Lessons from history

Lessons from history

Re: "Govt jab management fails to hit home," (Opinion, June 14).

Since his seeming endorsement of it from May 22, 2014 on, perhaps the Bangkok Post's Veera Prateepchaikul has now reached a mellowness that will allow him to learn a lesson from history: when you support dictatorship over democracy you get dictatorial values over democratic values.

It does, however, remain a mystery how that lesson, taught by coup after coup, decade after decade, in Thailand's modern history since 1932 should not have been already well known on May 22, 2014. Could official Thai history curricula as indoctrinated in schools and propagated by permitted texts by properly loyal academics impart so flawed an understanding?

Felix Qui

Can't trust military

Re: "Govt opens up on secret spend," (BP, June 13).

I'm glad the military is opening up a few details of its so-called secret budget allocations to counter opposition criticism that it should be more transparent about public money going to defence.

I fully agree that the need for secrecy means that much about the defence budget cannot ever be made public. But we've had so many military financial scandals that they cannot say, "Trust me;" the G2000 bogus bomb detectors and the observation balloon that can't stay at combat heights come to mind, for example -- no general's even been charged for those thefts. Or, we have about the same population as the UK, which has been a legendary world power for generations: why do we need two+ times their number of personnel under arms to be just a regional power?

How do countries scoring higher than us on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index balance accountability with confidentiality in their military expenditures? Let's learn from them.

Burin Kantabutra

Judicial backfire

Re: "Call in foreign judges," (PostBag, June 12).

Was Burin Kantabutra perhaps writing tongue-in-cheek to suggest that Thailand follow Hong Kong's example by inviting overseas judges to participate in its court proceedings?

This could have the opposite of the desired effect, revealing justice not necessarily being done or seen to be done, but as an altogether more opaque affair.

Over in Hong Kong, I wonder how many of the non-permanent foreign judges will wish to continue their association with a legal system sliding ever more firmly under Beijing's thumb.

Chris Jeffery

Olympic mistakes

Re: "Olympic spirit hopes," (PostBag, June 12).

I was fortunate enough to see the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 in person. I saw all the track and field and all the swimming events. The site was on what had been a US housing area for military families, when I served in the army in Japan.

What a wonderful Olympics the Japanese government put on! Everything from the opening event of the Olympic torch ceremony to the closing ceremony was done with class and with visitors from all over the world.

What a disappointment the Japanese government has been in the last 18 months. The delay was necessary, but how poorly they have managed the pandemic. I had hoped to go to the Games in 2020, then 2021 but the mismanagement means none of us older fans may live long enough to see another Olympic Games, which I have been following since 1948 in London.

A Careful Reader


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