Give opportunities

Re: "Myanmar still a ticking time bomb", (Editorial, Nov 19).

Rather than confine Myanmar and other refugees to camps for years, we should offer them a chance to contribute to our economic development and Thai citizenship based on merit criteria. As a hyper-ageing society, we must rapidly increase our national productivity and people to support our elders.

Our governments have told us to have more babies, with little attention given to making having more children desirable. For example, we'd would want our offspring to have a quality education -- and our public education leaves so, so much to be desired. Also, unlike infants, adult immigrants can be productive almost immediately, with language training as required. For example, two of my friends just moved to Australia based on their IT skills and English competency, were fast-tracked to citizenship. We should do likewise with the world's refugees -- such as those from Myanmar.

Burin Kantabutra

Why come back?

Re: "PM pleads for return of talented Thais", (BP, Nov 19).

Prime Minister Srettha admitted to Thai students at Stanford University that Thailand does not have attractive job offers to entice high-calibre Thais working overseas to return home.

He ignores the real reason Thais are not returning, namely a supply of capable people needed for the success of important projects will not happen without the overhaul of the education system. Much of the new foreign investment coming to Thailand only enriches the already wealthy and uses the country's cheap labour. The high-tech sector will go to countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Korea or even Vietnam. Other reasons include the lop-sided judicial and justice system and the double standards, nepotism, cronyism and corruption in Thai politics and culture that discourage a young, capable generation without networks or connections.

Pheu Thai still evades the change and reform of Thailand's structural problems promised during the election and opts for secondary economic issues. The digital money plan is another example of a Pheu Thai populist policy aiming for instant popularity without a care for the long-term consequences, like with the rice-pledging scheme. With the wealth and connections Srettha has, his priority is first to try to have his two sons return to set an example.

The Insider

A good read

The front page of the Post on Saturday was a good one. First, we had an unidentified male Caucasian labelled as a "white man" in a photo caption. PC correct, not. Then we had a group shot of big dogs at the Apec meeting labelled a "family photo". Dysfunctional family, maybe. Mercifully, there was no awkward group handshaking, which makes all participants grimly struggle with coordination while grinning like embarrassed teens. Lastly, heart-stopping data about the Myanmar earthquake and seismic history in Thailand. We are informed that Lak Si district in Bangkok experienced tremors. This is most curious considering the distance from the epicentre in Myanmar and northern provinces that were affected. The rest of Bangkok or central Thailand were apparently unaffected. However, a geologist could help to explain this anomaly. But, not to complain. It made an entertaining read over breakfast and much-needed relief from war and propaganda.

Lionel Biers
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