Globalization: 1) World Bank: “Thai populous a Financial Risk” A necessity to manage Political Risk?

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By Pooky, Thai Intel’s economics journalist

For several years now, in poll after poll of Thai economist and business leaders, the poll says Thailand‘s greatest risk, is in politics. And the result of those polls, says very little about risk associated Thailand’s populous policy.

In fact, most global level units, from World Economic Forum competitiveness ranking to credit rating agency, such as Standard and Poor, all have said Thailand’s politics, is a major risk.

And yet, even with that concern about “Political Risk” many global level units, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), have for a year now, been concerned about Thailand’s financial risk, associated with the Yingluck’s government “Populous Policy.”

The latest, is the  World Bank (WB). The bank  just held a press conference in Thailand, to announced its latest finding on Thailand. And said it was concern that Thailand’s populous policy, will drive up public debt from about 47% of GDP currently, to 50% of GDP in the next few years. The World Bank also said, that Thailand’s rice subsidy scheme, will cost Thailand US$ billions in funding and risks, generating US$ billions in loss.

In fact, that focus on Yingluck’s rice subsidy scheme, as being a great risk, is exactly what the Thai establishment and media in its control is doing. Countless “Highly Critical and Highly Negative” numbers of articles, on Yingluck’s rice subsidy scheme have been produced in the past six months, most of them, even global reports from wire service such as Reuters and Bloomberg, cites namely two source. They are the Thai far right-wing research house, TDRI and Thailand’s rice exporters association.

Local Thai press, such as Bangkok Post and Nation, with a reputation of being non professional and being part of the Thai establishment, have obviously, added to the frenzy against the Yingluck’s government rice subsidy and also her “Populous Policy” in general, using what can be called “Fake News” in often citing un-known source in their report.

But overall, the fact is, “Politics” continues to be Thailand’s greatest risk.

When Yingluck won the last general by a landslide, USA President Obama said Democracy has returned to Thailand. Then in his recent visit to Thailand, he echoed about the same sentiment again, saying, quote: “Democracy needs to be continuously developed.”

Since a little before the 2006 coup, Thailand plunged into a prolonged bout of being governed by the “Bangkok Liberal Philosophy” that says Thailand is better off being governed by the “Good People” elected or not, than being governed by the elected “Bad Politician.” The Bangkok Liberal philosophy, is clearly, non democratic.

What is interesting, is that as economist and business people tells the poll, that politics is Thailand’s greatest risk, the poll of the Thai people, says the Thai people wants “Democracy.”

Clearly, the greatest risk in Thailand, the political risk, is from a confrontation between the Bangkok Liberal Philosophy and Democracy. And what have that “Confrontation” produced? The result, namely, is “Great Political Instability” and “Systemic Institutional Corruption” as most independent agencies, stacked with appointed Thais, voice Bangkok Liberal Philosophy and becomes pro establishment and anti Democracy.

One foreign investor in the Thai stock market, just puts the situation bluntly, and says in Thailand, “Politics is Dysfunctional.”

How does all of the above relate to the question: “Is populous a necessity to manage political risk?”

Consider the current situation, with the amending of the current Thai military constitution, to which Aung San Suu Kyi said, quote: “Thailand is the proof that a military constitution does not work.”

At the heart of keeping Thailand’s Bangkok Liberal Philosophy going, is the military constitution, and thus the Thai establishment, including the opposition party, much of the local press and also to the courts, have blocked “Amending” the constitution to be Democratic, extending to even the court telling Parliament not to proceed with amending the constitution.

And for the Yingluck government, to amend the constitution, it means a public nationwide referendum, of getting massive number of votes. There is no doubt about it, Thailand is poised for a great “Political Battle” where each side, the Bangkok Liberal Philosophy and Democracy, will fight with everything, and down to the grassroots.

Clearly, “Thailand’s Populous Policy and Development of Thai Democracy” are linked and related.

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