Just fine, in theory
Re: "Passenger safety derailed," (BP, Dec 5).
Next year, the RTP's Railway Police Division will be disbanded, and cops in each locality will investigate crimes in their area. In theory, that's fine.
But say you're taking an overnight trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by third class, sleeping in an open carriage.
When you awake, you discover that your handbag's been picked and jewellery stolen. How do you prove which locality the crime occurred in? Without that information, no station will accept your case, for nobody wants extra work. Put passenger safety first, RTP.
A practical solution
Re: "Mafia pull alive and well," (Editorial, Dec 5).
The Bangkok Post is right to be concerned about the scale of criminal gang operations in Thailand by foreigners attracted by the profits to be made. It is perhaps sobering to reflect that such foreign business successes are likely dwarfed by the more smoothly running local Thai mafia gangs and loyal officials also eagerly raking in the billions to be had.
It might, therefore, be more constructive to ask what it is that contributes to making Thailand a hub of such gang-led criminal activity. I would suggest that the major answer is Thai law.
In 1920, the US criminalised alcohol. After an initial, dramatic drop in alcohol consumption in 1921, in just the following year, it soared to exceed the pre-Prohibition level of 1919.
Of course, what America's experiment with criminalising the sale and use of alcohol proved was: when denied the opportunity to legally purchase regulated, safe products from responsible business people, the good citizens of the US turned in their masses to the mafia gangs' products.
The recent Thai saga of Tuhao, or Chaiyanat Kornchayanant, illustrates the same phenomena. No business person, Thai or foreign, ever got rich by selling a product for which there was no demand.
The most practical partial solution to the corruption is to at least decriminalise all those activities so beloved by Thais that they are staunch customers irrespective of legality.
Such reform would also greatly reduce the harms to society caused by having the sex industry, the drug industry, the gambling industry and so on run by criminal gangs and corrupt officials getting rich at great cost to Thai society.
Lest we forget
Re: "Jab second thoughts," (PostBag, Dec 2) and "Jabs urged ahead of New Year," (BP, Nov 29).
How quickly the anti-vax lobby has chosen to forget the ICUs overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients choking to death on ventilators, refrigerated containers full of bodies, mass graves being dug and funeral pyres being built to dispose of the victims of an unknown and deadly disease.
All of that is now blithely dismissed as a hoax and a worldwide conspiracy to achieve, I'm not quite sure what. With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, lockdowns and school closures to contain the emerging pandemic are railed against as crimes against humanity.
The only thing that stopped Covid-19 from exacting a death toll on the scale of the 1917/18 Spanish flu was the rapid development of vaccines.
Nobody said these vaccines would be perfect and, as was predicted, their effectiveness wanes with time but Jason Jellison's last-ditch attempt to diminish the value of the booster designed to overcome this effect demonstrates his disconnect with reality and disregard for the vulnerable.