There's no time like the present
I don’t know about you, but since martial law was announced on Tuesday I feel that society has suddenly become safer. The months-long spate of almost daily grenade and gun attacks at demonstration sites, courts and independent agencies such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission, as well as homes of individuals, might finally came to a halt.
And I’m obviously not the only one who feels this way — many were so happy about the army finally taking action to stop the growing violence that they posed for pictures with soldiers and even provided them with flowers, beverages and other supplies.
I strongly hope that senators, too, feel secure enough to carry out their duty of appointing an interim premier with courage and to complete this important task as soon as possible.
While we are waiting for good news from the Upper House, let’s take a look at the list of people who took office as prime minister in the 25 years since Gen Prem Tinasulanonda, who was in the position for eight years, stepped down.
- Gen Chatichai Choonhavan
- Anand Panyarachun
- Gen Suchinda Kraprayoon
- Chuan Leekpai
- Banharn Silpa-archa
- Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
- Thaksin Shinawatra
- Gen Surayud Chulanont
- Samak Sundaravej
- Somchai Wongsawat
- Abhisit Vejjajiva
- Yingluck Shinawatra
Some of these ex-premiers served more than one term. Some have already passed away, while a few others you might wish would soon follow suit. Anyway, please have another thorough look at those names and think about an answer to this simple question:
As a Thai taxpayer, how many of them are you proud of and how many do you want to spit on?
I doubt if anybody in their right mind would say “Thumbs up!” — or vice versa — for all the folks on this list. Many of the names bring to mind political corruption, various scandals and inept government.
A quarter of the list are merely nominees of the you-know-who mafia boss. And guess which one comes with hashtags like “#stupid” and “#idiot”? Feel free to keep those answers to yourself. I’ll keep mine
a secret, too.
The political mess in which Thailand is currently suffering can be traced back, in different degrees, to the governments of these former leaders. I hope senators will make good use of the lessons Thais have learned the hard way over the past 25 years and come up with a solid solution for our country.
Dear senators, with the military safeguarding society, there is nothing to fear. Unlike a few days ago, your homes and family are not likely at risk. There is no better time than now to do your jobs properly.
Please keep in mind that what Thailand needs most is not a neutral prime minister, but one with integrity and the determination to serve this country with no hidden agenda, one who realises Thailand needs reform and has the potential to make that happen, finally allowing for a free and fair election.
Pongpet Mekloy is the Bangkok Post’s travel editor.
Pongpet Mekloy is the Bangkok Post's travel editor and a mountain bike freak.