Tomorrow never comes

The Thai word ja, the English equivalent of ''will'', is interesting.

Thaksin Shinawatra promised to cure Bangkok's traffic problems in six months. His favourite word was ''will''. ''I will cut traffic jams in Bangkok,'' he said.

Now the prime minister has established a subcommittee that ''will'' establish a method to cut traffic problems in Bangkok. Rice farmers ''will'' profit from the rice mortgage scheme. Flooding ''will'' be prevented. The poor ''will'' receive proper housing.

''Will''is a great word for the future, but luckily it is also open. It does not indicate when. In Thailand, ''will'' might run into the next century.


Ruled by one family

Re: ''PM Yingluck decides not to reshuffle cabinet'' (BP, Oct 3).

The article quotes a source as saying ''a final decision on who will be given cabinet posts will rest with members of the Shinawatra family, including ousted prime minister Thaksin, his ex-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, his younger sister Yaowapa Wongsawat and Mrs Yaowapa's husband Somchai Wongsawat''.

It seems Thailand is no longer a democracy but is ruled by a family dictatorship or personalistic regime. Amazing Thailand!


Thaksin runs the show

Re: ''Yongyuth resigns as party leader'' (BP, Oct 5).

If any person had any doubt as to who is running the government, they need look no further than the front page of the Bangkok Post to erase that doubt.

Three candidates in the running to replace Mr Yongyuth after he resigned as party leader were selected because ''they suited the Shinawatra family's requirement of being people they could control''.

The country is in dire straits when it lets itself be dominated by a convicted criminal living in exile whose personal agenda is to return to Thailand as a free man and, in my opinion, to once again become the leader in the current government.


Land reform needed

It's hard to tell if the rice-pledging scheme is as corrupt as the usual mob says. There is never any substantial English (or Thai?) reporting about anything in Thailand, so it is impossible to judge.

My understanding is that the programme is based on land ownership, which deals out the farmers at the get go.

Some farmers actually do own their land, but the ones who have been ground down, robbed and cheated by the elite don't or no longer do.

And who can trust Thaksin to tie his shoes without stealing?

It seems to me that help to farmers must involve land reform, co-ops and what are called credit unions in the US. All the rest is ritual dance and continued theft.

A pox on them all. If the farmers are getting the crumbs from this deal, good. Sad to say, their government is in charge.

It's typical Thaksin trickle-down economics and radical populism. I have no doubt that Thaksin's master plan involves US-style industrial farming, the dispossession of the farmers, genetically modified crops _ the full catastrophe.

It will restore his family's fortune and utterly destroy Thailand.


Bahasa best for Asean

In the rapidly transforming Southeast Asia region, culturally sensitive attitudes are essential, respecting indigenous values and beliefs with healthy curiosity and tolerance, not arrogance and fear.

Becoming Asia-literate helps to bridge the alienating socialisation gap, creating an interactive living experience that is immediately deep and personalised. Your ability to learn and communicate the basics in another language is a polite sign of courtesy and dignified awareness that demonstrates a valuable willingness to get to know more and become better informed about the traditional cultural heritage.

Regarding languages and cultures of this dynamic growth region, one must appreciate the importance of multiversity, which enriches the future economic prospects, people-to-people links, creative mindset thinking and innovative concept formation.

Cooperative decision-making will help solve problems, overcome challenges and forge innovative and inspiring futures that are prosperous and peaceful.

The predominance of informal communication exchanges, intellectual discourse, policy debate, as well as economic transactions within Asia, occur in languages other than English.

Why not make an assimilated blend of Bahasa Indonesia/Malay the major Asean language? It is relatively simple, easy to learn and uses the Roman alphabet. It is not tonal, has few exceptions and facilitates English mastery due to the large number of borrowed vocabulary words, uniform pronunciation and consistent spelling rules.

The key to success is to make it achievable and enjoyable for average students by providing interactive edutainment exercises, songs and games to arouse motivation and sustain interest. Equally important is to enlist parental supportive guidance and active community involvement to ensure that desired educational outcomes are met.


Debates mean nothing

Like most people, I was surprised by how passive and even tired US President Barack Obama appeared during the presidential debate. But since debates usually don't change the minds of voters, maybe it's smart for the candidate who is leading to play defence and just guard his lead.

We hear a lot about the undecided voters, but generally those people are just too stupid to have an opinion and probably don't even watch the debates. (I know that sounds rude, but the political pundits in a more subtle way are saying the same thing about those people).

Most Americans who watch the debates are like me _ we already know who we're going to vote for. Just as there is nothing Mr Obama can do to win over a Mitt Romney voter, there is nothing Mr Romney can do to win over me. In fact, I don't care if Mr Romney ''won'' the debate, I still hate his guts.

Other than entertainment value, I don't think debates usually serve much of a purpose.


Obama out of depth

The real Barack Obama was there, and the Mitt Romney picture painted by liberals wasn't there, and if liberals think the next debates will be better, they have been watching too much of The View.

President Obama is a charismatic, engaging man with a great smile, and he should have his own talk show, but when contrasted with a professional who has experience as a governor and of big business, you get what we had at the first debate _ a president who is clearly in over his head.


Put quality before pay

Re: ''Domestic consumption may shore up growth but ADB says effects likely to be short-lived'' (Business, Oct 4).

The Asian Development Bank emphasised that populist policies are being used to stimulate the economy in the short term, such as the 300-baht minimum wage and civil servant salaries of 15,000 baht.

It makes me think of those graduates who seek jobs in the private sector and are also demanding higher salaries of 15,000 baht or over by misunderstanding that their education degree would guarantee such a high income.

In fact, whether employers are willing to pay high salaries actually depends on the quality of the graduates' education and their competency.

It is a kind of beautiful bubble with nothing inside. It is sad the government is focusing on salary increases while paying little attention to improving the quality of graduates.


BBC will be missed

Like many Bangkok Post readers, I am disappointed that TrueVisions plans to terminate the BBC World Service radio channel (channel 230) this month.

It seems a strange decision to terminate rather than promote what is probably the most popular radio or TV channel anywhere in the world. With its unique mixture of news, sport, interviews and debates, presented by world-class broadcasters such as Matthew Bannister, the host of Outlook, the World Service will be greatly missed.

Football fans will no doubt miss the coverage and interviews from the Premier League on Saturdays and Sundays. Thai listeners learning English will miss the opportunity to improve their English while enjoying the many educational and cultural programmes from all over the world.

Perhaps democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said it best when she spoke of what the BBC World Service meant to her during the 15 years she was under house arrest: ''Everywhere I have been, the BBC has been with me. It allowed me to keep up with developments in the outside world even though I was not able to contact anybody.''

Everywhere but Thailand, it seems.


True lets down viewers

TrueVisions appeared to be making a living before it finally pushed the advertising scam past whoever it had to.

The entire point of cable television was for viewers to pay for their programmes and not have to watch commercials. Now we are inundated with commercials and TrueVisions is still crying poverty. It blames all the new high-definition channels.

I have a news flash for TrueVisions. We don't care about high definition. We want more variety, fewer reruns and fewer commercials. What good is high definition if you don't care to watch what is showing in high definition?

I look forward to Ultimate Fighting and any series such as Spartacus or Boardwalk Empire, but beyond that TrueVisions is a write-off at the same approximate cost as American cable television. It is as if it has placed all its movies on a loop and just continues to let it run.

TrueVisions is my second-highest bill payment to make every month, outdone only by the electricity company. As electricity is a necessity, that makes True the biggest rip-off in the country.

Congratulations, TrueVisions, as the only real game in town, you seem to be milking it pretty well.


Point your dish west

As a response to complaints from the foreign community regarding TV costs and reception, I would like to supply the following information.

Living in the Chiang Mai area, I am connected to Thai satellite 3S using a 2m dish pointed west, feeding the Samart Digital Satellite Receiver.

All the following English-language stations are free: RT (Russia), Al Jazeera, TV5 (France), DW (Germany), NHK (Japan), CNAI (Singapore), Blue Ocean Network and VOA (US Nickelodeon). I also get cartoons and many non-English channels.

My wife pays TrueVisions to get the soaps, CNN, AXN and HBO, etc.

We were previously connected to satellites in the Philippines and South Africa, but both those services were dropped. The above list, in addition to everything on the internet, fills up the viewing time.


136 Na Ranong Road Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Fax: +02 2403666 email:

All letter writers must provide full name and address.

All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretion.