Postbag: Take power crisis to heart

We are reading a lot these days about the power shortage that may or may not happen at the beginning of April. Contingency plans are being drawn up and people are being asked to use less electricity.

It's a good time for the manufacturers of portable generators.

One measure I haven't yet seen mentioned is any suggestion that all government offices turn their air conditioning systems up from 18C to 24C or 25C.

This will not only have the effect of reducing power consumption by a considerable amount, but will also stop the poor half-frozen staff from wandering around in anoraks or pullovers which they would subsequently need to wash _ thus saving even more energy!

Other non-government office blocks may also care to take note, including the British embassy where I almost froze waiting in the Consular Section last week!


Time to focus on safety

Re: ''Long-haul buses to have TVs in seats'', ( BP, Feb 26). The news seems to demonstrate the government's complete lack of concern for Thailand's ever increasing road toll.

The money would be better spent on installing seat belts in buses and making it compulsory to wear them. It should be the case for all passengers in motor vehicles, not just the driver and front seat passenger.


Still dumbing it down

Re: ''Bar lowered for tour guides'', (BP, Feb 26). Rather than strive for educational excellence in Thai businesses and industry, the government lowered the educational requirements for those applying to be tour guides. This continues to prove (no matter what the Ministry of Education claims), that the Thai educational system is for the birds, way below par in comparison with the rest of Asia.

This is sending a clear message to students which is: Why bother to study and excel? I'm fine and I'll get by with just the minimal education I receive.

Sometimes, although it is impolite to voice such an opinion, I think Thailand will eventually get its just desserts. While the rest of Asean moves forward, Thailand will remain mired in the same bog and never crawl out of it. On one hand, those with BAs are supposed to receive a 15,000 salary; on the other hand, further education is being discouraged. This is all because the present government wavers in its policies from day to day, sends up continual smokescreens to mask its inadequacies, and lacks a vision of the future.


Leaders losing their way

If Asia's leaders keep their eyes on prosperity, rather than only on power, as cogently emphasised by Jaswant Singh, (''Infrastructure key to Asian unity'', BP, Feb 26), indeed, new and impressive infrastructure links can be developed on this continent.

In this context, it is appropriate to mention the role of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) based in Bangkok.

The Asian Highway network of 141,000 kilometres crisscrossing 32 Asian countries with linkages to Europe became one of the three pillars of the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development project, endorsed by ESCAP and comprising the Asian Highway, the Trans-Asian Railway and facilitation of land transport projects.

The ministers of transport and representatives of the 62 ESCAP members and associate members attending a conference on transport in Bangkok in 2012 requested the ESCAP executive secretary to collaborate effectively with international and regional financing institutions, multilateral and bilateral donors and private sector investors and international organisations to mobilise further financial and technical support for the wider development and operationalisation of the Trans-Asian Railway and the Asian Highway.

A new ministerial conference on transport will be convened in 2016 to assess the current results and to consider a future programme of work.


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