I would have thought that one of the most serious considerations in nationally adopting the policy, in the Philippines now and in Thailand a few years ago, of encouraging the police to randomly gun down anyone suspected of being involved in or connected with the drug trade, is simply not fully taken into account.
The phone call from Donald Trump to Prayut Chan-o-cha last week came as a surprise to even the Thai premier himself. As it turned out, the “surprise” carried some “pleasant elements” as well as confusing signals.
Aren’t we all supposed to be hugely excited now that we have a new constitution, rolled out on April 6? Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating a new era of democracy? Aren’t we all ready for another new chapter in Thailand’s political life?
If Thailand is serious about becoming a “4.0 nation”, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Estonia, a tiny country of 1.3 million people that has dramatically built itself into a digital wonderland. Estonia is a 5.0 nation while we are still groping for ways to hit 4.0.
China joining the TPP? At first, the idea was floated from Beijing. But it was shot down almost immediately. Of course, one safe way out of an embarrassing situation for officials is to blame it on a “misunderstanding” by “certain media outlets”.
It was an eerie feeling but nevertheless quite real. While brainstorming with my fellow Thai journalists last week on how to put a stop to the government’s emerging “command-and-control” effort against press freedom, I was reminded of a similar battle our American counterparts are facing against a president who is “confrontational, provocative, subversive and downright unapologetic”.
Documents have recently emerged revealing bribery scandals over the past two decades at various Thai state enterprises, which have failed to take action against the culprits despite clear evidence and even confessions of wrongdoing from agents in the US and UK.