Postbag: No foul play?
published : 31 Aug 2014 at 06:41
newspaper section: News
Re: “Headless tourists found offshore” (BP, Aug 30).
The headless bodies of two foreigners are found floating in the water off Pattaya and police say they have found no evidence of foul play at this stage. I’m putting that one in my log of memorable quotable quotes.
Lottery vendors lose out
Re: “GLO wrestles with ticket overpricing” (Business, Aug 28).
The Government Lottery Office has now realised it should eliminate the middlemen in its ticket deliveries to individual retailers, but it is still being bureaucratic and arrogant. The office should deliver tickets to registered retailers wherever those retailers are. It can’t just tell retailers to show up, since many are disabled and struggle to travel.
Hunt loan sharks first
Re: “BAAC working to free farmers from loan sharks” (Business, Aug 27).
I don’t think it is wise for the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to lend 10 billion baht to 150,000 farmers — with each loan not exceeding 100,000 baht — in order to set them free from loan sharks across the country.
First, loan sharks are illegal lenders. The BAAC is supposed to know who these people are, and how they prey on our farmers. Why doesn’t the BAAC give the information and evidence concerning these loan sharks to the NCPO — to have them arrested and jailed instead?
Second, these BAAC loans are for only 150,000 farmers. They are a minuscule group selected from all the millions of rice farmers of the country. Currently about 20% of rice farmers across the country who have already lost land as a result of high costs of farming and the illegal loan sharks. I think these BAAC loans will help very little in alleviating their plight.
Stop the police rot
Re: “Joint force seeks Phuket kingpin” (BP, Aug 29).
I have no problems with the military and police raiding the house and offices of former Phuket mayor Pian Preechawut, since there’s an arrest warrant out on him for allegedly running a criminal organisation and operating illicit businesses. This is a welcome signal that under the military, even the high and mighty must obey the law. Khun Pian must be swiftly and impartially brought to justice. However, peace and order is a police matter, not one for the military. As soon as the military are back in their barracks, I see little to prevent the powerful from again being above the law, unless the police themselves are thoroughly reformed.
Gen Prayuth should find the political will to reform the police on the recommendations of Pol Gen Visit Dejkhunjorn's commission. This means improving compensation for the lower ranks, establishing monitoring by an independent complaints committee and creating public participation in police administration through police policy committees. The recent arrest of a respected police lieutenant-colonel for drug-running shows how deep the rot runs. The time to strike is now.
Studying science pays
Re: “Universities told to teach skills for work” (BP, Aug 29).
Danai Chanchaochai, chief executive of DC Consultants and Marketing Communications Co Ltd, says Thai universities are producing 50% more graduates than necessary to meet the demands of the labour market. This year, up to 400,000 new graduates failed to find a job. Key reasons for this include the fact that graduates fail to take account of the country’s labour needs, but study courses based on trends for popular subjects.
Scientific study, particularly relating to agriculture, is unpopular with students. But this is where the country’s strengths and job opportunities lie. This is regrettable, because learning an applied science can give graduates the skills for work and provide them with a job at the end of it.
I am wondering how long the Thai government is going to allow certain foreign criminals to reside in the Kingdom? There are two foreigners currently living in Thailand who have both fraudulently claimed to be lawyers and run law companies. They have cheated and swindled many people and paid not one baht in tax. The companies only exist to launder their ill-gotten gains. One of them currently residing on Koh Samui was thrown out of Australia after serving a jail sentence. He lives in Thailand under an assumed name. The other lives in Pattaya and was shameless enough to actually claim he was bought to Thailand by the King after the recession in 1997 to help rebuild the country.
What is even more disturbing is both have taken out vexatious litigation claiming libel against a British journalist who was brave enough to expose their dirty dealings. They are making a mockery of the justice system, clogging up the courts with litigation designed to silence people who are trying to protect the public. I urge the new officials in power to have a close look at these people, the expat community needs your help to rid Thailand of these undesirables.
Re: “Fix crossing lights” (PostBag, Aug 26).
The Charoen Nakhon Road-Krung Thon Buri intersection Victor Batchelor referred to in his letter is extremely dangerous. It is urgent that pedestrian crossing lights be installed and kept in good working order, with an actual police officer enforcing the law.
Although I live in Hua Hin, I visit Bangkok regularly and stay in this area. When I do, getting to the SenaFest shopping centre is always a life-threatening experience.
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