Thai Culture: Thai Heart and Mind Battle and The Thai “Memory Span” factor

by Tammy, this blog humanity journalist

Thai Have Short Memory Span:

The biggest joke about the failure of the Thais, is that the Thais have a very “Short” memory span.

But looks like Abhisit is facing a “Memory Span Trap” as many Thais are now wondering about the credibility of Abhisit’s words-and this is critical in winning the all important battle for the hearts and minds of the Thais between Democracy, Liberty, Social-Justice and the forces of Royalism plus Nationalism.

Lost Territory, Lost Words:

In one example, most Thai observers now says Royalism and Nationalism is being hit hard over the Phra Viharn temple situation, where a disputed track of land had been contested hotly between Thailand and Cambodia. In fact only months ago when Abhisit was in the opposition, it attacked the Taksin supported government in a sensure debate that accused the government of losing the disputed land.

But currently, with that censure still fresh in the memory of many Thais, Abhisit now is against a hard-line approach on getting back that disputed track, going as far as saying that Nationalism is not productive.” And ironically, as Abhisit goes on cautioning nationalism, he is also promoting nationalism with a campaign to get all Thais to sing the national anthem at 18.00 of everyday.

Major Flim Flam:

If that case is jolting Thais into realizing that Abhisit is all about just grabbing hold of power and after getting it, can be as flim flam on his own former words, other examples also exist that is re-freshing the Thais memory about Abhisit’s words.

“It is my word to the Thai people who I am the Thai prime minister of all Thais and will solve the political divide…and I will fight corruption,” said Abhisit, televised across the country on his inauguration day.

Well since then, Abhisit has forgotten those words, but most Thais have not. The Thai press reports practically everyday about how Abhisit is attacking the Red Shirt and of down playing corruption in his government.

A Track Record of Hype with Little Substance:

There are many other examples also about the extent Abhisit is copying Taksin policies, such as on Taksin focus on “Creativity” as the solution to Thailand’s economic ills. Even the much criticized suspected Taksin’s absolute control of Thailand when he was the prime minister, Abhisit is going about trying to control the police apparatus.

Then underlying it all now, is that the Thai public is being reminded again and again, that in substance, there is little difference between Taksin and Abhisit. The only difference, as polls indicate, is that Thais sees Abhisit as clean and Taksin as capable.

The key objective of Abhisit’s massive and historic level spending on public relations, therefore, is to remind Thais of Taksin corruption, and position itself as capable.

Verdict Still Out:

But will it work? The verdict is still out, however, most Thais who sees the recovering Thai economy says it is because of better global conditions, and still to others who see it as not getting much better, are saying it is a government failure. And as the Abhisit government is pulling all the strings it has to keep public attention on Taksin corruption, the fact is that most Thais are more concerned about seeing their “Clean Abhisit” failure to combat corruption.

All of the above are what is floating in key Thailand’s communication channel.

Memory Span Expanded:

And as this blog has reported, the press that are critical, are selling like hotcakes, while those that plays-up Abhisit, are getting very low ratings. This indicates that the Thais are curious to being “Enlightened Politically.” The problem for Abhisit, is not the highly popular Taksin Twiter that gets thousands of follower or the Abhisit brainchild ilovethailand Twiter that gets only 400 followers, but that Abhsit did and said things-most of them just months ago.

And while the average Thai memory span is short and they lack critical thinking skill, those words and actions are nevertheless, starting to haunt Abhisit and also they are haunting many Thais-in this battle for the heart and minds of Thais.

Abhisit Hits Re-Fresh Button:

Abhisit’s solution is only in keeping the past from refreshing the Thais hearts and minds, and focus on bringing in new stimulus to jolt the Thai memory to the present. But that opportunity is running out. About the only thing that is open for Abhisit to “Energize the Present” is the next ASEAN head of state meet. Other than that, it is the global economy lifting the Thai economy.

But other than that, there is not much left in the cards for Abhisit. Thais just simply getting smarter and their learning curve of Thai politics is way up, and all of that, is occurring within the memory span of the average Thais.


“The Abhisit government is faced with a problem. To stay on as the prime minister comes with it opportunity to consolidate power, but staying on will keep proving to Thais that he is a complete failure,” said Thai Rath, a neutral mass circulated daily.

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