Re: ''Cabinet does zilch'' (PostBag, April 6).
It was interesting idea to suggest Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her cabinet receive their salaries commensurate on their performance. This should be applied to national leaders everywhere. By this reasoning, many world leaders would hardly qualify to earn as much as Thailand's 300-baht daily minimum wage.
They are in the same boat, spewing their useless rhetoric while cutting into programmes making the middle class and poor suffer the most. There is a wonderful line from the old Broadway musical, My Fair Lady. ''It's the rich that gets the gravy, it's the poor what gets the blame''.
DAVID JAMES WONG
Buckle up to save lives
Every year, to much ''surprise'' we see the outcome of the Songkran road accident toll. Although the cause of such accidents should be closely studied and the offenders who cause these accidents should be severely punished, there is also another aspect to these accidents.
I have been driving cars and motorcycles here for seven years and one thing I have noticed is the majority of motorists fail to use seat belts and helmets (properly fitted and not just loosely placed on the head).
I believe this is a contributing factor to the injury and death toll of these accidents.
Although these safety measures will not reduce the number of accidents, they will - if properly used - reduce the overall number of serious injuries and deaths as a result of these crashes.
In Europe, it is a proven fact that seatbelts and helmets save lives. More education and law enforcement is required to ensure the use of such devices in Thailand.
Two other things that come to mind is that one often sees kids standing in the passenger side of cars as well as passengers being carried in the open back of pickup trucks. These people have no chance of escaping injury in the event of a crash.
Immigration rules unfair
Re: ''Power shift from West to East requires visa reciprocity'' (BP, April 4).
Thitinan Pongsudhirak does have a point about economical power shifting toward Asia, but has no clue about the reality of how hard it is for foreigners to obtain yearly non-immigrant visas or the nearly-impossible citizenship status.
I am married to a Thai and have lived here and renewed my non-immigrant visa for the last 33 years.
We have two children who are both educated abroad and work and live outside Thailand.
I have unsuccessfully applied for permanent residence twice, but gave up finally as there was never a reason given as to why these applications were rejected. We run a restaurant well known to foreigners around the world. We pay our taxes and employ about 30 staff.
And although it makes no sense, I still must report to immigration police every 90 days to confirm my address details which have not changed in all these years.
My last visit to Chiang Mai immigration was for the 90-day stamp and we had to stand in line for one hour in scorching heat outside and around the parking lot as the place is no bigger than a bungalow.
Then after receiving my ticket there was another two-hour wait standing up to be finally given the stamp clipped into my passport. I saw several elderly people who had to wait in the heat outside getting rather pale as there was nowhere shady to sit down.
In my country (Switzerland), a Thai lady who marries a Swiss man is entitled to citizenship after five years of residence there. Permanent residency is treated as an obvious human right granted to married people.
But here, I report to immigration police every 90 days and feel like a criminal on bail.
Moreover, foreign pensioners contribute a lot of income to this country and the backpackers you so look down upon fill many a guesthouse which would have to close down without them.
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