Re: "Historic Hua Lamphong Station to take on new life under SRT development plans," (BP, Nov 28).
There's a unsubstantiated rumour going around that Hua Lamphong Train Station will be converted to a concert hall. Great news if this is true! Every major city in the world has a concert hall or an opera house to be proud of (even Hanoi), Bangkok has none! The interior design of this conversion would be great competition for the universities in Bangkok. It could create a great home for the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and a great landmark for the city to hold major concerts. It would also be a great way of preserving this great piece of historical architecture in Bangkok.
Re: "Peng Shuai's claims ruffle Chinese leaders," (Newsmaker, Nov 28).
Back in the 1980s, while travelling in China, I attained an insight that has remained with me ever since. Different countries have different specialities. Communist China's speciality is control.
This insight dawned on me when I checked into my first Chinese hotel. Most hotels give you a room key. Not in China. In those days, you rarely even got to see a key. That prized symbol of control was the exclusive possession of the fuwuyuan, or service personnel. This was usually a teenage girl who was in charge of a particular floor. She let you into your room with her omnipotent key whenever you needed to get in, and locked it behind you when you went out.
Now, contemplating the Peng Shuai saga, I realise that control is the true speciality -- the ultimate ideal, the summum bonum, the very god -- of the Chinese Communist Party. Despite the ongoing clamour and pressure of the outside world, the CCP has never relaxed its iron grip on Peng Shuai's situation. It has grudgingly given the outside world written statements from her that have undoubtedly been doctored, photos of her happily frolicking with her collection of stuffed animals, even video clips of her dining joyfully with her benevolent minders. But the lady herself -- uncensored, undoctored, unfiltered -- we never see. That is control, ladies and gentlemen, and I commend it to any government that wishes to exercise total power over its own people.
Re: "Travel ban on 8 nations tied to new variant," (BP, Nov 28).
Not long ago I wrote in a PostBag letter that I was sceptical that the vaccines could stop Covid-19 because of the danger of variants. Luc Montagnier, the doctor who won the Nobel Prize for discovering HIV, had warned that mass vaccinations in the midst of a pandemic can cause mutations that are worse than the original virus. He argued that the virus will defend itself from the vaccine by mutating into new forms and those variants can have devastating effects. With the arrival of the South African variant will the media now allow us to have a well-balanced debate that is not controlled by the World Health Organization and the vaccine industries?
What I find so terribly frustrating is that the media has smeared people such as myself as being uneducated right-wing loons (I have two college degrees and my politics are usually to the left) instead of even considering the possibility that just maybe the many experts we were quoting might be worth listening to. Who does the media represent? Corporate powers or the average people?
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