thailand

By Giles Ji Ungkaporn
Associate Professor, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Today the Constitutional Courts dissolved the democratically elected governing party in Thailand for the second time, forcing the Government to resign.

This follows the refusal of the Armed Forces and the Police to follow government instructions to clear the two international airports blocked by armed PAD Fascists.

The Royalist alliance against the government are made up of the Fascist PAD, the Military, the Police, the Judiciary, the mainstream Media, the “Democrat Party”, most middle class academics and The Queen.

They are all behind this judicial coup. A leading “Democrat Party” MP is one of the leaders of the illegal blockade of the two airports.

The Yellow-shirted PAD have “armed guards” which have repeatedly shot at opponents. They constantly use violence and now demand “joint patrols” with the Police.

The PAD have constantly broken the law, and yet they are “untouchable”.

On the rare occasion when PAD leaders are forced to attend court, they are given bail and allowed to go back and commit the same crimes over and over again.

The majority of the Thai population, who are poor, face a Double Whammy. First, the elite Royalist are doing everything possible to take away their basic democratic rights. Secondly, mass job-losses are occurring among workers in the tourist industry as a result of the airport blockade. Jobs in agriculture and electronics are also affected and of course we are faced with the serious World Economic Crisis. The elites do not care if the Thai economy is trashed and Thailand returns to a poor Third World nation. In such nations the elites continue to live the same lives as the rich in the Developed World. The PAD protestors are middle-class extremists who do not have to go to work, hence their prolonged protests.

We are constantly told by the conservatives that the poor are “too stupid to deserve the right to vote”. The army staged a coup in 2006 and re-wrote the Constitution in order to reduce the democratic space and also to absolve themselves of any wrong-doing. The electorate have repeatedly voted in overwhelming numbers for the government party, whether it be Thai Rak Thai or Peoples Power Party. Now Peoples Power politicians are moving to the new Pua Thai Party. Will fair election be held? Or will the elites engineer a “fix” to make sure that their people win?

READ MORE at ‘Political Writings on Thailand’

34 responses »

  1. sometimes i don understand, majority wants ppp to rule, and minority pad able to topple the gov …… and that call it democracy ?????

  2. hasilox says:

    Banana republic sounds like a better option

  3. majority says:

    In M’sia most people are cultured enough to let BN govern ‘cos BN got the majority. Many people may not agree with BN’s many policies but hey, the majority have spoken. If not happy then win the election by getting the majority.

    In Thailand’s case I agreed absolutely that they shot themselves in the foot. Imagine the loss from tourists and damage to the country’s GDP. How to convince people to invest and visit Thialand now? But surprisingly, Thai bath has appreciated against RM lately. Does that mean our economy also sucks.

  4. panca says:

    Opposite Extremes…..haven’t they heard about “THE MIDDLE WAY”‘?

    It’s the shadow hands at play that are creating this prolonged havoc!

    The story about two friends who turned foes selfishly screwed the country.

    We hope Thailand realises what rightful steps to be taken to address this power struggle, more than meets the eye! (TS vs LTK)

  5. hoy says:

    the poor had been enticed by the corrupt thaksin govt with free universal medical care. thaksin govt is like umno – give the poor a bit and they will vote for them. democracy is alive and kicking in thailand. they have got it right this time. the tourism chaos is temporary to force out a corrupt govt. eventually things will be better in thailand. i am not sure if susan loone realizes this guy from thailand whom she is quoting has got a few things wrong abt thailand. just read the bkk post – at least they dare to criticize the govt, be it pro or anti-thaksin. get your facts right, susan. you seem to be advocating thaksin’s return to power and at least his grip on power by supporting his bro-in-law.

  6. irika says:

    Puzzle indeed? Thai baht is still firm, Vs RM whereas Rupiah had tumbled, anyone can explain?

  7. “….to force out a corrupt govt. ”

    wat corruption you’re talking about? the new pm not even 1 yr, to quote aab not even half-time (quarter time also)!!!

  8. Aston says:

    Why everybody talked about Democratic elected government being force to dissolved. why nobody talked about vote buying by the PPP party and the corrupt former Thai rak thai party and the most expensive airport in the world.

  9. Nice post… middle man always suffering from this things.

  10. In Thailand the rural populace will suffer the most.Reminds me of rural Sarawak and Sabah.

  11. hoy says:

    obviously, you haven’t seen the connection between the present govt and thaksin. thaksin’s govt was riddled with big corruption scandals – google it yourself. the present so-called democratically elected govt has thaksin’s bro-in-law as the pm. go do your logical thinking before you denounce the present opposition. thais have more balls and brains than malaysians. at the rate they and us are going, i bet you 10 years down the road, they will do better than us. pls everyone, get your facts right. i have nothing against susan, in fact, i salute her courageous stand against our stupid umno. just that when it comes to thailand, she needs to get her facts right before she publishes views of other people.

  12. ylcw says:

    I do not know Susan personally, and if I am not wrong, I believe she is based in Bangkok. As a writer, she has to be impartial and publish everyone’s views, ref: Malaysia Today. I am sure you are not going to tell Raja Petra off (there was a similar article on MT by the same person!). Otherwise, there will be no discussions or opinions. There is no point getting upset with her or others as everyone is entitled to their own opinions. We are here looking at a situation from outside. Unless we are thais like Giles Ji Ungkaporn, it is difficult to pass judgement on another country’s political situation. It is like asking the Thais for their views on Malaysia. Granted, Thaksin’s govt was riddled with corruption and scandals, and agreed such govts such as UMNO, are not fit to rule.

  13. imwatchinu says:

    Thailand happening is one good reason we cannot give total immunity to royalty. Having said that, situation in Malaysia is not any better. The whole problem is corruption by those in power and their refusal to let go when they are not wanted. At least in Thailand, racism and race supremacy are not an issue there. Before we make joke about Thailand, better look at ourselves. We are like a keg of dynamite placed next to an open fire.

  14. chris chong says:

    mind bogging. normally it was the poor and subpressed to protest against the government.

  15. Jeremiah says:

    From the perspective of a man-in-the street across the border, it amazes and astounds me that so many middle class people (be they hakwers, shopkeepers, students, etc) can afford the time to besiege the airport and demonstrate all the time. Don’t they have any full-time job to do? Perhaps it is people’s power at the expense of economic productivity.

    From an academic viewpoint, I think that Thailand’s ascent to a mature democracy will e hindered by its people subservience to the King and the powerful businesses that surround the King. Thaksin’s powerful ascent was a counter-force against the royalty’s vested interests. Anytime there is a legitimate progress for people to exercie their vote, the royalty is used as an excuse to push back reform.

    Form the tourists point of view, Thailand’s unstable politics is probably a major risk to their travel plans unless the new government establishes some sense of stability and confidence. It’s almost a comic book coup d’etat.

  16. kittykat46 says:

    Susan,
    The picture you posted says it all. This isn’t a “Democratic Movement”.
    This is a campaign being orchestrated by “Higher Powers” to get rid of the elected government.

    And the police and army looking the other way, they are part of the playbook.

    Yeah, these look like “rich” protesters who don’t need to work….A Gucci revolution…

  17. Fi-sha says:

    I seriously think what’s happening in Thailand is a blessing in disguise. While people in tourism and agriculture industry suffer for few months, a nation in corruption will be forever damned and many more people will be shortchaned in all aspect of their lives. At least the richs, elitists and royalists in Thailand are protecting the interest of many people, poor and disadvantage, can we see these kind of people in Malaysia doing us any good? They just want to be richer and better at the expense of cutting us short. How i wish our judiciary system has the ball to do something similar in Malaysia. To PAD, congrats! May democracy lives on and let the new government be the one for the people, by the people…

  18. whispering9 says:

    ‘the poor had been enticed by the corrupt thaksin govt with free universal medical care.’ Look like they don’t like to give free universal medical care to the poor.

    ‘obviously, you haven’t seen the connection between the present govt and thaksin.’ Yeah…a Gucci revolution. Now it is the connection between the new installed government and the godfathers minus the poor.

    ‘thais have more balls and brains than malaysians. at the rate they and us are going, i bet you 10 years down the road, they will do better than us.’ Hahaha….balls and brains togethers. Sound like it is a ball banging brain issues. 10 years down the road….try to survive the next few months first before putting your bets.

  19. whispering9 says:

    ‘I seriously think what’s happening in Thailand is a blessing in disguise.’ LOL, Penang thanks the Thais. They who live by the swords die by the swords. Study lah histories….all forceful revolutions need more than a century to recover from the wounds. Even ‘Liberty or death’ took century to become a reality after they finally stop fighting. Some of them never do lah. Such practice must never be encouraged in Malaysia.

  20. siew eng says:

    yes, thaksin was on his way to the next lee kuan yew and dr m by dismantling democratic institutions. but thailand is not bereft of any democratic recourse (unlike burma, which has had to suffer 5 decades, and counting, of dictatorship), including freedom of speech and media, as well as the right to protest *peacefully*.

    thailand wanted a shortcut to getting rid of thaksin. and asap. instead of using available channels to affirm and protect democracy, it turned to the might of the military and the king. what it got is a protracted battle that’s dividing the nation like never before and regression into anarchy.

    the lesson for us is – no, it’s not “never let a non-pribumi rule our country” (see teresa kok’s blog about rtm’s editorialising – http://teresakok.com/2008/12/01/thai-unrest-according-to-rtm-dunia/) – protect our checks and balances against government excessiveness. that means empowering and demanding the best for institutions like suhakam, the media, the judiciary, the opposition….

    pad’s suggestion to take away the right of vote from the rural poor is the most outrageous yet and runs counter to UDHR. on that point alone they should not be supported.

  21. ” the present so-called democratically elected govt has thaksin’s bro-in-law as the pm.”

    you’re judging ppl by its cover, not its content. thaksin is thaksin, his brother-in-law is brother-in-law, they are 2 different ppl. can you tell with so murders commited by indians, all indians in malaysia are murderers? and mind you, even ruling party has thaksin connection, majority thai still support them!

  22. darn, my comment is blocked.

  23. temenggong says:

    Its a case of jealousy really. The thai middle class and elite lost the vote to the Thaksin party twice, which is rural based.

    The Thai royalty has lost its image in the eyes of the world. The king should step down. If not he must be hounded off the palace.

  24. Collateral Damage says:

    PAD = Peoples’ Alliance for Democracy? More like People Against Democracy.

  25. fucai says:

    PAD supportors shuld be arrest under ISA ,hahaha!
    ganggu orang cari makan and ganggu saya massage!!

  26. Baby Ktemoc says:

    Have pity on my Papa.
    He’s going through one of his periodic bouts of dementia.

    I really, really pray I didn’t inherit the tendency towards madness….

  27. Candima Yu says:

    The politics of Thailand is deep and complex and cannot easily be explained away. Suffice it to say that for many years, the country was ruled by the military and the generals had absolute control of the country and were the richest people in the country. In a matter of less than a decade, do you expect them to give up their lucrative income? The ease that the PAD could with impunity squat at government house for some 5 months speaks for itself. The people there was very well supplied with food, shelter, transport , etc. and had no fear of prosecution. In which other country can you see such blatant disregard of the law?
    Do not think for one moment that the rural folks up north are ignorant country bumpkins. They are simply more virtuous people who do not want to see a deep confrontation with the city folks in Bangkok who think that with a bit of education they have more wisdom than the people who till the land. In a land that is steeped in Buddhism, let the PAD ringleaders beware when the retribution of KARMA runs its course for the suffering that they have wreaked on the country.
    Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu

  28. Pakistani Boyfriend Baru says:

    Baby Ktemoc,

    Hahahahahahahhahahaha. Peace be upon him.

  29. Anonymous says:

    kittykat46 Says:
    December 3, 2008 at 8:32 am

    i concur.

    it is all about power struggle. proxies. have we seen the last chapter?

  30. yipyip says:

    Why malaysia do not have thai problems:

    At 22:00, we were surprised to see PM Abdullah Badawi walked in to the chamber. He is now sitting directly across me having a nap.

    http://www.tianchua.net/en/2008/12/03/pm-in-parliament/

  31. Fi-sha says:

    Yes, we should thank the Thais. They show us the way we can change history – revolt to rid off corruption.

    if you knew Thais and how they live their life, we malaysians – regardless of race – should be ashamed of ourselves. Note what this nation is called – The land of smile

    History shall repeat itself if we keep doing the wrongs again and again…

  32. kittykat46 says:

    Our PM is the lamest of lame ducks right now – just warming the chair.
    Its Najis calling all the shots now. Man, its going to be an even scarier country going forward.

  33. certainty of the uncertain says:

    Well emporor/king/queen or pauper we all are equal in the face of nature. We all will die, be it royalist, or high class, or middle class or low class , what is waiting ahead at the end of the life road, is a fair judgement of all at the last breath of this life and/or next life… PAD and/or its supporters are no exception.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s