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Substandard argument

The justifications put forward for Thailand needing submarines grow increasingly bizarre. Some months ago, when the matter was raised, it was said Thailand was seeking parity with its neighbours.

I took the time to count the number of submarines owned by the neighbours. There are Laos (0), Myanmar (0), Malaysia (2), and Cambodia (0). A total of two submarines in four countries. Division of two by four gives one half.

To achieve parity, Thailand needs half a submarine.

May I recommend they buy the top half of the sub and mount it on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier. Perhaps it would fit on one of the lifts, and then it could go up and down for the entertainment of visitors.

Roger Haslock


Land of thugs

Re: “Jet ski scams prosper”, (PostBag, August 3).

Jeff Gabrowski is right to point out that “the army corruption clean-up has stopped short of dealing with the beach thugs who ruin holidays and Thailand’s reputation”.

However, let’s not forget all the hospitality thugs, business thugs (including CEOs), construction thugs, police thugs, international corporate thugs, political and bureaucratic thugs.

Corruption and thuggery remain the national paradigm. But it goes further than that. Thailand has become a breeding ground, an incubator and an exporter of professional thuggery at the highest levels.

Why is the countrywide clean-up not working? Have we all been hallucinating?

John Shepherd


Paying for our 'sins'

The recent Bangkok Post articles describing the appropriateness of the large number of sin taxes applied to alcoholic beverages are long overdue.

Particularly absent from these stories is any input from those who pay them — consumers. Not only are these taxes paid by Thai citizens but also by expatriates living and working here and tourists.

The taxes contribute to the astronomical cost of certain beverages, especially wine, and lower the amount of revenue collected by the Excise Department.

In the past decade, it seems that any governmental organisation that espouses high-sounding ideals can easily punch a ticket on the "sin tax express".

The most recent passenger is the National Sports Development Organisation that is part of the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

What is most disturbing is that several top officials in the Sports Ministry have been moved to inactive posts for allegedly paying too much for the purchase of sports equipment.

The concerns expressed by Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula about “the need to maintain budget discipline and prevent fund misappropriation” certainly fit this case.

In another instance, Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong was quoted as saying the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) had done a “great” job.

This appears to be incorrect as the consumption of high-proof alcohol continues to increase.

According to official figures, per capita consumption of alcohol in Thailand is projected to hit 8.3 litres by the end of this year.

Consumers should ask why these organisations cannot be funded by budgets within their respective ministries.

Consumers should insist for an end to the sin tax express.

Lincoln Redux


Trafficking confusion

I’m writing in reference to “Human trafficking: US man, 4 Thais arrested” (Online, Aug 5).

The facts of the matter as presented by the article are the US citizen was helping North Korean refugees escape the brutal conditions in their country so they can seek refuge in South Korea.

I find it appalling that this would be lumped together with a story of luring women into prostitution. If helping refugees is indeed a crime under Thai law, then the law needs to be properly cited.

Fongchan Suksaneh


Jewish barbs a joke

It is just incredible at the length to which the Jewish/Khazarian lobby will go to smear even an icon like Walt Disney (Life, August 4). The very same “people” who preach tolerance stand on a pedestal of total intolerance. Where will this hatred stop?

HHB


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