Thursday, September 19, 2019

Decaying authority has brought breakdown in Thai social order

Jul 19. 2016
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Re: “Malaysia no longer safe”, Letters, July 17.

The letter by Akhbar Satar is especially prescient in light of the tragic events in Nice. Plots by ISIS-inspired disaffected extremists in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia indicate an increase in violence there.

However, this doesn’t imply that anyone is any safer in Thailand, especially with the recent upsurge of violence by insurgent groups in the far South. Violence in Thailand that is not ideologically driven is also increasing, with daily reports of assaults by students, police and other groups, and also family-related rapes.

Particularly telling is the recent arrest of a gang of seven youths for allegedly killing a lone handicapped bread vendor in a vicious, drunken attack. Several of the accused are reportedly police officers’ sons.

I personally have been a near-victim of a police officer’s spawn. He came within inches of running me over on a university campus where we both worked. The car window was rolled down, I was cursed at, and a strong fist flew out – as if I was wrong to merely cross the path of the paternally protected individual. Fortunately that incident was resolved peacefully.

I also have been the victim of young thugs causing distress to innocents and have had a gun and knife pulled on me, with no response from regular police or tourist police in my neighbourhood, despite reports being filed.

Meanwhile business conflicts, lovers’ quarrels turned deadly, road rage and random violent crime appears to be on the rise in Thailand, to the point where no one is really safe.

The police, seemingly unable to control themselves or their own sons, certainly aren’t doing enough to curb the problem.

And despite the availability of martial law, the government seems paralysed by the breakdown of social order. Certain other countries are no better, of course, as recent event in America make clear. Yet the causes and dynamic of violence there are very different to the situation here. In Thailand a crackdown on police privilege and impunity is well overdue, especially in cases of serious violent crime. But who cares and who can do something about it?

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Bangkok

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