Many bloggers I respect-like Bangkok Pundit-are asking if differences are acceptable these days in Thailand? What that also means really, is that can we accept the freedom of expression that has a different point of view from our own?
That is because the Thai government under Abhisit, is going all out on promoting moderation and national unity-spending lots and lots of money for something many say is just to “Cool the Anger” against the government.
The Abhisit campaign will likely “Pacify” many Thais to accept the status quo and what-ever the government imposes on them.
And this poses a serious questions for those who loves free speech, liberty and democracy-because the Abisit government is very repressive.
The question on free speech and liberty was tested last night, by Kanok-a TV journalist.
Kanok, the TV journalist, last night called Taksin’s 60th birthday celebration the “F-Word” right on the TV News-not once but twice.
Kanok, who has strong ties to the very anti-Taksin Nation Multi-Media Group and personally is a staunch supported of Abhisit and the government, after using the “F-Word” laughed about it-all right there on TV.
So is that freedom of speech-that we Thais should accept? Or is it trash, that should be prohibited? What of moderation and unity?
I mean, was the use of the “F-Word” good for national unity and moderation? Or is it intended to create anger? How does that fit into the plan by the Abhisit government for moderation and unity?
Kanok is not the only one expressing his views freely. Abhisit personal public relation man, last week said Taksin should go and “Rot in Hell” and not about coming back to Thailand.
In advance industrialized countries that have a strong tradition in democracy and free speech, such as the US, even now on TV, the language used are highly regulated and the television industry imposes self-censorship on the language it uses.
So what do we here in Thailand is to do?
On one end, being moderate and focusing on unity-tantamounts to supporting government supression and is anti-free speech and free press.
One the other hand, let freedom reign and you get someone like Kanok who goes and use the “F-Word” on TV like it is nothing-all for political purpose.