Thai Politics -- English Dictionary; 2017 Edition

Thai Politics -- English Dictionary; 2017 Edition

The Thai language can be very tricky. Mai pen rai can mean so many things from "it's alright", "we're cool" to "you're welcome". But when it comes to the use of the Thai language by Thai politicians, you may need to dig deeper. For your entertainment (and at the personal risk of being asked to go in for some attitude adjustment), here are nine of the phrases and words used in Thai politics and what I think they really mean.

Thai Politics

"We'll do as promised. Give us a little more time."


"We'll go away when we're good and ready."


A tentative and flimsy schedule to do something. It can be postponed as many times as I want. We're working on Thai time, baby.

Thaksin Shinawatra

The person to blame for everything that went wrong in Thailand.

Yingluck Shinawatra

The second person to blame for everything that went wrong in Thailand.

General election

A taboo subject no reporters should ask Prayut or his peers in the govt about unless they want to anger him or receive conflicting answers. They're better off focusing on the whereabouts of that elusive abbot.

The constitution

Supposedly the most important focal point for the law of the land that we've torn up and rewritten many times. Mai pen rai, it's basically just a piece of paper.

Public hearing

A due process to hear opinions from members of the public or civil groups about an important project or piece of legislation that may later have a profound effect on their lives. It is strictly about hearing, not necessarily "listening".

Attitude adjustment session

A session to silence those who criticise the govt. After all, people in a democratic society should think the same way, right?

Reconciliation process

Let's put aside our differences for the sake of the country's unity. Let's forget about holding those who contributed to the current political limbo accountable. Those who lost their loved ones during the political turmoil just have to be bigger people and let bygones be bygones. We're a Buddhist country. We're kind and forgiving people.

Coming to work six out of 400 work days

You get to keep your job because your brother is the junta's head.

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol

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