Poor playgrounds

A sign of a thriving city is one that provides safe and accessible playgrounds for its children. While Bangkok is to be commended for its plans to implement over 100 pocket parks, the state of many existing playgrounds in our existing parks leaves much to be desired.

For example, in Benjakitti Lake Park, one playground consists of one slide with a crumbling climbing wall to access it and a merry-go-round in a flooded sandpit. The other playground next to the Queen Sirikit entrance includes a circular thing, which I assume used to be a trampoline. Benjakitti Forest Park, meanwhile, has red slides near the sports hangars, but these are surrounded by overgrown grass, making access quite difficult. Given the size of the park, it is a shame it has no dedicated playground area.

Meanwhile, in Suan Phlu Park, all swings and rope walls were removed, so we are left with empty metal frames. Hanging a few new swings would not break Sathon district's budget and could be done almost instantly. Incidentally, in 2022, they also removed the heavily used outdoor gym in the park for reasons unknown, never to replace it.

In Lumpini Park, it took months for a dangerously broken slide to be removed, but it was never replaced. In Chaloem Prakiat Park under Saphan Taksin Bridge, the slides are in disrepair, with sections roped off.

Children deserve safe spaces for outdoor physical activity and joyful play and good quality, innovative playgrounds should be prioritised in all parks.

Diane Archer

Wallet muddle

Re: "Economy crying for stimulus'", (BP, Nov 16).

PM Srettha Thavisin seems to be confused about the 10,000-baht handout. Dr Prommin Lertsuriyadet, secretary to the PM, said the government sees "every single individual as an economic engine to create growth" but now proposes leaving out millions of Thai adults. He says "the 10,000-baht digital money handout scheme, backed by blockchain technology, is deemed the most effective way to restart the economy", but now proposes a distinctly non-blockchain handout process. He says that "without intervention to stimulate the economy, the situation will go downhill rapidly", and the "economy is crying for stimulus", but now proposes a very gradual rollout, covering two to three years.

Either the PM is confused, or his secretary is, or both are. Both cannot be correct. Are we going in circles?

Burin Kantabutra

No easy way out

Re: "Economy crying for stimulus", (BP, Nov 16).

It will be fascinating to watch as the Pheu Thai government tries to squirm its way out of the 10,000-baht digital wallet commitment.

As is the Thai way, delay will be a major tactic, in the forlorn hope that something will come up or the problem will just go away. It has already taken three months simply to put some income and wealth caps on eligibility for the giveaway, and implementation has been postponed from February to May next year for unclear reasons.

Still to be addressed is the cost of administering the scheme, including the distribution of technology to all merchants likely to be involved, public education on using an app to spend digital money, and the extra workload on government departments and banks to provide proof of eligibility.

At the best of times, this is not the sort of stuff Thai bureaucracy handles quickly or efficiently. If a whole new government department is set up, as it surely would have to be to administer 500 billion baht, even the six months between now and next May seems like an optimistic time frame to have the digital wallet scheme up and running.

The government's best hope at the moment is that one or other of the legal and constitutional challenges to borrowing the necessary 500 billion baht will be successful, and abandoning the scheme can conveniently be blamed on factors beyond its control.

In the meantime, many of the minor parties are remaining non-committal regarding the value of the digital wallet, so even if a bill to borrow the money is presented, the potential exists for all sorts of unholy alliances to save face for Pheu Thai by voting it down.

Ray Ban

Too kind to cops

Re: "Police must inspire trust", (Editorial, Nov 15).

The Bangkok Post means well, but if the well-established image and well-known reputation of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) is to be brought into line with its unsullied repute, then drastic measures are needed. The Post's editorial presents none, merely repeating anodyne wishes that have already been repeated for decades, as though mere historical veneration conferred value. That won't work. It never has worked.

The obvious solution, one blessed by tradition, is to follow the unquestionable example that has worked so well for other respectable Thai institutions: criminalise all negative comments, however peaceful, under pain of severe penalties.

That will ensure that the Royal Thai Police are spoken of as excellent, as is only proper. Their reputation will continually rise thereafter as the laudatory accolades pile up with news of their good deeds to protect society and honest citizens being properly reported daily. Could the image and reputation of this essential institution of Thai society then fail to win its deserved respect? Could the RTP deserve less admiration and respect than must then flow?

I believe this solution also works well in China, where rude comments on people's betters, including revered public institutions, are strictly controlled. Could the Communists, no less, be wrong about anything so important?

Felix Qui

Who's intolerant?

Jonathan Chance (PostBag, Nov 16) writes I don't tolerate people who disagree with me. He doesn't know the difference between attacking people's opinions (freedom of speech) and trying to censor them (fascism).

For years, there has been a well-organised effort to get me censored. Yet

virtually never have they shown anything that I've written to be inaccurate.

I don't libel anyone by saying they're paid off by special interest groups or are on the Bangkok Post payroll. I also don't threaten people, as I've been threatened many times.

I make no apologies for being enraged about the atrocities that are committed against humans and animals. And I am in no way obligated to put on kid gloves when I expose the barbarians who are the cause of these injustices.

Eric Bahrt

Crash course on India

Re: "India's Hindu BJP seeks 'friends' for 2024 election", (Roundup, Nov 11).

I, as a Thai national, follow Indian politics as a follower and student of geopolitics. Hence, I read with shock the news analysis by Reuters' senior reporter, YP Rajesh, who labels India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as "Hindu", just like a few biased Western media and Chinese-funded individuals and media.

I would love to offer YP Rajesh a crash course starting with the fact that there is no such religion called "Hinduism" or "Hindu". The majority of India's population follow a religion called "Sanatan", whose followers are called "Sanatani". The word "Hindu" was created by Arabs and Persians. They had to overcome a mountain called "Hindkush" to enter and attack Bharat (now India). That's where the idea or emergence of the word "Hindu" is derived from.

Mr Rajesh referring to the BJP as "India's Hindu BJP" is a sign of his sheer ignorance, or that he is part of the so-called "secular" species funded by Western powers, Islamic countries -- including Qatar, an arch enemy of India -- and the Chinese government in order to create a fake narrative against Mr Modi and the emerging power that is Bharat (India).

There are 250 million Muslims in India, or 30% of its almost 1.5 billion population.

The BJP is a popular national political party which won two landslide general election victories. Thus, the BJP cannot win by a landslide without the votes or support from the Muslim community. There are other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Jainism that co-exist in harmony and peace. Does Mr Rajesh think the followers of other religions do not cast their votes for the BJP?

As I said, 30% of India's 1.5 billion population follows Islam and yet the West, the so-called secularists and the Chinese-funded Indian communists call them a "minority". Certainly, we cannot consider 30% a "minority".

The BJP has consistently reached out to Muslim communities since it came to power in 2014 and not just before the election in 2024, as Mr Rajesh wrote.

The world has to know how the BJP government created a quota system for Muslims and other minorities, thereby creating the opportunity to enrol in high numbers in colleges, universities, in government public services in order to bring them into the mainstream of society and better financially develop their community.

The writer should have brought up the situation in Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh and how they treat their minorities.

Does the writer or Western media say Christian Democrat or Christian Republican in the US, or Christian Labour or Christian Conservative in the UK, or Christian Spain or Christian German chancellor?

So why is he trying to create wrong and fake narratives by calling the BJP a Hindu party?

Jayut Jayanandana
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