Thais increasingly dissolute

Thais increasingly dissolute: experts - The Nation, August 31, 2005
...Thais tend to be greedy, ill-tempered, deceitful and aggressive, said Buddhist thinker Phra Paisal Visalo of Chaiyaphum's Wat Pa Sukhato.
...He faulted modern lifestyles, which prize materialism. As a result, more and more youngsters are turning to pornography, coveting expensive gadgets like flashy mobile phones, and engaging in gambling and one-night-stands, Somphong said.
The university lecturer said many female students went gaga over Japanese-style mini-skirts for their college uniforms, a practice that some universities tacitly endorse. Somphong added that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was keenly aware of the erosion of morals in Thai society and supports a comprehensive initiative to tackle the problems...


[2015 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from the early days of the Thai internet, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.]

Thais increasingly dissolute: experts

The Nation
August 31, 2005

Thai society has hit a nadir in immorality in which parents shower their children with money instead of care, thieves prey on people in broad daylight, and teens indulge in reckless hedonism.

These were some of the red flags that participants raised yesterday at a seminar on eroding social norms, hosted by the National Culture Commission.

Thais tend to be greedy, ill-tempered, deceitful and aggressive, said Buddhist thinker Phra Paisal Visalo of Chaiyaphum's Wat Pa Sukhato.

The monk cited findings by a recent ABAC poll that said a whopping 98 per cent of young Thais liked to cut class to go shopping; 60 per cent admitted to skipping classes for other reasons; and 45 per cent said they drank regularly.

Phra Paisal argued that such hedonism among Thai youths was the result of hands-off parents who tended to give their children ample pocket money in lieu of real parental care and affection.

He called on government officials to reintroduce the teaching of traditional morals in school curricula. As an example, he recommended that sex education not just focus on the mechanics of sex, but also on the sexual morals.

The monk stressed that such traditional attitudes as non-violence and loving kindness must be consistently fostered in children from the kindergarten level and even in young adults in university.

Somphong Chitladap, a lecturer at the Faculty of Education at Chulalongkorn, University, said that with each new generation traditional morals were noticeably eroding.

He faulted modern lifestyles, which prize materialism. As a result, more and more youngsters are turning to pornography, coveting expensive gadgets like flashy mobile phones, and engaging in gambling and one-night-stands, Somphong said.

The university lecturer said many female students went gaga over Japanese-style mini-skirts for their college uniforms, a practice that some universities tacitly endorse. Somphong added that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was keenly aware of the erosion of morals in Thai society and supports a comprehensive initiative to tackle the problems.

Maj-General Jaramporn Suramanee, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said a social crisis was brewing.

The chief explained that road races, gang-style fights, and teenage prostitution were all on the increase.

Jaramporn added that criminals were growing bolder as well with thieves often operating in broad daylight.

Malefactors rob people and steal cars in shopping malls without bothering to try and hide under the cover of darkness any longer, he said.
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