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On the doorstep

Re: "Dictator's son wins presidency", (BP, May 11).

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Junior has secured over 56% of the vote and now is on the way to being president of the Philippines.

It is ironic that the son of a previous president, a notorious dictator, has been accepted by Filipinos to lead the country.

The outgoing president Duterte is also known for his extrajudicial killing and not respecting human rights, and yet his daughter Sara has also been elected as vice president by a landslide vote.

The 2021 Nobel-winning journalist Maria Ressa has reported extensively on authoritarian intimidation during Mr Duterte's time.

Political analysis has attributed their success to extreme, one-sided positive social media publicity for the two, and to voters seeming to forget the past or else having not been born to witness the atrocities committed during the 1970s.

Now, Filipinos have voted not only to change the past but also to pursue an unknown future.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with China's recent installing of John Lee, the ex-security police officer who used force to disperse demonstrators who came out against the HK extradition bill, authoritarian politics and dictatorships are again at our doorstep.


Reader's digest

Re: "Autopsies for corpses in temple 'cult' raid", (BP, May 10).

I must chide the dedicated fact-checkers of the Bangkok Post for an error in the article cited above, where we read about "unsanitary methods that included drinking urine and excrement". One does not drink excrement, my dear sirs! Unless it occurs in its diarrhoeic state, one eats it, if one is so inclined. I myself have not employed this method of ingestion, but am told it is not very pleasant. Please deploy more accurate verbiage hereafter.


Plugging the gap

Re: "Thinking cap", (PostBag, May 8).

Extraordinary that the English friend of the Thai writer could have made a case against a Post reporter for using the phrase "pulling the plug" in regard to not having the government's support on diesel oil.

He opined that the phrase meant the opposite of dropping the diesel price and castigated the Post for being "cleverer" than its readers by using "big uncommon words". He said he sometimes has to use a dictionary when reading the Post.

First, if the writer had googled the Post's phrase he would have found it is common usage. It means exactly what the Post intended to tell readers: that the government is thinking of not supporting the diesel price amid rising fuel costs. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the phrase as "to do something that prevents an activity from continuing, especially by no longer giving money to support it". It comes from the medical world and refers to "pulling the plug on the machines that are keeping people alive". "Plug" means electrical plug and not a cap. Like an English saying that an Englishman could be too clever by half -- words of Sir Douglas Home, then UK prime minister and said of opposition leader Harold Wilson.

Secondly, as an avid reader of English press for over five decades, my options are now reduced to only one publication in Thailand. It would be a sad day if that availability is cut to none. The late Lee Kuan Yew once was asked what the most important invention for people in Asia was that century. His reply was air conditioners. I have to add to his choice -- Google's search engine. It enlightens and eliminates many arguments.

Songdej Praditsmanont


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