Who doesn't wish for a better future, for ourselves and our heirs? That's part of the human condition. I believe most acknowledge and agree with the aims and purposes of the government's 2-trillion-baht infrastructure programme. And why not? Thailand is a developing country, and so we must continue to develop our roads and railways for a better future.
But politics and people are not so simple. For opponents of the ruling Pheu Thai Party and its ultimate leader, Thaksin Shinawatra, the investment programme isn't about high-speed trains, rail track upgrades or 10 new mass-transit routes. It's not about reducing logistics and energy costs that are overinflated due to the country's dependence on cars and trucks for transportation. It's not about creating new "linkages" between Bangkok and provincial centres, or between Thailand and the rest of Indochina.
No, I wonder whether the real fear voiced by opponents stems from their very hatred of Thaksin, who surely stands as one of the most divisive leaders in the country's history. After all, if the investment plan does go ahead, and accomplishes its goals for building Thailand's future, wouldn't that only solidify Pheu Thai's grip on power and pave the way for Thaksin's return? One shouldn't really be related to the other. But the public can be fickle, and for many, success trumps many sins.
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