It appears that to hold any position of prominence in Thailand you must have friends currently in high office or friends who have held previous positions of power. Deputy national police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen had his bid of becoming governor of Bangkok thoroughly endorsed by Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, ex-core leader of the defunct Thai Rak Thai Party, and that man in Dubai who, on Tuesday, told party members via Skype: ''He feels Pol Gen Pongsapat has what it takes to be governor''.
Squadron leader Sita Divari is virtually assured of the position of chairman of the Airports of Thailand simply because that man from Dubai has agreed to the nomination and he is a close aide of Khunying Sudarat. With the Bangkok governorship virtually settled, is there any need to impose restrictions on thousands of foreign holiday makers by holding meaningless elections?
Butt of birthday joke
Re: ''Botched ID date 'no laughing matter''' (BP, Jan 10). Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan really lost his cool when his ministry was accused of registering a birth date for Feb 30 _ a non-existent date on the calendar. Rather than make a joke of it, Mr Charupong created the proverbial tempest in a teapot, posturing and threatening. After all, how could anyone be permitted to ''tarnish'' the reputation of his Interior Ministry? The minister reminded me of the children's nursery rhyme _ Pop Goes the Weasel.
He certainly popped. I guess he is a perfect minister in a perfect ministry, in a perfect government, where only members of the public make mistakes. Wow! I'd love to live in Thailand. Is anyone familiar with that wonderful song, In the Land of Make Believe?
DAVID JAMES WONG
Charupong the bully
Re: ''Botched ID date 'no laughing matter''' (BP, Jan 10). To quote Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan: ''Those who aim to tarnish the ministry's image will not be tolerated.'' He was admonishing an employee who complained that his birthday was registered on the non-existent date of Feb 30. How nice that a government minister has taken to threats. These people think threatening and bullying will get them what they want. Instead, it only earns them disdain, disrespect and disgust.
Rather than acknowledging that a repairable error was made, the government found its way to the press to once again demonstrate that yet another Thai politician is nothing more than a jackass.
Had it with corruption
I have resided in Thailand since 1991, arriving a few weeks before the coup against Chatichai Choonhavan. I admit to being young and impressionable for the first 10 years, believing that it could only get better. Even then it was quite clear that corruption is hard-wired into Thailand's DNA. I considered it the price of doing business.
Fast forward to a statesman whose name begins with A, past a little crook whose name begins with B, and past another major crook whose name begins with C, followed by an honest man who was forgotten. Then we went back to the beginning with a handsome man whose name starts with A, then back to the past with a confused medley of S's, T's and a Y.
And here we are, in a society where corruption is soon to be written into the constitution.
Democracy rules and I am getting out of here!
Where there's smoke
Re: Front-page photo captioned ''Burnt to cinders''(BP, Jan 9). Let's hope the horrific blaze on Tuesday in Bangkok's Din Daeng area wasn't part of a criminal plot (again) to make way for a more profitable real estate and commercial development.
Let's wait and see what emerges out of those cinders, my friends.
My genuine compassion goes out to all the poor victims of this disaster.
BUD E WEYZER
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