Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Beware foreigners who falsely claim more knowledge of Thailand than Thais

Apr 17. 2019
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Re: “Elites like to speak for all Thais, yet are silent on real reason for Thaksin’s rise”, Have Your Say, April 16.

I was born and have lived here in Thailand for more than seven decades. How can Eric Bahrt claim to know my country better than I do?

Bahrt’s claim that Thaksin Shinawatra rose to power because he wanted to help Thailand’s poor is laughable. Thaksin entered politics because he wanted to enrich himself.

During his tenure as PM, Thaksin sold his telecom company, Shin Corp, to Temasek Holdings of Singapore – pocketing more than Bt70 billion while avoiding paying any tax on the sale. Is that putting one’s country before oneself, or vice versa?

Ask any conscientious Thai which of the political sides is more honest: The answer is far more likely to be the Democrats than Thaksin and his cohorts.

Ask any Thai which former Thai prime minister has been the most unintelligent and obtuse in dealing with the military – the answer will likely be Thaksin.

Thaksin tried to make the military serve and protect him and his family instead of serving the country’s traditional pillars. The fact that he promoted his cousin to head the Thai military during his tenure suffices to warrant this assertion.

There is much, much more about Thailand that you still have to learn, Eric Bahrt.

As English poet Thomas Gray wrote: “Ignorance is Bliss.”

Vint Chavala

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