Prawit's time is up
- 10 Jan 2019 at 04:15
- WRITER: POSTBAG
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has to understand he has to go - or he ought to be kicked out - now!
By not voluntarily withdrawing himself from his position after the "wristwatch case", consider his statements in the current case with the young Saudi asylum seeker. It all shows he has lost the necessary antenna, wisdom and knowledge to be a statesman.
Another who has failed totally in his role is Thailand's immigration chief Surachate Hakparn when he, in this asylum case, contacted the Saudi Arabian embassy. Is that how immigration issues should be handled in an asylum case involving an 18 year old?
The immigration chief has shown he is out of touch with international laws about refugees and human rights ratified by most of the world. The mishandling by the immigration boss is so grave that the man should be immediately transferred to an inactive post or fired if the information given in the media is correct.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has to take firm action against those in official positions who damage Thailand's reputation and standing in the world. What Gen Prayut is doing now will determine what the politician Prayut is made of.
Chiang Mai spoiled
When I first rented a house in Chiang Mai in 1988 I rode a bicycle on pretty empty roads, shopped for food at the markets and had very little farang company. If my memory serves me well there were two supermarkets and one particular little shop where we would purchase Western treats such as cornflakes, marmalade and instant coffee. Private cars were expensive and most traffic was commercial.
I mention this having just returned to Chiang Mai over Christmas and finding it difficult to adjust to the city 30 years later.
Has the population of Chiang Mai multiplied by 50 over that period? If not then can anyone explain why there is at least 50 times as many supermarkets, 100 times as many apartment blocks and 500 times as many vehicles. Stuck in heavy traffic at 10am I was left wondering just where everyone was going at a time when offices, schools and factories should have been operating.
Sadly, the multi-lane highways are still not sufficient (will they ever be?) the buildings are ugly and the shophouses unneeded. What was once a pretty little country town appears to now be a monument to consumerism, unplanned expansion and pollution. A sad transformation of what was once a lovely place to live.
Let's clear the air
It's time for the powers that be in Bangkok to stop burying their heads in the smog and face up to the reality of the pollution problem.
In China which has had serious pollution problems for years they are taking great steps to deal with the problem as they see the economic benefits. Also, in Europe, which has nowhere near the problems of Bangkok, steps are being taken to deal with this.
As an English guy living in Thailand I've learned to keep my opinions to myself. Driving here for 12 years I've noticed road laws implemented but not enforced. People do some silly manoeuvres. Drivers please note, even though it's wrong to overtake on the inside lane, please watch for bikes.
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