Thai Culture: 1) Big Debate in Thailand on is it “Man” or “Boy” running Thailand?

There was no doubt that Thaksin was a man of equal stature to any leader around the world
There was no doubt that Thaksin was a man of equal stature to any leader around the world


The information in this article is based on Matichon Weekly. We would like to say thank you.

By Terry/Tavivoot


Early warning from Thaksin?

Not too long ago, Thaksin, the former prime minister of Thailand who was kicked out of Thailand by a Right wing coup, said the right wingers must be mad for letting a boy run Thailand.

I was pissed at Thaksin, not because of the right wing being mad-because the right wing in Thailand is very violent as so many foreign press has documented-but I was angry that Thaksin was insulting the Thai prime minister as being only a boy-and I felt then that it was a very low blow mud slinging by Thaksin.

But lately, I am beginning to wonder if Thailand these days is being run by a “Man” or a “Boy.”

What is a “Man?”

As some of you know, my mother is American. And when I turned 18, in the states in school, my American uncles, Jon who is a lawyer, and Kent who is a banker-took me to dinner and they said, “Terry, you are a man now and we both want to tell you that when it came to important things, being a man is about keeping his words.”

When I turned 21, I was in Thailand, and my Thai father who is doctor, called me in for lunch, and he said, “Terry, you are an adult now, and being an adult is about being a responsible person.”

Thai prime minister own words

Fast forward, from those days to today when I am now close to 50, to just about half an hour ago before this writing, and I saw in the news stand, on the cover of  “Matichon Weekly” that quoted the Thai prime minister as saying that in his cabinet:

“The responsibility of politicians, is above the responsibility to the law.”

What the Thai prime minister meant in those words on responsibility of politicians were that politicans in his cabinet have a responsibility to the Thai society above what the law say.

This is a major issue in Thai society because many Thai rationalized the right wing coup as OK because it got rid of Thaksin-who they say didn’t have enough of a moral character to rule Thailand-precisely because politicians must have a moral responsibility to the public above what the law says.

Kasit own words

So I bought Matichon Weekly and started reading the article-and apart from the responsibility above the law thing-Kasit said if the police investigated him for involvement in the Thai right wingers occupation of Bangkok’s main airport, the Suvanaphum Airport, he would resign immediately from the foreign minister post.

“I am not power hungry or is attached to my seat in the government,” said Kasit.

So now the police have indeed started to question Kasit and guess what? Now he says:

“The police have fabricated the case against me for political purpose. All I did was to lecture at the airport during the righ wing occupation of it. All I had was a pen and paper and that isn’t terrorism.”

What is the Thai prime minister doing?

And what is the Thai prime minister doing?

 “Nothing,” because Kasit became part of the cabinet as a thank you present by the Thai prime minister to the right wingers-for all sort of activities that destabilized the government that supported Thaksin-and eventually forced it out of office-and gave Abisit the opportunity to step in, to be Thailand’s prime minister.

To kick Kasit out now, will anger the right wingers-and deal a nasty image blow to the government. Thai polls already say that 60% want Kasit out of office.

So basically, what the Thai prime minister really meant about those words on responsible of politicians-in fact, judging by his action, meant politician responsibility is above the law as a way to keeps themselves in office-not a responsibility above the law that keeps the country clean and just.

All of the above is just goes to tell you, that the Abisit government isn’t about sticking to the moral value above law or their words.

All the politicians in the government camp, now say Kasit deserves a fair trial before they will take any action. Kasit, himself, now says he will stay in his ministereal position regardless.

 Responsible Adults?

And what of taking care of the government responsibility?  

Well it looks like they are not all that responsible either. Because a country’s foreign minister-reflects directly back to the character and nature of the people of that country. I mean is it responsible to have a foreign minister who is being investigated for terrorist activities?

If you are not convinced that keeping Kasit at his post is very irresponsible, consider the following.

When it comes to international relations-it is based greatly on international laws. In this case, Thailand is the signature to the international law that calls those who stop the operations of airport, terrorist-and this includes the direct supporters of that activity.

In Kasit own words: “The right wing occupation of the airport is an innovative protest method….The food there was great and the music was great. I had a lot of fun.” 

And because in International relations, there is no international legal framework to investigate such case as Kasit or to bring sinator to treaties to stick with the agreement-so agreement between countries depends a great deal on respect amung countries-that they will keep their word.

I mean doesn’t being more resonsible than what the law says-is all about keeping your words, about not damaging the country’s reputation and image, about being trust worthy, about being sensitive and sticking to international law and treaties, and a host of other things along that line.

The bottom line really, is that the airport closure ended up stranding millions of passengers accross Southeast Asia and the Thai central bank estimated it cost Thailand damage of about US$ 5 billion. Even today, Thailand’s tourism haven’t fully recovered.

And to top the cake, Abisit just launched the “I Love Thailand” public relation campaign world-wide-right about the same time foreign press were breaking the story that Kasit is refusing to step down.

A “Man” or a “Boy” running Thailand?

Would a “Man” throw his words and responsibility away to be in power? Or is it a “Boy” who will do anything-not keeping his words or being responsible? And worse, far from admiting to anything, Abisit goes and try to hide it all with a smart PR campaign.

My conclusion is that I wonder, is it a “Man” or is it a “Boy” running Thailand these day?

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