I am still laughing at the Tourism Department campaign ad.
Although their intentions may well be from the heart, I do not believe they have fully discussed the other related departments_ the Department of Pollution Everywhere the Eye Can See, the Department of Unsustainable Development, the Department of Tuk Tuk Crooks, the Department of Unbearable Beach Touts, the Department of Fraud against Tourists, the Department of Tourist Safety, the Department of Phuket Taxi Frivers who even scare the US navy, and also the Department of Old Pristine Island Photos.
Thailand is a great place but falsely advertises how unique it used to be, rather than how it actually is today.
Instead of using the stick your head in the sand system, why not ask everyone who arrives in December to fill out a survey, listen to what is said, listen to what they want, and act?
Then give it to the Department of Common Sense.
Take English seriously
I read with great sadness Khun Korawan's letter, ''Concern for the future'', about the competition for work when the AEC comes into being in 2015. English is going to be a determining factor for many applicants. Thais should not be forced to leave Thailand to look for work.
I would like to compliment Khun Korawan for perseverance in studying English. I would also like to point out that when English replaced French as the United Nations' main language of communication, many took this as a signal to start studying English, which is now the international language of commerce, aviation, medicine, and more.
While most students in many countries took their studies seriously, Thai students never did. The laments of English instructors in Thailand have echoed in the corridors of academia for ages. Past Thai governments never took English (or other educational subjects) seriously enough to hire competent, qualified English-language teachers.
I am not implying that native speaker language teachers are necessarily the best. Many Thai English teachers are excellent if they have had good language training. Yet they are paid less and are underrated by this country's educational institutions, both government and private. Thailand lags behind Laos in English language competence. Maybe now that the AEC is around the corner, Thai students will take this as a wake-up call. Maybe the present government will also wake up to start promoting language and competence, rather than an overall presentation of ''how pretty Thailand is, come and invest here''. Beauty is only skin deep.
GIST drugs not so dear
Re: ''Huge cost of GIST patients spurs alarm'', (BP, Dec 1). It is reported that the treatment costs of gastrointestinal stromal tumour (Gist) have put an enormous burden on the government.
Novartis (Thailand), as a manufacturer of cancer drugs, would like to inform that the company is deeply concerned about patient access to medicines. Consequently, various programmes have been initiated to enhance both affordability and access to medicines and treatments. The International Patient Assistance Programme (GIPAP) was launched in 2002 to provide the cancer drug Imatinib to chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and GIST patients who have financial difficulties, at no cost. There are more than 50,000 patients in 80 countries all over the world who've participated in this programme. In Thailand, Novartis has operated GIPAP since 2003. GIPAP has provided assistance to more than 3,000 patients since then.
At present, there are 52 GIPAP centres and 147 GIPAP physicians all over Thailand and more than 1,600 patients are currently enrolled.
PR Consultant, Core & Peak Company Limited
Pattaya is filthy!
I have not visited Pattaya for about three years. Yesterday, I came down for a short day trip. Now, I do not need to come back again, Ever! Why is there no one from the city government down at the beach supervising the clean up? Because no one cares!
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