ruling classes will still end up being in the driving seat and the changes will only be cosmetic. In my opinion, had the Generals not intervened, the PAD would have continued its demonstrations with increased intensity and there would have been violent clashes in the streets. In this scenario, the victims would have become “martyrs” and the wheels of real change could have been set in motion.

For it is sometimes necessary for people to die for what they believe in as shown in the annals of history.

Thailand needs a social revolution and it will happen, regardless of what the Generals did just now. We live in the age of information technology, which helped the demise of communism in Eastern Europe and Russia and feudalism is untenable for countries like Thailand.

The number of Thai students studying in western countries will guarantee that on completion of their studies and returning home, they will initiate far-reaching changes to Thai Society.

There are already young people like Korn Chatikavanij, Dep. Secretary of the Democrats, who having been educated in England, is making a formidable contribution to Thai political life. I had the good fortune of working with quality, enlightened people, which gives me some optimism that Thailand will be able to advance its political model. It will take some time, but happen it will!

Subtle changes are already taking place to change the political party system. Political parties must be based on sound ideologies, instead of personal advancement. All sections of the society must be represented by appropriate political parties, such as a Thai Farmers Party, truly representing the rural poor, whose votes are important for any Government to gain majority. In addition, the upcountry people must be able to nominate for any elected position in politics, do away with this university degree qualification which currently disenfranchises grass roots people.

Camaschula believes that the master / slave feudal system can’t be broken in Thailand. I beg to differ. The changes occurring now will energize people to come forward and be more active in facilitating change. It was already happening, when the military stepped in, that’s why it was a retrograde step, as People Power was being felt on the street. Never before had hundreds of thousands people given vent to their feelings in such a forceful way.

I believe this can and will happen again should tyranny and dictatorship rear its ugly head in the future. The Generals should get the message, Thai Society is on the march, the new constitution must give effect to justice for all, irrespective of their wealth and position. <Do you *really* think this will happen?Stick>

The exploitation of the rural poor must stop and their long-term future must be ensured by improving the education system; Camaschula is referring to Thailand as the “big whorehouse”, this is a direct result of the rural exploitation.

Prostitution in Thailand is strictly founded on economic factors, fixing the cause will stop this terrible reputation the country has.

There are decent, educated, intelligent people in Thailand who will come together and support each other in changing Thai Society, people who realize that some sharing of the wealth is beneficial for all and provides a better life for future generations.

One can clearly see the problems, deep–seated they are as Camaschula pointed out, but if we allow negativity to overtake our minds, we’d be headed for moral bankruptcy.

I don’t believe the Thais will let themselves be taken down that path.

They maybe happy go lucky, fun loving, live for the day types, but they are growing up finally. They have a full year now to prepare a suitable Constitution, to organize new political parties representing all sections of society and make sure that whoever wins the next election will be faced with a viable opposition, which will ensure vigorous debate and checks and balances and the end of corruption.

The ensuing model won’t be perfect, but what system is?

The main thing is that freedom of expression and fair representation will be the order of the day, so the military will forever be sidelined from politics.

Politics Thai style if you will, better than slave / master feudalism, right?

Here is hoping!! Chok dee, everyone!

Stickman's thoughts:

I really do hope you're right….but I find myself agreeing more with Causchula's outlook.