Is the PM in charge?

Re: "Srettha urges arms deals delay", (BP, Oct 3).

The prime minister has reportedly instructed his minister of defence to ask the leaders of our armed forces to defer their arms procurements for this fiscal year so the government can "spend the budget to help those who are most in need". Most commendable. But ask?

Why ask? Why not order? Isn't the prime minister the boss? Why cannot he simply order all armed forces' big-ticket procurements to be frozen, at least until the economy, which the PM himself describes as sick, has recovered?

You mean, he's not the boss? Well, if the PM is not the boss, who is? The Pheu Thai Party, of course, that money-making machine owned by the Shinawatra clan. Pheu Thai put Khun Sretta in the PM's job. So, that means Khun Thaksin is the real boss since he controls Pheu Thai?

Not exactly. Khun Thaksin Shinawatra gave up his boss power and his party's principles in return for a jail-free ticket home.

So who is the real boss?

Sad Optimist

Armed and dangerous

Re: "Srettha urges arms deals delay", (BP, Oct 3).

While the prime minister is to be congratulated on putting the purchase of war weapons on hold, perhaps he should concentrate on bringing in more stringent gun controls over the import, purchase and ownership of firearms within Thailand. According to news reports, people brandishing a gun have become more common. There are more people shot to death within Thailand than in any recent outside conflicts. So sad.

Ron Martin

Time to pay the piper

Re: "Let's stay respectful", (PostBag, Oct 4).

Khun Burin has failed to recognise that some senators are lazy, greedy people who seek the limelight while acting as paid enablers of a military dictatorship. These people deserve to be berated and disrespected for their decisions as unelected chumps. And by the way, Iceland is not Thailand and Kunying Porntip has always craved attention no matter where she goes.

The old guard, and the otherwise venerable Khun Burin is certainly one of them, value the status quo above all else. After decades of ever so politely reminding those in power to do the right thing, he apparently has not noticed that he has made no difference whatsoever.

If people want freedom and democracy, Khun Burin's way is not going to cut it. George Washington was not a "if you please and thank you" man. He was a general who fought a brutal war to establish democracy. Just so, Thailand requires a "get it done" mentality to root out the "mai pen rai" attitude of the young people of this country.

Michael Setter

Vote with your wallet

Re: "It's not so simple", (PostBag, Sept 29) & "Rethink urged on proposed tax on overseas income", (Business, Sept 21).

Oh yes, it is!

While there are still a lot of details to be ironed out, and the implementation of the policy may have to be delayed from the start of next year, the fact of the matter is that the new Thai government is intent on taxing the pension benefits sent from the home countries to retirees here in the kingdom.

So, if a foreigner doesn't like it, he can do as Eric Bahrt did and leave the country (although he only partially did).

And if enough foreigners do so, then the Thai government will probably backtrack on the policy, anyways.

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All letter writers must provide a full name and address. All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretion