Due for a poll

Re: "Sympathy, but little support for protest", (Opinion, Feb 6).

It would be hard to disagree with Veera Prateepchaikul, following exiled former Thammasat University lecturer Somsak Jeamteerasakul, that the young pro-democracy activists Tantawan "Tawan" Tuatulanon and Orawan "Bam" Phuphong, who have suffered so much "should be commended for their steely hearts and resolve for their cause".

What is less clear, is whether Veera is right that support for their cause has, in fact, dwindled among the Thai people.

The only way to make any statement about what a people might support is to run a few well-designed and properly conducted polls to measure public opinion.

For all their imperfections and weaknesses, opinion polls remain reliable indicators of how a nation or any demographic within it feels.

Veera cited not a single poll or lower percentage for his claims about the extent of public support for the cause.

That people might not turn out for a protest because of rising costs of living, or less media notice does not entail that there does not also exist a large groundswell of solid support.

Whatever the percentages might be, the Thai people deserve to know what they themselves think.

Policymakers should care very much to know what the nation feels to a percentage point.

Felix Qui

Make vapes legit

Re: "Hazy vape law makes waves: Tide may turn if PPRP wins poll", (BP, Feb 3).

Government should stop cowering under pressure from special interest groups and legalise vaping devices. Most developed countries see them as both a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and as an effective tool to help people stop smoking cigarettes altogether. It would not be difficult for the government to look at how other countries regulate vaping devices and liquids and apply the same standards here.

If government really cared about people's well-being, it'd see vapes as a useful public health tool and not something from which corrupt police officers, and others with vested interests, can make money.

Tarquin Chufflebottom

Living off welfare

Re: "Sign of ignorance", (PostBag, Feb 4).

I take issue with Mr Nagi's statement that: "For immigrants, there is no other choice but to succeed in a foreign land". While this may be true in countries such as India, where he is from, it most certainly is not the case in developed countries such as Sweden or the UK.

It's common now for people who have successfully immigrated to first-world countries, such as those in Northern Europe, to sponsor family members from their previous nation to come along, including elderly parents. These elderly people do not work but rather receive social welfare from the state in which they now inhabit, in addition to familial help.

Furthermore, many people who come from poor countries now seek asylum in Western countries, and they receive the full range of social benefits that normal citizens do, but unlike normal citizens, the refugees do not work.

Recently, a homeless man froze to death in Scarborough, England, just outside of lavish four- and five-star hotels where Albanian and Afghanistani refugees were housed. Unsurprisingly, the native inhabitants of Western countries are now getting fed up with having their hard-earned tax dollars used to support foreigners who are not working in these countries.

An Expat in Thailand
07 Feb 2023 07 Feb 2023
09 Feb 2023 09 Feb 2023


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