TUESDAY, April 16, 2024
nationthailand
A Swiss man and 20 Filipina transexuals walk into a Thai bar; chaos ensues
By Voranai Vanijaka

It has been a couple of weeks in which nationalistic sentiments have gripped Thailand. On February 24, a Buddhist holiday, a Swiss man cursed at and allegedly kicked a Thai female, accusing her of sitting on his property. She and a friend were sitting on the stairs of a beachfront villa at Point Yamu, Phuket, enjoying the full moon.

A video of the incident went viral, prompting public uproar. An investigation revealed that the stairs illegally encroached on the public beach. In addition, it has been reported that over half the villas and resorts with mostly foreign residents at Point Yamu encroach on the public beach.

The Swiss man seems to have a record of public disturbances, including cutting off an ambulance and flicking off its driver. He runs an Elephant Sanctuary that owns one elephant, while reportedly living in a million-baht-a-month villa and driving an Audi. Adding fuel to the fire, his Thai wife has allegedly boasted connections with senior police officers and influential people.

Locals protested the Swiss man, calling for him to get out of the country, and his business visa was revoked. He would now have to fight his case while on a tourist visa. The authorities have demolished the stairs.

On March 4, in the nightlife district of Sukhumvit Soi 11, hundreds of Thai transexuals got into a fight with some 20 Filipina transexuals. Live videos went viral, and scores of Thais were arrested. The issue started a couple of days earlier, in which reportedly a group of 20 Filipina sex workers harassed four Thai sex workers and posted a video on social media. They cleared things up at the police station, but afterward the Filipinas allegedly continued to harass and attack the Thais, including stealing money and other items. Of course, they posted a video on social media again.

On the night of the incident, the Thais learned that the Filipinas were about to leave the country. They called up reinforcements and gathered in front of the hotel. Words were exchanged, and then chaos ensued. Most of the Filipinas have since left the kingdom, while two that stayed behind have been fined 10,000 baht each, reduced to 5,000 baht each. According to reports, the two sides have since made amends.

As is typical with humanity, race and nationalism became focal points. They undoubtedly play a part, but the real issue is Thailand itself. We have created a cesspool of illegal activities that fosters an environment of divisiveness, resentfulness, inequality, and criminality.

Thailand should aspire to be a melting pot of multiculturalism, and while most foreign residents are productive members of society, Phuket has become divisive. Thai real estate developers and businesses collude with foreigners who have “shady money trails” and “shady links to international syndicates,” while local authorities allegedly share a delicious piece of the pie.

Point Yamu is not the only area bought up by developers where real-estate illegally encroaches on public beaches.

Locals have long-simmering resentments, and they are now calling for the return of public beaches to the Thai people. Meanwhile, Phuket police say there is no foreign mafia activity on the island.

Also, there should be order in nightlife and red-light districts. Sex workers should be legalised and protected. However, Sukhumvit Soi 11, Soi Nana, and Soi Cowboy are cesspools of illegal activities and human trafficking run by a (dis)United Nations of criminals. This is not unlike the red-light districts in any tourist city around the kingdom. But of course, the Immigration Bureau says there’s no prostitution on Sukhumvit Soi 11.

In an environment where anything goes and everything, including the law, can be bought and sold, it is not a wonder that we have become an international cesspool. Let’s not blame the foreigners. We built this house, and it’s up to us to renovate it differently. There must be order, safety, and security for Thais and foreigners.

Thai governments, whether democratic or dictatorship, have always said, “We want to attract quality tourists and expats”.

Well, quality attracts quality. Something else attracts something else.

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