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Deaf to 'wake-up call'

Re: "Factory blaze a wake-up call", (Editorial, July 6).

If only that were true then maybe we could see a silver lining behind the cloud of that terrible inferno. But how many of us are naive enough to believe that anyone will hear the wake-up call?

"Wake-up call" and "doing our best" are two expressions I have heard countless times over the 36 years of my residence in Thailand -- and almost always used disingenuously or, at best, hopelessly, as fig leaves to cover incompetence, corruption, complacency or plain dumb stupidity.

The carelessness and sloppiness that typifies so much of the Thai attitude towards getting a task done properly, means that "doing your best" is hardly ever measured against any objective standard of what a best effort could really produce.

And as for hearing, and then responding to a "wake-up call", well perhaps the least said about that the better.

How many wake-up calls do Thais need to the catastrophic results of military coups; industrial accidents in residential zones; lax enforcement of road traffic laws; grotesque influence peddling; despoiling of the natural environment; permitting the perpetuation of a scandalously dysfunctional educational establishment where the effective education of future generations is subordinated to the greed and power plays of a cynical bureaucracy?

All this and much more.

"Wake-up call"? I doubt it.

Thailand will slumber on.


Publicity stunt is rich

Re: "Vaccine alone no cure for Covid's ills", (Editorial, July 11).

No. I think a more honest perspective is that it is not particularly "commendable that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet are willing to donate their salaries for the next three months to Covid-19 sufferers".

That publicity stunt is as cheap as the miserliness, the meanness, of their efforts to justly distributing the wealth of the nation among the Thais who create it when compared with the extravagantly luxurious "sufficiency economics" lifestyles (Soi Thong Lor after dinner? Or front seats at he boxing stadium?) of those same very rich people (a new diamond encrusted watch? -- merely borrowed of course; or perhaps a new Ferrari to clean up any inconvenient policemen in the path?).

Please do some investigative journalism and report the percentages of their wealth that these very rich Thais in Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's cabinet of his collection of the best of the best have donated to help others.

How do those numbers compare with the 30% standard, set to date by such genuinely philanthropic benefactors as Mackenzie Scott, Bill Gates and so on?

Those percentages, and the corresponding percentages philanthropically donated by the richest of the Thai elite, are what will tell us more truly how benevolent, righteous, compassionate, and generally decent Thailand's super-rich truly are.


US officials uncaring?

Re: "Thais set for 1.5m US doses", (BP, July 8).

While the US donation of vaccines to Thailand is welcome support, many Americans are wondering why some of the vaccines being sent here cannot be explicitly earmarked for US citizens residing in the kingdom.

China can do it. France can do it. Why can't the US do it?

Is the provision of vaccines to Americans too costly? Is the operation too difficult? Or, are American officials simply too uncaring?



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