Rebuke or reproach?

Prof Thitinan Pongsudhirak's contributions on Thailand's politics have always been unbiased and educational.

However, in his Feb 11 article, "Royal command sets a new balance", his rebuke to the international media's uses of the words -- "condemnation", "denunciation" and "rebuke" in which he viewed as "outright criticism" and too strong is somewhat splitting hairs. He believed that "reprimand" and "reproach" are more appropriate.

With due respect, I do not see any material difference. Furthermore, in journalism I doubt whether any press, not even the Bangkok Post, would have used the words "reprimand" or "reproach" in describing the message.

Songdej Praditsmanont

In praise of Bezos

Re: "Sex, plots & blackmail: the toxic politics behind Bezos claims", (BP, Feb 9).

I never thought that I would be defending Jeff Bezos but I have to commend him for his handling of the recent extortion attempts aimed at him by The National Enquirer. (BP, Feb 9) First of all, there are very few human beings alive who have not had at least one sexual indiscretion and The National Enquirer's threat to publish compromising photos of Mr Bezos is immoral; regardless of whatever the specifics of those personal photos might be.

Second of all, I commend Mr Bezos for standing up against this extortion because he is hardly the only man to be threatened like this during this age of handheld computing.

There ought to be a law... as in entirely new laws pertaining to the intentional publishing or uploading of compromising photos with the clear intent to cause the subject personal anguish.

Jason A Jellison

War against expats

As of March 1, people who want to claim an 800,0000 baht Thai bank account to get a one-year visa will have to maintain that balance for three months after getting the visa. Then for seven months they'll need to maintain a 400,0000-baht balance.

How will that work? Will the expat have to report to immigration every month with a new statement from the bank? What if he doesn't maintain the required balance? Will his visa be revoked?

Make no mistake about it, Thailand has declared all-out war against the expats, (figuratively speaking of course).

Eric Bahrt

New rules suck

Immigration's directive has caused a great degree of confusion among the expat community and so many may be unable to meet the new requirements, which differ from one source to another, and may have to leave the Kingdom. The sticking points seem to be as to what constitutes "acceptable" income.

Many say that the word income is now considered to be only pensions and eliminates other sources. It would also appear that supporting a Thai wife and family actually saves you money as the deposit amount for married expats is 480,000 baht while the amount for others is 800,000 baht.

Previously the 800,000 baht per year could be achieved through a combination of income + deposit. If you had monthly income of 50,000 baht (600,000 baht/year) all you had to do was to have the offset, 200,000 baht in the bank and you were good to go.

Now, it would seem, you not only have to have all your money go directly to a Thai bank, and remain there but if you don't meet the 65,000 baht/month income/pension level you need to have that 800,000 in the bank.

There is also no indication that you can draw down your deposit for living expenses even though this supposedly represents your income for year.

It would appear the goal here is to create a huge influx of money into the Thai banking system, which pays little or no interest and is not insured by any government or commercial institution.

Fred Prager

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