Visa wish-list

Re: "Cabinet to talk visa-free China policy", (BP, Sept 10).

PM Srettha Thavisin should decide on short-term Band-Aid like visas on arrival in the context of a long-term approach to reforming our immigration laws.

We should use a points-based approach, perhaps like Australia's, to approving applicants who will give us the type of people we need.

We want those who will appreciate our culture, rather than look down on us, while helping us to learn from theirs. So, give points for passing in-depth culture appreciation programmes, perhaps like those that the US Peace Corps require their volunteers to pass before going on-station.

We need those with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills. We should give points to recent Stem graduates from the world's top 150 universities, so investors will have the highly-skilled staff needed.

We should reserve any given occupation for Thais only for two years so that we can prepare for and be able to compete with the world.

The quality of Thai education is poor, as shown by our Pisa scores and low university rankings. Import the instructors needed at all levels.

We should look upon immigrants, including refugees, as sources of skilled people whom we sorely need. For example, the Taliban has virtually condemned their girls and women to a life of bondage. We should seek out those with the needed skills, and their immediate families, to help us, especially in our rural areas as they learn our culture and language.

Thailand has consistently had the highest suicide rate in Asean, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29 year-olds. But a 75-year-old study by Harvard psychiatrist Robert Waldinger found that "good relationships keep us happier and healthier".

So, we must design programmes to teach and promote strong, healthy relationships, which will involve importing many foreign experts to train their Thai counterparts in secondary schools and universities.

Immigrants are more law-abiding than the native-born (see "Two charts demolish the notion that immigrants here illegally commit more crime", Washington Post, June 19, 2018).

We require about 20 year's worth of criminal records, if any, from overseas for each applicant for long-term stay vs none for those born on Thai soil.

Also, we've given millions of visas on arrival through the years, with satisfactory results, which is why we're considering giving them again. I see no reason why we need to know the backgrounds of non-Thais to a greater degree than for Thais.

Burin Kantabutra

Graft on display

Re: "Kamnan surrenders after 'ordering' officer's killing", (BP, Sept 8).

Apart from watching the usual news about the busting of underground casinos or illegal online gambling under alleged police protection, the public rarely knows much about behind the scenes police corruption.

Until the recent case when a police officer was killed in cold blood by a gunman at a party organised by an influential kamnan (subdistrict head) in front of more than 20 guests who were police officers.

In a related clip of the deadly party, we can see sturdy men with close-cropped hair, buzzing with euphoria around the kamnan, like butter wouldn't melt in their mouth.

Anyone who walks into a Thai police station to file a complaint or seek assistance, would most likely find the police officers there different from those jolly fellows they saw in the clip.

Ten years after the military coup, there has been no reform of the Thai police force as the coup makers had promised. How much longer do we have to wait?

Yingwai Suchaovanich

No illness here

Re: "Thailand is a 'sick' nation", (BP, Sept 12).

The prime minister's statement labelling his country a "sick nation" must have done wonders for Thailand's image around the world. With its history of mismanagement and pie in the sky stop/start policies by Thai politicians, it brings to mind, "Physician. Heal thyself."

The country is not sick. It is those that lead it who need a dose of their own medicine.

Ron Martin
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