A grave mistake

Re: "US offers air force loan to buy fighter jets", (BP, July 5).

The recent unsolicited US proposal to sell Thailand F-16 Block 70 jet fighters contradicts the principles of cooperation that have served the region well for over half a century. This move seems designed not to benefit Thailand but to turn Thailand and Southeast Asia into a bulwark against China. Offering F-16s at a lower price appears to be another not-so-subtle step in escalating conflicts in Southeast Asia and positioning the region against China, mirroring the strategy used in Ukraine against Russia.

Neoconservatives in the US are pushing for increased military engagement, and this proposal aligns with their agenda of fostering regional conflicts to counter China's influence. Accepting this deal would be a grave mistake for Thailand, effectively turning this Trojan Horse deal into a strategic foothold for US military interests, risking regional stability and our sovereignty.

ML Saksiri Kridakorn

The truth on tax

Re: "No doubles for expats", (PostBag, July 8).

It is pleasing that Songdej Praditsmanont agrees the new tax changes somewhat seem pointless.

Khun Songdej's point that expats should keep good tax records is also well made. However, this seems the least of their concerns. Navigating Thailand's tax system, in addition to their own, is more problematic. Even with experienced tax lawyers, years of tax planning is likely to be up-ended, and accounting costs and bureaucratic burdens are likely to be sharply increased.

While I agree the "respectable principle of tax collection is not to tax any income twice", in practice it seldom leads to tax equalisation. Even with the imperfect relief offered by double tax agreements, the effective tax rates of many expats at home are likely to be much lower than their effective tax rate in Thailand. As a result, many expats in addition to paying tax at home will now pay more tax to Thailand.

It is fair to ask why would expats come to Thailand for a long stay, if it is much better administratively, cost-wise, and tax-wise, just to stay home or go to a more tax-friendly location.

Most economists would agree the contribution of a long-stay tourist and retirement hub are more than a "drop in the ocean". Moreover, the economic data does not seem to support the claim that a mass exodus of long-stay expats would have zero impact.

The argument that a large number of short-term tourist arrivals will somehow close the gap is difficult to make.

The truth is worldwide taxation works in the interest of some countries and not others. It seems incompatible with Thailand's economy, and its position as one of the world's leading long-stay tourist and retirement hubs. It also seems odd for Thailand to cede sovereignty over policy matters to the West and OECD, when outcomes do not seem to promote national interests.

M P Foscolos

Make recycling easy

Re: "Ministry confident in plastic recycling goals", (BP, April 11).

I am training my three-year-old to look for the little triangle symbol on plastic and card refuse, and put material into recycling if we find it. One wonders, when recycling in today's world is so important if not vital, why the symbol is so small, almost apologetic. This is my daughter's future environment and that of all children today we are considering. I implore manufacturers to make it much, much clearer.

Trefor Cowles


Correction: In the commentary piece by Kavi Chongkittavorn "Cambodia starts to flex its muscles" published on Tuesday 10th, this paragraph should read: Half of the US$1.7 billion project will be invested by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract. We apologise for the factual error.

10 Jul 2024 10 Jul 2024
12 Jul 2024 12 Jul 2024


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