Every military coup is followed by the drafting of a new constitution, which some people seem to believe would set new rules for politics and make everything better.
Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula knew the first day he assumed the role of overseeing economic affairs under the Prayut Chan-o-cha government that reviving the economy would be a difficult task. Political protests and uncertainty, followed by the military coup on May 22, 2014, had taken their toll.
The decisions by Japan and South Korea to ban additional Thai flights has brought quick, official reaction. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned his foreign minister — the former supreme commander — to try to get the bans lifted. But there is still no effective solution to the very real concerns by Tokyo and Seoul over airline safety.
Re: “Education system needs to improve”, (BP, March 29).
My family has a history of mental illness. My father has eight siblings. His elder sister and youngest brother were sick for a long time. They were not diagnosed or treated until much later in their lives. My aunt, now 61, lives with bipolar disorder. She is on medication. She works and she travels. She is strong. Years ago, she taught my brother and I to speak Mandarin. Years from now, she will teach my nephews and nieces to add and subtract. Now, some days are good. She gets up. Other days, she says she feels hopeless even in her sleep. We don't talk about it very much, almost not at all.
The world is increasingly characterised by divergence — in economic performance, monetary policy, and thus in financial markets. Global divergence has already contributed to stock-market volatility, unprecedented declines in advanced economies' government bond yields, and outsize currency movements. And the trend is not abating, placing increasing pressure on already-strained political systems.
Seeing the PM falling out with a journalist who reported some facts about slave labour shocked me deeply.
It's been an eventful week in the region, from the passing of Lee Kuan Yew to renewed sparring over the South China Sea. Either subject would be well worth a column. Certainly the outpouring of praise for Lee should be tempered with a realisation that Singapore's admirable success has come at the expense of freedom of expression.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha may have a secret plan for the use of Section 44 of the interim constitution. For the moment, however, it appears that invoking this draconian article is almost the only action that could be worse than martial law. Grasping the powers of past dictators such as Sarit Thanarat goes against logic as well as public trust. And if the idea is to show that the military regime is advancing by revoking martial law, it simply won't work.
The government campaign to "return happiness" to taxi passengers, driven by a top army general, is missing the mark.
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