Conscripts aren't servants
The army's tradition of allowing officers to use conscripts as personal houseboys was hit with more bad press this week as one of the newly enlisted men exposed his degrading and inhumane working and living conditions while serving at the residence of a military officer.
While this is a blatant violation of the man's human rights, shining a light on the physical and psychological violence meted out to conscripts, it makes it hard to ignore the dark side of the army's tradition of allowing a quota of "houseboys", a practice that has fostered corruption and conflicts of interests. In sum, this custom should no longer be tolerated.
But for the army, an institution that barely bothers with concepts like "transparency", removing a perk like this is considered out of the question. It is therefore not a surprise to see military bigwigs this week ducking and avoiding all talk about the calls to scrap the tradition but merely treating the latest controversy as an isolated case.
Bangkok Post editorial column
These editorials represent Bangkok Post thoughts about current issues and situations.
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