Anutin's racist silence

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul showed his bias, racism and ignorance by posting remarks regarding the Covid-19 crisis. He called farang "dirty" ... yet the coronavirus came from nearby China. He never mentioned the Chinese.

He called farang dirty while visiting Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai over these last two weeks has been the dirtiest city in the world. The air quality index numbers are staggering with Mae Tang recording over 500 and downtown Chiang Mai registering well over 400. But not a word about this from Anutin. Is this the kind of person that should be holding a government position?


Blame getting out of hand

With Chinese officials now trying to blame the outbreak of the virus on the USA and Thailand's health minister blaming "dirty farang" for bringing the virus to Thailand is it time, before the blame game gets out of hand, for someone to establish its source and send these, what seem to be kneejerk reactions, which do little or nothing to solve the problem, to the trash can where they belong?

Brian Corrigan

Attend to rats first

In his capacity as health minister, perhaps Anutin Charnvirakul should worry less about backpackers and more about rats. Over the years, I've watched the population of these notorious disease-carriers expand, unimpeded by government action. Shouldn't the rodents in Bangkok get the minister's attention, along with other chronic forms of pollution?

As a long-term resident of Bangkok (and dutiful payer of heavy taxes), I work with over 2,000 colleagues in a key area of Thailand's economy, the aviation and hospitality sectors.

As you have reported, tourist arrivals fell by 44.3% in February. We're having sleepless nights over the decline in visitor numbers. If Anutin's message of prejudice "goes viral" (forgive the pun), we can only expect further damage to our business.

For six years, the authorities have targeted the Chinese market in a dubious attempt to boost tourism. Now, more than ever, we should welcome guests of all nationalities and from every continent.

Adding xenophobia to a pandemic is the last thing we need. Think again, Anutin!


Masking a bigger problem

Re: "Majority want free face masks", (BP, March 14).

According to SuperPoll's survey results, most people want free face masks and reliable information about the Covid-19 pandemic. Ironically, if the general public was given reliable information clarifying that face masks need not be worn by healthy individuals -- and can even increase one's risk of Covid-19 infection -- they would hopefully realise that free surgical masks should not be at the top of their priority list.

Of course, if people are eager to have free masks to screen out some of the deadly air pollution choking Thailand, that's another story, and fully warranted.

Samanea Saman

Coup leaders at fault

Re: "Dangers of democracy", (PostBag, March 14).

No, Dusit Thammaraks, not a single Thai coup against the nation's rule of law for the past 70 years at least was "made necessary by the consistent failure of our version of democracy".

Those coups were staged to prevent democracy developing to solve real social and political problems. The fruits of the repeated coups are seen in Thailand's retarded education standards, which all too well reflect the political and social problems that remain entrenched. This was intended by coup makers working to prop up a corrupt status quo.

Really, Thais should have been allowed to move beyond this decades ago.

The problems that Dusit Thammaraks identifies as continuing to plague Thailand in 2020, even after another six years of undemocratic rule, are very real, especially the presence of people in government who clearly lack both honesty and integrity.

But this persistent failure that blatantly characterises PM Prayut's government is not the cause of coups. On the contrary, such an epidemic of systemic corruption is a symptom of the unjust law which is encouraged by the coup leaders who have for seven decades set not only the legal foundations for corruption to flourish, but who have also set the example of arrogant disdain for the moral principles that bind democracy.

Had the Thai nation not been subjected to repeated coups under fake excuses of abolishing corruption (a sick joke that only the most naive could credit) and similar fake claims, or protecting despotic myths that flatly contradict the good morals of democracy, Thailand would long ago have solved many of the political problems that instead remain endemic in 2020.

Felix Qui
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