3G a military operation

All anyone needs to know about the NBTC is that of its 11 members, six are from the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

So it is no surprise at all that they have just announced they ain't gonna wait for no darn court for 3G licensing!

This is a military operation!


Name rice fraudsters

Rice fraud investigators have easily found 25 incidents of fraud within the government's rice pledging scheme.

Is the prime minister going to name names or is she going to gloss it over, and blame it on a few? The public has a right to know.


Take debates seriously

Presidential debates are the backbone of the American political process - going back to Lincoln and Douglas - to the modern debates of Kennedy/Nixon, and Reagan/Mondale.

To suggest that discussion of a nation's future through discourse is mere sport and entertainment is childish and abysmally misinformed.


Grateful for Japan trains

The only thing beneficial to Thailand during the Yingluck administration so far has been the report that she has signed an MoU with Japan for the development of a high-speed train service in Thailand.

At least the designs will be well thought out and tested. The dread of having to eventually travel on high-speed trains made in China was just too much to think of. I'd rather buy a buffalo and a cart than trust Chinese-developed technology and rolling stock.


Melayu a lesson for Thai

The Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) is spoken by millions of people in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sumatra, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand, with slight variations in pronunciation and vocabulary.

Words have been borrowed from Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Sanskrit and English. Arabic origin words include algebra, falasafah, sabun, sultan and zirafah. mee, pau, teh, lychee and sampan are from Chinese dialects. Some Dutch borrowings are bamboo, bantam, batik, boss and cookie. Sanskrit examples that share commonalities with Thai include gecko, guru, naga, roti and sepak takraw. Malay words adopted for use in English include amok, cockatoo, gingham, gong and sarong.

A Latin alphabet version of Melayu called Rumi has replaced the Arabic script of Jawi and is used in most contexts of everyday life.

Most Malay words are phonics-based, meaning they are spelled the way they sound and easily divided into syllables, which helps facilitate communicative competence literacy. Grammar is also quite straightforward. Malay nouns do not have gender or articles and many plurals simply double the singular term, such as rumah for house and rumah-rumah for houses. The word order of Malay sentences is subject-verb-object, like English.

Common-sense spelling is used according to sound phonemes, that range from elektronik to interaktif; sekolah to sains; polis to doktor; televisyen to teksi; pensil to biskut.

Such progressive reform is long overdue in Thailand, where spellings of names and places more often confuse than clarify. Isn't it appropriate to make Thai signs readable by foreign visitors? For example, I suggest that Thavil should be re-written as Tawin, Ampol as Umpone, Sakdinarin as Sucknarin. Phuket would preferably be transcribed as Pooget; Phangnga as Punga, etc.

Common sense measures initiated by linguistic reformists have resulted in Malay/Rumi becoming a fun and comparatively easy language for foreigners to master, serving as the philosophical basis for developing ''4 in 1'' (Malay, Chinese, English and Thai) published by Genesis Multimedia.


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