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Police need policing

Bestowed with enormous power, the prime minister appears curiously reluctant to apply it where it is most needed.

Instead, he is often seen bullying reporters, students or demonstrators.

Meanwhile, the police have initiated their annual New Year's extortion drive, stopping motorists nationwide for no reason other than to collect fees for their bosses and snarl traffic.

It seems police corruption is steadily increasing. With all that power one might well ask why the prime minister is afraid to reform the police? He solemnly promised to do so years ago but absolutely nothing has been done. It's time to put up or shut up as the Americans would say.

Mr M

'Toon' shames regime

The government should be ashamed that 'Toon' is exhausting himself by running long distances daily to get funds for Thai hospitals when all they have to do is properly fund the Health Ministry (BP, Dec 5). The clear contrast between Toon's care and sacrifice for the people and the government's indifference to the people is what makes this government unpopular in my opinion.

A Reader

Krabi airport blues

It's a good news that Krabi airport is one of the recipients of future investment (BP, Dec 3). However, I question the wisdom of a five-year plan and airport guide robots. It seems the authorities are seeking to solve low-tech problems with high levels of costs, long implementation periods and high levels of complexity.

From my 1.5-hour wait to go through immigration at Krabi airport, I can offer some immediate, low-cost, low-tech, low-complexity and easily implementable ideas: Make it clear as to which queue people should be in -- visa on arrival or another; confused passengers mean wasted time and congestion.

When an immigration official wants lunch, try to time it so that a lunch break is not when two international flights arrive; and when lunch is eaten do not eat standing by a vacant immigration booth in sight of passengers. It is somewhat irksome to passengers who have been waiting and also want lunch.

Passengers need to help themselves by ensuring they have filled out the immigration card correctly before they approach an immigration booth. If they have not done so then the official should ask them to step to one side and fill it in whilst he or she deals with another passenger who has filled it in correctly. Not filling in a form correctly is a time tax on people who do. Some airports have an official walking through the queue as people approach the immigration official to check that they have filled in the card, that enables a problem to be solved in the queue rather than when at the immigration booth which reduces bottlenecks.

Investment and funding is a scarce resource and before spending on expensive technology that might have expense and high levels of implementation risk we should ensure we have first explored all the easy and human ways to boost productivity. We do not need airport guide robots, just a bit of human efficiency.

Nic Barnes

Tongue-twisting Thai

Mr Popplestone in his Dec 4 letter asserts that, with respect to the Thai language, "we can all learn slowly…".

I started studying Thai in the late 90s with the Becker books and accompanying tapes which I listened to for an hour a day on my commute to work. When I finished that I moved on to "Rosetta Stone" which taught me to read, but not speak Thai. After exhausting "Rosetta Stone" I tackled Pimsleur, did "High Speed Thai", gave "Learn Thai from a White Guy" a try, and spent hours with various YouTube videos, Thai news and soap operas on TV and many iPhone apps.

After 20 years of trying I understand almost nothing said to me and have never been able to pronounce Thai well enough to be understood. How long is it going to take?

Ashamed in Korat

Signs point to respect

Re: "Found in Translation", (PostBag, Dec 4). Let's get it right! My original contention was using English correctly in signage which is also a matter of respect, not being Thai literate. Some of us are; others are not. As sleuth Hercule Poirot would say: 'There is only right or wrong!'

Colin Rose

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