- Published: 26/05/2011 at 11:18 AM
- Online news:
A group of low-income earners has told the Bangkok Post they do not expect the election winners to fulfill their campaign promises
A group of low-income workers express their views and expectations of the July 3 election at a forum organised by the Bangkok Post at the Post Publishing Plc offices. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
Politicians betray the voters' trust
Low-income people hold out little hope after poll.
Lamphai Intathep and Penchan Charoensuthipan
No politicians can be trusted, say seven low-income people who took part in a Bangkok Post forum yesterday.
The Democrat Party has been touting measures it says will relieve the plight of the poor, based on policies it introduced while in government.
However, for a handful of street vendors from Bo Bae wholesale market, a rice farmer, taxi driver, and motorcycle taxi driver who took part in the forum, the government presided over impractical policies, or in some cases simply failed to carry out its word.
The group said the problem of untrustworthy politicians was not confined to the Democrats, however, as a succession of governments had failed to meet their needs.
The group was invited to share their opinions and expectations of the new government.
Based on their experiences under various governments, they agreed that whoever takes office was likely to break their promises, as politicians can't be trusted.
"All promises will be forgotten once the election is over," said Suwanna Panitpibool, a fruit vendor at Bo Bae wholesale market.
"I see no hope from any party as they never act on their promises," she said.
Ms Suwanna is among 977 vendors illegally selling goods on the pavement.
She said she has sold fruit at Bo Bae market for more than 30 years.
Several candidates in past elections have promised they would find a new place for traders, which city authorities have for years tried to move off the streets. None has honoured their words.
"Prime Minister Abhisit [Vejjajiva] used to be the prime minister of my heart, but I have given up hope on him.
"Even so, I do not hate the Democrat Party," she said.
No authorities had visited the market to help find a new trading area for vendors, even though the Democrat-led government said it would allocate 700 trading areas in Bangkok to 20,000 street vendors under its pracha wiwat welfare scheme.
As a result, traders have been forced to pay 1,000 baht each month under the table to police and municipal officials, she said. "Authorities exploit traders at Bo Bae market for their own gain," she said. "I want the government to act on its policy and not just sell empty dreams to the people," she said.
Surangrat Wattanawitkul, a clothes vendor at Bo Bae wholesale market, said she liked the pracha wiwat scheme, and only wishes the government had done more to implement it. "I do not hate the Democrat Party either, but I want the party or any party that will lead the next government to honour its promises to the people," she said.
Supatra Tupyai, a taxi driver, said she had difficulties applying for benefits from government welfare schemes.
The pracha wiwat welfare scheme, for example, came with impractical conditions which made it hard for her to obtain any benefits.
"The scheme offered low-interest loans for taxi drivers to buy cars, but only if they could find high-ranking state officials to guarantee the loans. This is not easy for us," she said.
Mafia gangs extorted money from taxi drivers picking up passengers at Mor Chit bus terminal. The government knew about the problem, but refused to act.
Wichean Puanglamchiak, vice-president of Thai Farmers Association, said he preferred Pheu Thai's rice pledging scheme to the Democrat's income guarantee programme.
Detchart Puangkate, a taxi-motorcyclist, said the offering of low-interest loans to low-income earners was a good idea, but the condition which called for state officials to act as loan guarantors was a major obstacle.
low-income – earning little money รายได้ต่ำ
expectations – the belief that something will happen สิ่งที่คาดหวังว่าจะเกิดขึ้นในอนาคต
forum – a place where people can express their ideas and opinions การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น
betray – to deliberately do something that harms someone who needs your support หักหลัง
trust – a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable ความเชื่อใจ, ความไว้วางใจ
poll – an election การเลือกตั้ง
tout – to try to persuade people that somebody/something is important or valuable by praising them/it ชักชวน, ชักจูง
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
relieve – to help improve a bad situation ผ่อนคลาย, บรรเทา
plight – an unpleasant condition, especially a serious, sad or difficult one สภาพเลวร้าย
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
handful – a small number or amount จำนวนน้อย
vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
wholesale – relating to the business of selling large quantities of goods, especially to people who are going to sell them in a shop ขายส่ง
impractical – of something that cannot be done or used easily or effectively ซึ่งไม่มีประสิทธิภาพเมื่อนำมาใช้งานจริง,ที่ใช้งานไม่ได้
word – a promise or guarantee that you will do something or that something will happen or is true คำสัญญา
untrustworthy – that cannot be trusted ไม่น่าไว้ใจ
confined – limited จำกัด
succession – a series of things of the same type การต่อเนื่องกัน
invite – to ask somebody to come to an event เชิญ
take office – to begin to hold a position of power เริ่มปฏิบัติหน้าที่ที่ได้รับมอบหมาย
illegally – in a way that is against the law อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
pavement – a path with a hard surface beside a road. The American word is sidewalk ทางเดิน, ฟุตบาท
candidate – a person who is trying to win an elected position ผู้สมัคร
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
trader – someone who buys and sells things ผู้ค้า
honour – to do what you promised to do ทำตามสัญญา
trading – the activity of buying and selling things การซื้อขาย, การค้าขาย
allocate – to officially give out an amount of or share of something แบ่งส่วน
welfare – help given, especially by the state or an organization, to people who need it; good care and living conditions สวัสดิภาพ
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
municipal – of a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
exploit – to treat someone unfairly in order to get some benefit for yourself หาประโยชน์จาก
gain – a benefit, or an advantage ผลประโยชน์
implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำ แผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ
apply – to make a formal request for permission to do or have something ขอ
benefit – money (or services) provided by the government to people who need financial help because they are unemployed, ill/sick, have low incomes, etc เงินสงเคราะห์
condition – something that must be done before another thing can happen เงื่อนไข
obtain – to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult ได้มา, ได้รับ
interest – the money that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the money it pays you when you keep money in an account ดอกเบี้ย
loan – an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank เงินกู้
guarantee – to promise someone that they will have something or will get something รับประกัน, ค้ำประกัน
extort – to try to illegally obtain something by force or threat รีดไถ
terminal – a large building at an airport where passengers arrive and leave อาคารผู้โดยสาร
prefer – to like or want more than anyone or anything else ชอบมากกว่า
rice pledging scheme – a government programme which allows farmers to sell their rice to the government at a guaranteed price
guarantor – a person who agrees to be responsible for somebody or for making sure that something happens or is done ผู้ค้ำประกัน
obstacle – a difficulty or problem that prevents you from achieving something อุปสรรค ขวากหนาม