By Tammy-this blog’s humanities journalist
Never before had Thailand’s sharpest legal mind laid out their best and profound reasoning against each other. On one side was those who were against the Taksin petition and on the other side are those who supports it.
Bavornsak, considered the best legal mind in Thailand, trashed the petition, but others like Pichit or the Thai legal forum took Bavornsak’s petitions to bits and pieces-and accused Bavornsak that “We at this forum understands that currently, those who speaks out against the government will be prosecuted.”
In the end, the government says its poll of the Thais in Bangkok is against the Taksin petition, and yet other polls says Thais wants the people’s constitution back, and to get rid of the current military drawn one.
- If anything the above examples just points to the fact that Thailand is currently muddled in the “Gray Area.”
Just try talking to 10 typical Thai, and one would get 10 different answers on democracy, freedom and social-justice. Talk to another 10 Thais and one would get 10 different answers on the state of the Thai economy.
In such a situation, one would tend to think that the best answer is democracy-so that all these differing opinions can distill into some type of a consensus. But that is not the case, as the Washington Post reported, that the current right wing conservative government, is not interested in reconciliation or appeasement.
- “They just want to use the division to install the right wing conservative agenda into the Thai society,” said one foreign observer of Thailand, quoted by Washington Post.
Even today, to address reconciliation, the government announced plans to pardon those who cross peaceful protest rules and went on violent rampage. Those opposing the government immediately said the pardon will benefit mostly, a group that are being accused of turning protest into terrorism, in closing Thailand’s main airport.
- In the mean time, the Thai economy continues to deteriorate. Since the start of the year, stock market listed firm here, have sen the total profit of listed firm down 30% and the latest figure sees export tanking another 25%. Reuters, in a rare opinion/analysis piece-said that because of politics, Thailand will continue to under-perform other in the region.
A few days ago, cutting edge New York stock market blog, ran a story about how developing countries with vibrant Democracy, have less volatility and higher growth than those that have less vibrant democracies.
- In Thailand, most that are interested in maintaining the conservative hold of the Thai class system, says otherwise and points to Singapore and Malaysia as examples of vibrant economies with restrictive democracies.
Progressive Thais points however, that those economies and underlying social-history, differs from Thailand greatly.
“Thailand has dropped so low on practically all ranking including democracy and freedom that it is now below Singapore and Malaysia,” said Dr Apikarn, a progressive Thai academic.
The Thai government is using massive amount of borrowed fund to stimulate the economy. However, Thais consumers happiness index had been depressed by politics and are in no mood to spend and the government’s stimulus through the past 6 month in office-failed to stimulate much.
Polls says Thais are just simply staying at home, and a cross section of Thai mass circulated daily have been running stories on how “Hopeless Thailand has become.”
- What is missing in Thailand, to make the system work again is democracy, according to most Thai progressive academic.
The current constitution Thailand is govern under, was drawn up by the military during their control of Thailand and is considered anti-democracy and freedom.
- “Just look at the name Thai, it means freedom. That is what Thailand is about. That is the fundamental of Thailand. To deny that, is denying the basic character of the Thais,” said Kent, a blogger in Thailand.
But even with all the economic and political deteriorations, there is no efforts to reform the Thai political system that will lead to Democracy and freedom.
- One of New York’s best emerging market investor said: “Thailand is going from crisis to crisis, with each government testing their crisis management skills, but with no efforts to fix the underlying causes of those crisis.”