Stop bailing out THAI
Re: "Ministry to cut THAI stake", (BP, May 21).
The Finance Ministry plans to sell 3.17% of its Thai Airways stake to the Vayupak 1 Fund to strip the airline of its state enterprise status. But as the Vayupak Fund is state-run, there's nothing to stop it from pouring unit-holder money into a loss-making THAI. The mission of a mutual fund should be to profit fundholders -- not support organisations which the market has rejected. Simultaneous with throwing good money after bad with THAI, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha wants to borrow a mind-boggling 1.97 trillion baht for Covid-19 relief.
Unless and until such Covid-related loans are all paid off, I don't see how we can justify putting any more taxpayer money at risk to support THAI. Instead of transferring THAI shares to a state-run fund, they should be sold at market, and any proceeds used to reduce the loans needed for Covid-19 relief.
Let parliament decide THAI's fate. It's your money and mine that politicians are playing with; don't we have a deciding voice in its usage?
Re: "Super cyclone leaves trail of destruction in Bangladesh, India", (BP, May 22).
It was a welcome relief that there was no mention of praying to appease the gods in the hard-hit areas. If the gods cared in the least, were not outright malevolent, or had one whit of potency, these natural disasters would not kill millions of innocents, that potentially horrific death toll mitigated only, as reported, by effective human action against the assaults of Mother Nature.
Thailand and Thais are indeed enigmatic at times. Why is there a protest against the deaths during the red-shirt uprising in Bangkok resulting in most of the city's closure, rerouting traffic, and property destruction in 2010? Why are there no other protests against Thaksin's war on drugs that killed over a thousand people, most of them innocent? What happened to Muslim and Buddhist protests over Thaksin's Kru See mosque incident? How fickle the public is, and sometimes how stupid to be easily led by firebrands with their own agenda. Wake up Thailand! This is not exactly utopia, is it?
Pakistan for RCEP
Re: "RCEP talks shouldn't leave India out," (Opinion, May 19).
Kavi tries with words to convince India that its foot-dragging on joining the RCEP is not in India's self-interest. All for nothing, these words. India does not see external interests, met by RCEP membership, as outweighing its differing internal political interests.
However, if Kavi had read the Pakistan ambassador's appeal to Thailand on March 23 ("It is time to elevate Pakistan to a full dialogue partner of Asean. It has been a pending issue since the 90s!"), then Kavi might have tried persuasive action, and not just words.
If India persists in putting its interests over those of fellow Asean members, by being a holdout on RCEP, then Kavi could have encouraged the agreeable action of welcoming a more grateful Pakistan into Asean. This call to action would accomplish not only righting a wrong to neighbouring Pakistan, but encourage India to recalculate the subsequent new cost of poking RCEP in the eye.
Recently, I went for a walk around Chiang Mai University campus around 7pm. Students were playing sports and jogging on the road. I was amazed to see that the vast majority were not wearing masks. In addition, groups of students were playing six-a-side football -- a contact sport and therefore not allowed under the government regulations. Other groups of students of up to maybe 10 people, having finished their game, were milling around outside the stadium socialising and not observing social distancing. None of these people were wearing masks.
On my way home, I entered a small soi and found a restaurant open and serving food to customers at tables. The restaurant was small, with maybe six tables, but full, with the seating not arranged to facilitate social distancing. The patrons were young. Further up the road, I came across five young men sitting by the side of the road and drinking beer. They were not observing social distancing.
I can't understand why this behaviour was being allowed. It's shameful quite frankly and shows a complete lack of responsibility by these young people, who I do not believe reflect the attitude of Thai youth as a whole.
I am really happy that the kingdom may accept international flights from July 1 onward. Please accept family and relatives of expatriates living in Thailand without any restrictions. Six months have passed since I've seen my daughter. I just want to see her again.
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