Two society hostesses are rivals. Both guard their social standing jealously — and may even punish a guest who attends the other's party by withholding future invitations.
As the government undertakes its campaign to promote "Thainess" to potential foreign tourists, it should not forget that there is some undesirable Thainess at home that needs to be looked at.
I am spoiled. Totally spoiled.
While I understand and support the adoption of the MMP system, I am nervous about the party list element as it still provides an easy channel for cronies and other nefarious characters to enter the House.
In addition to two landmark laws that completely ended legal slavery in Siam in 1905, King Chulalongkorn ordered additional protection. The key Employment Act BE 2443 (1900) required that all workers be paid; no one could be forced to work. The Conscription Act of 1905 outlawed the military's corvee system of drafting unpaid labour. The last slaves were legally freed a century ago, ending 387 years of slavery. Forced labour and all indentured service were relegated to the past.
The role of civil servants in the prospective constitution has drawn public attention amid speculation the new system will give greater power to bureaucrats. Although the constitution drafters have tried to allay concerns that bureaucrats would receive more authority at the expense of politicians, the debate reveals deep public scepticism on whether civil servants will be able to lead the country towards the desired reform.
The Transport Ministry’s decision to cancel free buses for all and set new conditions for those eligible to use the service is understandable.
If anything is going to upset visitors to Thailand, it is the double-standard pricing at tourist spots. It is a system that is not easy to defend and prompts many lively letters to our PostBag section from irate foreigners. However, one suspects things are unlikely to change.
With Southeast Asia poised to enter a new era of regional cooperation in the shape of the Asean Economic Community, taking effective action against corruption is more important than ever.
Last November, a retirement party complete with Buddhist rituals was held for Phnom Penh’s beloved pachyderm Sambo. After 30 years of entertaining tourists in Cambodia’s capital, Sambo will spend her remaining years with 12 other elephants in the Keo Seima forest located in the country’s Mondolkri province.
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