Trim the dead wood
- 12 Aug 2017 at 04:00
- WRITER: POSTBAG
Re: "The forms of inconvenience", (Editorial, Aug 11).
Yes, TM 6 cards are time consuming and as the editorial suggested, computer technology should be able to fill the gap. How are the TM 6 forms supposed to help with "marketing surveys"? Explanation please.
Another useless procedure that should be eliminated is the 90-day registration for all those in the kingdom over 90 days. It has been obvious for years that those wishing to disappear here can do so quite easily, although they might eventually be caught. There are many American Vietnam war veterans living "somewhere" in Thailand, quietly and anonymously, their whereabouts are known only to a few close to them. And they are smarter than those immigration officials who try to pursue and locate them.
The 90-day registrations exist only to create jobs and retain many immigration officers in redundant positions throughout the country, costing the treasury more in redundant salaries.
These immigration officers should be immediately transferred to Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports. It is time to trim the dead wood and save us from our self-inflicted problems and follies. However, as was pointed out, Thailand is drowning in a sea of paper, forms, trivia, and more paper, forms, and more trivia. But then, TIT.
There are lots of slogans floating around Digital Economy, Thailand 4.0 and all sorts of another hoopla about reforms. When it comes to immigration, there is a lack of action on the ground. Immigration offices should be the first to become more efficient by adopting readily available technologies. Implementation of e-visas and digitalisation of immigration-related procedures should not take one or more years. In the past few weeks, readers of the Bangkok Post have given excellent suggestions that should be pooled together and studied by the ministry. Foreigners who have spent 10 or more years working in the kingdom should be automatically eligible for residency. If they are married to a Thai citizen and have enough assets, they should be automatically granted residency.
It is common sense that a foreigner who decides to stay in Thailand will spend their money and resources while living here. Why does a foreigner have to spend 100,000 baht to get residency? It feels like the immigration department is engaged in legalised extortion. Reducing paper pollution and making travel hassle-free will be a huge step towards Thailand 4.0.
All rosy in Phuket
Immigration in Don Mueang may be having problems, but I am glad to say everything is spectacularly rosy here in Phuket. I went to Phuket immigration to do my 90-day report yesterday and was in and out of the building in four minutes flat. I think this must be a record.
So let's give Phuket immigration three big cheers!
Every time I read articles about long lines for airport arrivals at foreign immigration booths, whether it be "four-to-five hour waits on Saturday" at Don Mueang or anywhere else, I want to suggest this: Why not have an immigration agent on the plane?
While we're sitting up in the air for hours, doing nothing, how about somebody walking around and asking us if we want to be processed for immigration? Once completed, the onboard agent would give you a "pending arrival" slip with a "good to go" QR code and at arrival, you get to bypass the immigration line.
Re: "Never coming back", (PostBag, Aug 9).
This is a typical letter complaining about never-ending lines at immigration desks at both airports in Bangkok. The letters usually end up with a threat "I'll never set foot in Thailand again", or "I'll take my money somewhere else".
But the next thing you know you see those same guys standing in line, munching on a granola bar, with a urine bag strapped to their legs, waiting patiently in a long and winding queue. (A little dramatic effect added.)
Despite dual pricing, crooked police, TM 30, TM 6 (whatever they are), unscrupulous taxi drivers, pollution, floods, etc, there is a mysterious charm about Thailand that the number of tourists keeps growing each year. I'm not sure what that charm is, but you can ask these veteran expats, David Brown, Eric Bahrt, Jack Gilead and Lungstib.
Who's really the boss?
Re: "Prosecutors receive 'Boss' extradition request". We are told, or expected to believe anyway, that the police do not know where Boss Yoovidhya is living. There is an old rhyme that is sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. It goes like this:
We've heard this story once before,
And it sounds so mighty queer,
So spread that crap on another sap,
Please don't spread that bull***t here".
The rot sets in
It seems rotten elements in Thai justice are trying to obstruct and delay extradition of the rich young kid in the fatal hit-and-run case. For whereabouts of the "Boss", you can summon his families and relatives and confiscate their communication records, such as phone calls. It is a regular practice for criminal investigations and is easy and legal.
Re: "The ABCs of bad transport policy plans", (Opinion, Aug 10).
"If it isn't broke, don't fix it". This is attributed to Bert Lance during the Nixon administration in the US. It would behoove the Land Transport Department to study this and make it their motto, to consider this very seriously before tampering with Bangkok bus routes and re-numbering.
Don't open a Pandora's box with gross stupidity simply because someone sitting behind a desk, who never took a bus in his life, got a brilliant flash of an idea.
Play by the rules
I have travelled quite a bit, and every duty-free shop that I have visited always required my passport or boarding pass or both. It is part of the rules. If one does not want this hassle, one is free to get an ice cream from a snack shop in the airport.
Ease up on booze
RH Suga in his Aug 10 letter, "Boozing it up at KFC", seems confused. He says that he does not oppose people drinking alcohol, but is afraid KFC, after beer maker Chang buys up KFC, it will become a drinking joint and not a family restaurant as it is now.
I don't know where RH Suga eats, but it seems he is not aware that family restaurants (as he calls them) also serve alcohol.
I have found Pattaya's Jomtien beach in a much better condition for some time. Congratulations and thank you to those responsible. The toxic quality of the sea is quite another matter of course. Pattaya Beach is still a disgrace and seems to be completely ignored with plastic debris and its uncontrolled use the main problem. I believe in 20 years' time, the beach and visitors will have disappeared, washed away by the tides and pollution. Pattaya will just have just a sea wall in most places.
Land erosion is a battle, and like all battles it should be taken to the enemy. All great commanders make forward defence into their enemies' territory. I am not an engineer, but I think we should stop the sea encroaching so far up the beach. Rows of, say, wooden railway sleepers at appropriate sites stopping the advance of the sea. This would not only stop the sea dragging the sand out but also stop plastic material and other pollutants, for example, oil, leaching on the beach. Oh well, maybe a sea wall; a little sand is just as good.
Prayut has it right
Re: "Govt won't be pushed on N Korea", (BP, Aug 10).
I was relieved to read that our prime minister has taken such a wise course of action regarding the Korean crisis. His reasoning is exactly correct.
The fact is: This is a crisis that really does not involve Thailand and should not involve Thailand. While I applaud the Trump administration for wanting to improve relations with Thailand, that should not involve Thailand stepping into the Korean crisis unilaterally.
Thailand has made many wise decisions that have led to an era of peace and prosperity among its international relations. Our prime minister should be commended for valuing that for what it is truly worth: Priceless.
Kudos to Cambodia
Reuters reported on Aug 7 that Cambodia is to ask Japan to invest US$800m (26 billion baht) in a skytrain.
Bravo Cambodia! Never thought I'd say that. Japan does not cast its shadow of conquest over Cambodia like China casts its shadow over Thailand. One day Thailand will be a Chinese satellite state while Cambodia will be whistling a happy tune.
David James Wong
It's a dog's life
David Brown in his Aug 9 letter says it would be too expensive to round up all the stray dogs, vaccinate them, get them spayed and neutered and then try to find them homes.
I'm not suggesting we put every stray dog in a shelter immediately. I'm simply saying that as a long-term strategy we should follow the example of the United States which gets the stray dogs off the streets and into the shelters for a limited amount of time.
I enjoyed your column on paradise (BP, Aug 6). On the theme of boring and such, you might like this one.
I live in Pattaya, and have the original documents to prove what I am going to tell you, and swear it is true.
I was born on May 22, 1935 in a small upper desert town called Reward, California. Reward consisted of our house and two water wells that serviced the surrounding area. My father was the caretaker of the water wells. There was also a small two-pump service station, and a small roadside market. Reward did not, or does not appear on any map. It got its name from people who joked "you get a reward if you can find it on any map". It no longer exists.
When I was born, our family doctor came to the house from his office in Fellows, just two miles out of Taft, California. Reward was about 30 miles from Fellows, but when he made my birth certificate, he listed Reward as place of birth.
Back then things sometime took a while to get processed and, as it happened, by the time the doctors office sent my birth certificate to the Kern County Registrars Office, they could not find Reward on the map, so they re-issued my birth certificate to read Fellows as my place of birth, since that was where the doctor came from.
I still have original copies of both birth certificates here in Thailand, which would prove that I was born 30 miles apart. Can you beat that one?
If you ever come to Pattaya, call me on 064-868-9931, and I'll be glad to show them to you.
A long-time follower of yours.
Claude Allen Brown (aka Charlie Brown)
Lose face? So what?
In recent media reports netizen "Image" said Thailand sucks and was severely rebuked for saying it. The subsequent editorial in the Bangkok Post meekly refused to take sides on the issue.
If criticism of ones country is unpatriotic then patriotism is not a virtue. As Einstein said "nationalism is the measles of humanity".
Criticism is a means to improve society. Reminding individuals and societies that they must grow and do better in their service to humanity is a moral and spiritual responsibility.
If in exercising this responsibility it causes others to lose face, well that's just too damn bad.
Speak your mind
People criticise their country not because they do not love it, but generally because they want the people who are indirectly paid by them with taxpayers' money, do their job efficiently and so avoid any further criticism. Much the same as those who speak out at what they consider to be archaic and unnecessary ceremonies.
The basic principle of this is to be able to speak out against things they consider need changing without fear of retribution from those who disagree.
One should be allowed to speak one's mind, listen to the other's point of view then accept it or not. This is or should be, a right in a free society.