Crooked police undeterred
published : 30 Nov 2014 at 08:55
newspaper section: News
We are all reading about the senior officers who are being rounded up for alleged massive corruption. But let me tell you, the reports are not scaring anyone off.
Officials just visited my wife’s workplace to check employees and work permits. It does not matter that all was in order. They pushed and pushed to find some incredibly minor problem, which was then all sorted for 15,000 baht. The Mafia says that a fish rots from the head. Maybe the tail needs looking at as well?
Pipped to the AEC post
While many are worried that Thailand needs to rush to prepare for the Asean Economic Community next year, it is possible to move too fast.
I recently took two letters to my local Thailand Post office to send to Myanmar. Since they were addressed to government departments, I used the official English name of the country and wrote the “Republic of the Union of Myanmar” on the envelope.
Ten days later, the letters were returned to my home address stamped with a message saying they were wrongly sent to Cambodia.
I returned to Thailand Post and asked them how one can successfully send a letter to Myanmar. After a long perusal of the envelope, the staff asked me if the recipient was in Phama, or Burma. They promised to try re-sending the letters.
If the postal authorities don’t yet recognise our fellow members of Asean, perhaps we should keep addressing letters to Burma. For the time being, anyway.
Feeding on foreigners
Re: “Thai holiday nightmare” (PostBag, Nov 29).
I cannot only confirm, but strongly condemn the unacceptable behaviour of the Thai police as described by the unfortunate Reese Walker.
Last Monday lunchtime I was sitting in Hollys Coffee shop, near Sukhumvit Soi 15. There, right in front of me, were two tessakit, or city inspectors, flanked by two policemen. Those four men in uniform were stopping so many foreigners that they caught my full attention.
They were thoroughly searching tourists and their belongings, asking them to produce passports. Many of those unfortunate souls were then detained and I saw them paying money to the officials. They were being fleeced, but I could not see what so many of the tourists had done wrong.
The tessakit had a small table-cum-office at the spot and kept some of the people there for a considerable time. One girl was reduced to tears and was obviously very upset.
Many tourists were arguing with the tessakit officers. The policemen then stepped in and openly intimidated them into submission.
If this is the way Thailand treats its guests, then it is no wonder that Ms Walker will start the exodus. The place should be marked: “Beware of dangerous officials.”
Isan Proofreader and witness
Heart of graft
Corruption will not be permanently removed from Thai society while those in charge of bringing happiness to the people continue to defraud the interests of the land where they were born and the villagers who live there.
Is power and money really more worthy than the human heart?
Sky high discrimination
I’m a disabled foreigner, using a wheelchair. Two days ago I flew from Chiang Mai to Phuket and I had one of the scariest experiences of my life. I won’t name the airline because the problem applies to many low-cost airlines.
We landed at Phuket airport but passengers disembarked on a staircase because the aircraft was not connected to the terminal via a bridge. I expected to be taken down by an ambulift, as I have been on major airlines, but this time I was carried down by four assistants in a very unsafe manner. European passengers were staring and saying “crazy, crazy”.
I understand low-cost companies have to be tight with costs, but how many passengers would require a lift? One out of 5,000? Maybe even less. I’m told that the ambulift costs a whopping 6,000 baht per operation. OK. Let’s say 12,000 baht for embarking and disembarking. If they spread this cost out across all passengers, it would cost 2.4 baht extra on each ticket. Nobody would notice, and I actually think it would be even less.
Some might say, why should other people pay? It’s an insurance. Nobody can be sure they will not need the same service tomorrow. You pay today to get the same service tomorrow if you need it.
European low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet do it. Not because they’re better than Asian airlines, but because the law says they have to.
I think it’s time all low cost companies have a common procedure to assure a correct assistance to disabled people. Aisle chairs to accommodate passengers to the seat, trained staff and so on.
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