Feast of metaphors
Re: "Rowing in the same boat", (BP, Nov 6). I was charmed by the rich feast of metaphors produced by Chinese premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as they signed the three memoranda of understanding. It was enough to send this dried-up old connoisseur of great rhetoric into raptures of pre-orgasmic ecstasy.
"China and Thailand are rowing in the same boat ... We are a large vessel that will speed along like a long-tailed boat." Hopefully, the large vessel is not like the Titanic, speeding along like a long-tailed boat into that iceberg.
"A tiny ant can sometimes help a big lion or elephant." This sounds like a slightly muddled reference to Aesop's fable of the lion and the mouse. In that tale, a lion spares the life of a mouse, who subsequently reciprocates by helpfully gnawing through the ropes of a net in which the lion has been caught. But it is not clear how Thailand (the mouse) will be able to help China (the lion). By somehow gnawing through the toilsome confines of the Belt and Road? The analogy provides much food for speculation by literary commentators. Whatever else may be said about the Asean conference, its participants must be praised for their groundbreaking contributions to the treasure trove of world literature.
Ye Olde Pedant
Re: "High-speed rail project set for more analysis", (BP, Nov 4) and "PM wants swift fix for China rail row", (BP, Nov 7).
The international standard for warranty on fixing and maintaining rail equipment is two years, yet China only wants to do so for a year. Moreover, the Chinese government wants to loan money to Thai officials for the project at a rate of 3%, while the Thai government is holding out for 2.5%. Considering how low that interest rates are now, even the latter figure seems a bit high.
So, more analysis is definitely needed!
According to reports, the cost for the Chinese-controlled railroad has skyrocketed from 38 to 50 billion baht, and there is no breakdown on the cost of purchasing train tracks, maintenance, procurement of train carriages, machinery and training systems. China wants to lump sum all the above together, a process which is only sure to raise the costs.
PM gets things done
Another interesting column about democracy. "Same old faces playing the same old game", (BP, Nov 7).
"Power struggles continue to define Thai politics", writes Chairith Yonpiam. One of the main points of this article was the continual bickering that goes on in the Thai government. It never seems to stop. It seems that everyone is always jockeying for a position in the government. Rather than a unilateral effort to unite to govern the country for the good of everyone, politicians (if you can call them that), spend all their allotted time bickering. This will go on until a new government is either elected or formed and the bickering starts all over again. This is why I support General Prayut Chan-o-cha's government. The opposition can bicker all it wants, and try to disrupt the current government all it wants but the truth is that most things seem to get accomplished under Gen Prayut one way or another. Otherwise, a government made up of spoiled rich people is akin to Donald Trump's presidency, all mouth, all bark, posturing, bragging, but with little getting done. While Gen Prayut is not perfect, neither is this present government, but it is a hell of a lot better than what came before going way back to the time of the Kukrit Pramoj and Prem Tinsulanonda governments.
General Ya'akov Golani
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