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Shackles of mediocrity

Re: "Impossible dream", (PostBag, Jan 2).

Needless to say, all state-run institutions in Thailand are infested with red tape and rampant corruption. The lopsided rules and regulations created by inept bureaucrats continue to harm the economy.

It is no surprise that the travel sector will not come back to the pre-Covid era for the reasons covered by Mr Stephan in his letter. His letter captures the mindset of the workforce employed in the government sector.

Sadly, this workforce is also a product of an educational system that thrives on fuzzy logic. Hence in most agencies, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing? As a consequence, the people working in these agencies make up their own rules and laws.

In a nutshell, in spite of all its natural beauty and abundant resources, an army of gatekeepers keeps the country in shackles of mediocrity and misery.

Thailand's private sector is one of the best in the region and should be utilised to enhance the quality of services in the government agency. I am not sure why immigration and other services are not outsourced to the private sector. It seems the government has not learnt any lessons from the Thai Airways fiasco.

Kuldeep Nagi

Democracy a long way off

Re: "Bangkok poll hopes rise", (Editorial, Jan 2).

You can bet Gen Prayut will make sure something is in place to prevent any winner that does not favour his interests. A fair election under the present oppressive government is nigh on impossible for the despot's opponents.

Democracy will eventually return but it doesn't look achievable for some time to come, I am sad to say.


Brexit can slay a monster

Kuldeep Nagi in his Jan 2 letter, "Lasting damage," seems to be a bit light on history. I am British and will help him with a few facts.

I voted in favour of joining Europe those 45 years ago, but I was tricked into doing so. I voted to join the European Economic Community (EEC), a free trade area, I thought. However the EEC mutated into the European Union (EU), a political monster, and suddenly, the British parliament had lost the right to set the laws by which I was governed.

This loss of sovereignty was too big a price to pay; Brexit is a chance to correct the earlier deception.

As to the outcome, I think the writer has jumped the gun with his view on the effect of Brexit now that a deal has been done. The UK remains part of Europe (the Northern part) and leaves the EU to squabble as to which country pays extra into the budget to compensate for the loss of the contribution previously made by the UK.

Micheal Barber

Killing a key attraction

Re: "Singapore's win shows street food scene needs push", (Opinion, Dec 21).

Frankly, Unesco recognition of Singapore's hawker culture as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" is rather meaningless. These days, Unesco hands out heritage recognitions faster than pretties get rid of fliers at shopping malls. Not many tourists, or others, pay a great deal of attention to whether a cultural feature, park, city, or "intangible" resource has been listed by Unesco or not.

As the columnist points out, however, the issue is not losing out to Singapore in attaining Unesco recognition. The real issue is losing valuable heritage and culture itself.

Street food is a classic example of a treasured aspect of Thai culture that is being rapidly lost. The seemingly chaotic street food scene of the past has always been a major allure for millions of tourists visiting Thailand -- while simultaneously providing healthy, tasty, and affordable food to neighbourhoods throughout the kingdom.

By trying to "regulate" and "clean up" the street food scene of Bangkok, authorities have largely killed this key city attraction. Tourists who want clean and orderly will prefer Switzerland or Germany; the 40 million tourists who visited Thailand annually in the past more likely prefer a little more chaos and unstructured fun.

Samanea Saman

What's in a nickname?

Re: "What's in the nickname?", (Guru, Jan 1).

I believe the protesters patriotically taking a stand for a better nation for all Thai citizens, save perhaps those profiting unjustly from the coup-driven status quo of traditional corruption, also created some juicily apt nicknames.

Surely they deserve a mention? Or are the best Thailand has to offer for some reason also unspeakable?

Felix Qui

136 Na Ranong Road Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Fax: +02 6164000 email:

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All letter writers must provide a full name and address. All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretion