Deserving of absolute loyalty--or else! - Bangkok Post, June 25, 2005
[Note from 2014: This article is apparently no longer online, so we are providing the full text as it provides a valuable account of the government's conduct during the Thai Rak Thai Party years. See also: EDITORIAL: Arrogance of power breeds discontent]
By zapping critical websites for reasons of national security, the Thai Mai Rak Khrai government has in no uncertain terms told critics to zip it. So let me rush to say I worship our CEO, I kiss the ground beneath his feet--for reasons of personal security.
And who could be more secure personally? He is listed among the billionaires in Forbes (year 2003), is the owner of a business empire that puts Berlusconi's in the shade, has pockets so deep he can dole out shares worth millions to maids and chauffeurs, and a heart big enough to admit ''honest mistakes'' _ such as when he promised, last century, to rid Bangkok of traffic congestion within six months. Of course we're all still sitting smugly in the jam eating bread and honey, and not daring to use the subway.
And did he not, at the height of the bird flu scare, bravely munch on flu-free fried chicken till he was ready to squawk?
His government's war on drugs has made the world sit up and take notice of our human rights record, which doubtless will go a long way towards securing the top UN job for our deputy prime minister responsible for foreign affairs.
The war on corruption has shown there are no corrupt politicians, only greedy graft busters. There has been nothing but the clearest transparency in the juicy longan deal, the airport scanners purchase, the rubber saplings project, the million cows scheme...
The state's handling of the situation down South is resulting in more and more people, bless their souls, resting in peace every day. And those who've so far managed to stay in one piece will soon have the pleasure of attending, possibly under threat of abduction, a new school (either in Narathiwat, Yala or Pattani, whichever presents the least likelihood of being burnt down), to learn how to bring about peace and tranquillity by folding paper cranes.
The poverty eradication scheme is achieving wonders, with beggars being rounded up off the streets just like the pre-Apec days of 2003, when destitute Cambodians were dispatched by the planeload to Phnom Penh free of charge.
Our relations with neighbouring countries couldn't be better _ especially with Burma, whose generals haven't a clue where they're headed despite road maps and must be handled with kid gloves because the government hopes one day to get back the 5 billion baht it loaned the junta to link up its communications network with ShinSat.
The one tambon one product (Otop) campaign has been a great success, with people sitting atop piles of unsold products because the communities started competing with each other by making identical goods.
The attempt to reform education has been exemplary. We now have state-funded schools in which the French are teaching English _ where's the harm in that? None (non?) whatsoever.
In fact, the reforms have been so successful that some 3,000 education officials are about to sue the education minister for lost career opportunities.
And what about the strenuous efforts being exerted to rehabilitate tsunami victims by relieving them of their lands?
Meantime, the energy-conservation campaign will surely save the country billions of baht as the PM keeps us happily in the dark while he himself gets lost in the fog on helicopter rides.
At great risk of being labelled unpatriotic one company has warned, though, that a midnight curfew on TV broadcasts might cause people to seek other forms of entertainment which would actually use up more energy. Indeed.
And who says our most cherished CEO doesn't listen to advice? Did he not take his chief adviser's advice and boot him out of the party's executive board _ prompting the adviser's wife to do a spot of meditation while inspecting a technical college to see whether those still in their salad days were being tossed to death in bizarre hazing activities?
So now our man from the North who calls himself South is in need of a new adviser, but social critics and academics need not apply. Sorry to say but yours truly, however sycophantic and grovelling, has not the skills required for such an important position, either.
Thirasant Mann is a sub-editor of Bangkok Post.