0.22-A talk with the Thai mafia, by James, this blog’s neutral webmaster
X is one of the most influential mafia in Thailand who is truly a French Connection. His powers spans Asia, including China where he has helped many Thais out of difficult problems with the Chinese. What ever you think is illegal or dirty, he is involved with it. His vision is on a global scale and he talked to this blog about Thailand National Security issues. I know him from a mutual friend and he agreed to give me half an hour for this interview.
James: You are a Thai with French and Chinese blood and very proud of being Asian and talk a great deal about the fight between Asians and Westerners. Will this century be the Asian century like what they say?
X: No way, the political foundation is not there in Asia to be a global leader. Civilizations now compete on creativity, and that requires the right social-political foundation in democracy, freedom and equality. Do you see Asia having that foundation any time soon? Look at Thailand, it is turning the clock back is it not? Asia, is reeling back on all fronts. Even at this time of western financial collapse. In a few years, the consolidation will make them much stronger.
James: It is odd how one guy like Obama can inject so much energy and hope back into the US, do you see Mark doing the same, for Thailand?
X: You got to be kidding, the DOD under Bush, looks a great deal like the Thai KorMorChor coup, meddling with putting propaganda into the American society and pulling back power from professional soldiers into the politicized people’s hands. Obama is looking to stop all of that, killing the internal propaganda machine and putting command back into professional soldiers. Look at Mark, you think he will touch the military? Is it not the military that has proped him up? Is it not what is being called the “Green Cabinet?”
James: A great deal was said about how the Thai mafia is against Thaksin, but you obviously support Thaksin. Why is that?
X: Because I I can get much richer with doing it openly, than having to hide and pay off the police. Like gambling, do you know how much money leaves Thailand every day for foreign gambling? If it is not for internet gambling by Thai sites, the hole and the leakage will be really huge. Thaksin wanted to plug the holes and keep the money in Thailand. If he succeeded, I would be about ten times richer today, because I will have a few casino or entertainment complex going by now.
James: So you have taken a side in this political mess in Thailand. What is your spin of it?
X: The Economist just got ban in Thailand because of its writings about the Thai King. OK, the benefit is that not publishing it will keep peace in society and the King strong. On the other hand, everyone in the world have access to read it. It is like playing football. With information on both sides or better information, the guy that has the information, will understand the game better. In this game call Thailand, so much information is missing or ban, it leaves the Thai ignorant to the facts, and that makes Thai weak. On the other hand, people we are competing with, gets all the information they want and need, and so have a much greater understanding and it makes them strong. That is my angle on Thailand today. There is just too many things that can’t be talked or read about and it make us a weak country.
James: From what Bally, this blog’s national security analysts tells me, the Thai intelligent apparatus made a study and found that even with higher defense spending in Thailand in the past few years, actually the threat to Thailand’s national security, from both internal and external has never been greater. Do you agree with the Thai intelligent study.
X: At least somebody is on the ball in Thailand, because that is exactly the truth about it. In the US, there is a great debate about how best to defend the US, and the conclusion is that it will be more with covert and intelligent, and less with controversial things like going into Iraq, for oil money and to use the oil money to build up the infrastructure as a way to do a double win win to benefit US contractors. The US found that the bad press globally about Iraq, isn’t worth what it gained there. Still the war for self-interest goes on. But what you will see in the future, is something like the Thai-Cambodia fight, that most likely will leave the Americans with massive oil and gas tracks in Cambodia. I mean lots of exploitation, lots of intelligent under cover work, lots of cat and mouse stuff. Like the Thai intelligent people say-so as Thailand spends more on defense, but the Thai structure falls apart making it weak to exploitations, from both internal and external powers. What you end up with is a weak country.
James: I am curious when you said part of Thailand really belongs now to foreigners, what do you mean?
X: Have you been to LA to the Thai Town there? What do you feel? Most feel proud and like an owner. Have you been to Harvard, to see the Bhumibol Square? What do you feel? You feel proud and feel like an owner of that little corner. My point is, there are foreigners who feel that Phuket, Hua Hin, Pataya, Samui for example is a god given rights of there to come and enjoy. These spots to many people are not really Thais anymore but part of the global village. Just like Thai Town in LA. I just mentioned this because Na Na, Patpong, and Soi Cowboy in Bangkok is also an integral part of the western culture. It just happened to be in Thailand that is all. So literally, when you shut off the country by shutting down the airport, you are practically infringing on the rights of these foreigners to be at the place that might call their own. We Thais have got it really wrong with closing down communications hub like that, because it hurts everyone’s right to go to where they want to be.
James: A great deal is being said about aged old Thai institutions. As a mafia, with lots of tradition and a culture of respect, what do you think of these old Thai institutions?
X: My father, god rest his soul, went to many wars and killed so many of my family’s enemies, it ended up that practically all Thai mafia had to wai him before he would wai back. In my world he is the king. Today for me, we are on top, but to grow and expand, I have to wai everyone young or old, before they wai me, because it is better for business and better for keeping peace. I think this war between Thaksin and you know who, is a waste because instead, they should work together to better Thailand. But it takes a great deal to do what I do, which is to wai first. The time may come, one day that the institution we are talking about decides it is better to be the puppet master, pulling the strings and let professionals like Thaksin run things-instead of coming down and be a puppet itself and play the game directly. For now we just have to wait and see.
James: Can I ask you about the drug war?
X: Go ahead ask.
James: Did you put up money for Thaksin’s life?
About a quarter of my family’s income was gone within three months after the drug war started. So sure all of us chip in to kill Thaksin. But when the killing started, it was clear Thaksin wanted us to go war against each other, sort of kill each other out, so we decided to stop the trafficking and canceled the contract on Thaksin’s life. Basically, it wasn’t worth it anymore because blood was everywhere, and the economy at the grassroots level was really roaring like mad and so we headed into other things and made up for the drugs loss. But sure, initially we were really shocked. But it got better wityh time, when we saw the entertainment complex idea, we actually start chipping in to give to politicians close to Thaksin. Macau money was coming in to scuttle the plan, and we had to fight on the side of Thaksin.
James: Thank you very much X.