Call them to account
published : 3 Dec 2019 at 04:00
newspaper section: News
Historically speaking, the opposition's move to force a thorough review of actions taken by the coup-makers under the all-powerful Section 44 is unprecedented and, if successful, monumental.
In the past, it was unthinkable to demand an investigation of a coup or the impact of orders issued in its aftermath. Just imagine questioning the use of Section 17 during the Sarit regime or similar law during the Thanom-Praphas-Narong regime, as well as all the other coups throughout our eventful history.
It's customary for all coup-makers to claim that they had to seize power in order restore order for the sake of national security. They always insist they have no intentions whatsoever to hold on to power. Everything they do is for the greater good. The opposition's move to scrutinise and review such claims will give the coup-makers a chance to prove themselves. The evidence gathered by the review will speak for itself.
Future coups will never be the same.
Weapons or health?
Recently my brother-in-law, who taught at a well-known university for 40 some years, was bitten by a mosquito and contracted dengue fever. He was taken to a private hospital; when I asked why he hadn't been taken to Bhumibol Hospital as he had requested, I was told there were no beds. How is it possible that this government can spend billions on military equipment, but cannot provide hospital beds for its own employees?
Perhaps that is why they do little or nothing about the toxic air in Bangkok. Maybe they are hoping all of us old people will die off quickly so they won't have to take care of us.
Publish the numbers
Re: "Not a simple issue", (PostBag, Dec 1).
In recent years Thailand's road-death toll has made headlines because the figures back up what we all fear: our driving skills are disastrous. Likewise, the concern over air quality has been recognised due to the air-quality index (AQI) numbers that appear daily in news reports, allowing citizens to compare pollution here with that in other cities worldwide. Most people trust scientists more than they do corporations or politicians, because scientists deal in facts and hopefully tell the truth. So why is it that, in relation to the ongoing argument over agricultural chemicals in our food, we haven't been given the scientific help we need? If we could see that rice contained twice the recommended level of a certain weed killer or that mangoes were dangerously loaded with pesticide, we could avoid the dangers with a boycott.
One side is telling us there's no problem. The other is sure we are poisoning ourselves. Only the publication of real numbers will help the consumer decide how dangerous our food is and what political action needs to be taken.
No faiths, no bigotry
I agree with David Barclay, in his Dec 2 letter, "An ominous analogy". You must never put people in camps just because of their religion. Rather, you should educate people out of religion, either by schools or by literature.
A Bangkok Atheist
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