Obstacles to coming clean

I want to raise what I think is an important question: If Abhisit Vejjajiva, whom we all have considered squeaky clean in the past, now has so many charges laid against him, how then can we be expected to trust other politicians that we already believe to be tainted?

It just seems to me we are trying to wash our face with a dirty washcloth.

Charlie Brown


GOVERNMENT FAILING BUSINESS

It is truly regrettable to read that the government rejected pleas by many businesses for financial help to cope with the new wage increases, as reported in the story in the Bangkok Post, ''Paermchai rejects wage compo request''. The government's decision that employers must bear the pay hike alone is probably one of the stupidest ushering in 2013. If the US government had let Chrysler fail years ago, the crash would have affected employees, families, retailers, suppliers and more in a domino effect.

Thai employers who choose to remain in business will simply pass on costs to consumers. Either consumers will respond, or not respond. That is their option. Employers who can't afford it could also relocate to Cambodia or Laos, further dragging down the Thai economy and contributing to unemployment, but helping the Cambodian and Thai economies increase. At any rate, and in either case, even Thaksin Shinawatra's minions of red shirts must also work to eat, unless he chooses to support them personally. A hungry belly and hungry children will raise a louder outcry than blind political allegiance.

I read this morning that a company already has closed its gates to its workforce because it could not pay the 300 baht daily wage and still remain solvent. I also understand that it will take until March to know how many companies across Thailand have closed or relocated to either Lao or Cambodia. No wonder Prime Minister Yingluck is so popular in those countries.

Thai Ridgeback


THAILAND IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD

In reference to another great column by Voranai Vanijaka last week, society is a reflection of its people and their values. Sometimes pride and patriotism can act as a genuine force in uniting people, but misguided notions of cultural uniqueness can also very be harmful. It is important how Thai people see themselves, but it is equally important how Thailand is perceived by the world outside. It is a well known fact that the culture and education ministries have failed miserably in bringing about changes to improve the image of Thai society outside its own borders. Bad pronouncements by these agencies have usually been a cover for insecurity, confusion and their complete failure. For all worldly pleasures, Thailand remains ''No1'' for its night life. Culturally speaking, what does this really mean?

Voranai's writing is a strange blend of fury and euphoria, two sides of the same coin, which I think stems from his unresolved passion for his country, often so overtly expressed in his articles. His honest dissection of issues related to Thai society is vital and he has definitely added a new dimension to the Bangkok Post Sunday, a sort of rawness. I look forward to seeing more from him in 2013.

Dr Kuldeep Nagi
Assumption University


MINISTER'S 'NIXON-ERA' REMARKS

There was something disconcerting about remarks made by Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul last week regarding news reports on the violence in the South.

The implication in his remarks is that news media are somehow responsible for the violence in the deep South, and the remarks came in the form of a ''warning'', implying that control measures could be soon to follow.

We all condemn terrorist acts, but news media cannot cover up the ineffectiveness of the government _ at least not for very long _ and using news media as scapegoats is a failed game plan.

The trend toward control of news media is Nixon-era thinking that will most likely result in a backlash. We can call upon the spirit of Ben Bradlee, executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 to 1991, if the trend gets much worse.

Guy Baker


POLITICAL REALITY BEHIND CHOICE

In the Bangkok Post ''About Politics'' column yesterday, ''Sukhumbhand lands with a thud'', on MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra's selection by the Democrat Party as their candidate in the upcoming Bangkok gubernatorial election, the backstage dealings leading to his selection were described. However, never was it mentioned that the primary reason he was selected was that if he had not been the Democrats' choice he would have run as an independent candidate, split the Democrat vote and hand the election to the Pheu Thai Party.

Dom Dunn


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