Environment: “Starving Monkeys and the Investment Blockade”

Siamese cats or Siamese monkeys?

By Tammy, this blog humanity journalist 

Abhisit, the Monkey? 

As the biggest monkey in Thailand, Abhisit, went on TV in his weekly propaganda program and talked about how the government plans to solve Thailand’s Ma Ta Bhud industrial area environment-with all sorts of plans and action steps-at Ma Ta Bhud, practically at the same moment, another leak occurred and put about 20 people in the hospital. 

Even the ultimate in Abhisit-hype, Tru TNN cable TV, can not hide and practically laugh as they reported the Abhisit speech one minute and then the leak right next to the grand speech. 

Meanwhile, most newspapers are shaking their heads in total annoyance, saying Abhisit had been in office for a year and just did not do what the constitution told it to do and that is to set up an independent environmental body. 

Creative Monkeys: 

Meanwhile, thousands of monkeys that live on a popular tourist island near Thailand’s world famous Pattaya beach resort area are starving because tourist who used to feed them food have all but disappeared. 

The monkeys are so hungry; they swim into the ocean to fishing boats that comes near the beach. 

 “They fight like crazy for scrap of food we have and a few of them drown in the fighting, but we can’t feed them all,” said Par, the captain of a fishing vessel to a local newspaper. 

Abhisit Propagates Fruit Cake: 

While the Thai government propagates that the Thai economy is recovering in a “V” shape, a trickle of news is breaking through the government’s control Thai media that says otherwise. 

Grant and Thornton, the global class advising firm, did research on CEO’s opinion in Asia that sees 63% of Thai CEO saying the Thai economy will deteriorate in the next 12 months, against a global outlook of only 16% deterioration. 

“The difficulty for the Thais is that they see the solution in cutting cost and re-organization, while in most other Asian countries, it is creativity and innovation,” said Peter Walker, Grant and Thornton representative in Thailand. 

But the Thai monkeys on the island are faced with even a grimmer picture than Thai CEOs have. Swimming to fishing boat is about as creative as they can get, to have enough food to survive. 

Pattaya’s Environment Anyone? 

Pattaya is a resort than sits about half an hour drive from the Thai heavy industry zone of Eastern Seaboard Development, where pollution is so bad, villagers and environmental activist have sued and successfully blocked about US$10 billion in investments. The environment is so bad; one elderly villager told the Thai courts that many of her relatives have died of cancer. 

The reason those monkeys on the Pattaya Island came out of the forest on the island to rely on tourist for food is because environmental degradation hit the island hard and destroyed the food chain. 

Bad Environment Solution? 

Meanwhile, as the monkeys starve and drown fighting for food, The Thai government is trying hard to get those blocked US$10 billion in investments going. All sort of rules and rationale are being used to skirt the investment blockade. 

But many foreigners are not buying what the government is saying and are starting to look elsewhere in ASEAN for their investments. Local newspapers now run stories on how other ASEAN countries are following the development and are quietly making contact with those affected by the blockade and are competing for those Thai rejected investments. 

The Thai federation of industry now says that the prospect of a Thai economic recovery looks dim. It says investments this year is down about 20% from last year’s level and unemployment is again rising. 

Environment Blocks Investment: 

Most independent economist have been saying for months now that the Thai economy may have bottomed out but the recovery will not be in a “V” shape as the government says, but it will be in an “L” shape or at best a “U” shape. 

So now, a higher court said “No” again to Ma Ta Phud investment, and practically threw the key in the ocean. Environmentalist meanwhile, say they will go ahead and petition to block another 1,000s of projects-on poor environmental grounds. 

Starving Monkeys wants Bananas, not Fruit Cake: 

Meanwhile, one money on the island, still wet from swimming to the fishing boat, told this blog through sign language, that, “Please forward this message to the grand monkey, Abhisit, that even while we here still rather die from cancer than starvation, please, stop hurting the food chain because we rather go back and live on the island jungle.” 

“Just make sure banana trees can grow again, before thinking “V” shape or whatever,” said the monkey.

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