Enterprising temples

Enterprising temples

Re: "Department defends Tiger Temple Co licence", (BP, April 27).

When the Department of National Parks issued a zoo licence to a firm set up by Wat Pa Luang Ta Maha Bua, also known as the Tiger Temple, and argued that there is nothing wrong legally, it puzzled many Buddhists that a temple could branch out to run a vibrant business like a zoo in the first place.

If so, at coming ordinations for a Buddhist monk at the Tiger Temple, the candidate may need to take refuge not only in the Triple Gem (Buddha, dhamma and Sangha), but also accept refuge at a zoo and undertake to feed the tigers, sweep the tigers' dung and clean their cages. And most importantly, take the tigers for walks, and be prepared to take photos with a big smile with visiting tourists and the lovely tigers.

Next time, a Pattaya temple can run a water park, and a Samut Prakarn temple can run a crocodile farm. A three-year-old kid will find it great fun to visit temples in the future, and tell you that there is nothing wrong with it.

Yingwai Suchaovanich

Under LGBT 'sharia'

Re: "Gay couple win custody battle", (BP, April 27).

Hopefully, this disgraceful affair will be the last of its kind in Thailand now that commercial surrogacy has been banned. I feel so sorry for Baby Carmen, who did not ask to be born and whose rights to a mum and dad have been trampled beneath the "rights" of the gay couple.

It is common sense that the complementary nature of heterosexual parents makes them better suited to bring up a child. But to express such conservative, traditional views under the LGBT "sharia" is now verging on criminality, and invites furious accusations of bigotry. So much for "tolerance".

And let us spare a thought for the surrogate mother. Not only has she lost the baby whose interests she was trying to protect, but she may face a libel suit from the gay couple.

Nigel Pike

Unhealthy ethics

Re: "Police seek arrest warrant for abbot", (BP, April 26).

The abbot should be arrested. No religious person is above the law. The court should appoint a team of physicians to examine the abbot's health. If the results differ from those submitted by the temple, the abbot's physician should be punished for violating medical ethics.

RH Suga, Lamphun

Simple bureaucracy

I just did my 90-day visit on Soi 5 in Jomtien. Took three minutes. No forms to fill out. So where is the complaining coming from? Same kind of confusing information about needing 800,000 baht in the bank ... never had, never will have, and been here almost 16 years. When will someone get the facts straight?

Hyde Parke, Pattaya

Law of the road

Re: "Deadly consequences of doing things the 'Thai way'", (Opinion, April 22).

I disagree with Wasant Techawongtham that experts pointing to deficiencies in road infrastructure, driving habits and lax law enforcement may be just scratching the surface and that the Thai attitude of mak ngai could be more at fault.

I simply don't think it does Thai people, and the grave situation, justice.

Your columnist Andrew Biggs has written hilarious and revealing columns about traffic safety, also alluding to his native Australia, where in 1975 traffic deaths were as high as 27 per 100,000 people, while in my native Netherlands traffic deaths peaked in 1972 at approximately 25 per 100,000.

I recall drink-driving and seat belt laws being received among many of my father's generation as products of a nanny-state, regulations they ignored until hefty fines and solid results changed them into grandfathers who now chastise their grandchildren for not wearing seatbelts.

It seems to me that mak ngai is not uniquely Thai at all and that countries such as Australia and the Netherlands only managed to curb traffic deaths with clean, consistent and effective law enforcement and investment in safe traffic infrastructure rather than by having less troubling cultural DNA.

Eugene Kroon


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