8 Jan 2018
A small tornado bursts through the door of the meeting room. And stops dead in its tracks. ‘Where is everyone?’ ‘Sir?’ ‘Why is there no one here? There’s supposed to be a meeting.’ ‘Quite so, sir.’ ‘I rushed like mad to get here on time and look, by my watch I am in fact a bit late.’ ‘Late, sir? But the meeting isn’t scheduled to start for another quarter of an hour.’ ‘What are you talking about? Look here, my watch says I’m ten min- Oh. Two hours and ten minutes late.’
4 Jan 2018
The Dao Din are Thailand’s best known student activist group, with one activist (Pai) in prison for lèse-majesté and others facing charges of illegal assembly. Started fourteen years ago at the beginning of the Faculty of Law of Khon Kaen University, the nascent Dao Din consisted of first year students who went into the field on a project-by-project basis to survey the injustices faced by villagers in the Northeast. The Dao Din mainly consist of Faculty of Law students, around 90%, with another 10% coming from Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Education, and Nursing.
24 Nov 2017
With a new inheritance tax introduced last year and the Land and Building Tax Law coming into effect on January 1st, 2019, Thailand is taking steps towards addressing its reputation as the third worst country globally for wealth inequality. Still, the amount of additional income that is being raised is small, and the government’s position is that expanding the amount of state income obtained via more progressive taxation should be the task of the next parliament.
21 Nov 2017
President Trump has just been to China. Just before he arrived, the trial of Taiwanese NGO worker Lee Ming-cheh was streamed online from Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan province. Lee had been arrested on 19 March when he crossed the border from Macau. He then disappeared into the gulag that is the Chinese judicial system. He had not been seen for 6 months before his trial for “subverting state power” under a new Foreign NGO Management Law.
17 Nov 2017
The political struggle in Thailand can be seen as the unfinished democratization project. Although we have already had the revolution for establishing the democratic regime since 1932 by a group of democrat bureaucrats and military, there were military-led 13 coup d'etat, and the constitution has been changed for 20 times during the "85 years of solitude" of Thailand politics.
1 Nov 2017
A post-Yingluck Shinawatra Thailand is not a reconciled Thailand, and nor will it be if her Pheu Thai Party ceases to exist. The political arena will remain as polarised as it has been for the past decade. Yet this predicament can be overcome through a strategy laid out in the well-known Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Longzhong Plan. The plan was to divide China into three realms of roughly equal power. Adapting that plan can lead to positive change that will help move Thailand out of the current deadlock.
25 Oct 2017
So when are we going to get there? I told you. In about two hours. But you said that two hours ago. The farther we go, the longer it seems to take. At this rate I don’t think we’ll ever get there. No, it’s just that I have follow the roadmap. It says we have to go through here and here and here before we can get to there. And it takes time to get to each one. But you drew the roadmap yourself. No I didn’t. It was him on the back seat.
16 Oct 2017
"During the past three years, my despair about my country has never reached the depth it did when I learned of the judgment in the case of Pai Dao Din," said Nidhi Eoseewong. Nidhi Eoseewong (file photo)
16 Oct 2017
It’s rather nice of the Bangkok Post to ensure that we get a regular dose of capitalist economics through a biweekly op-ed from the Thailand Development Research Institute, a corporate-funded think tank that can be trusted to think corporately.
9 Oct 2017
Two weeks before he was unleashed on the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump gave a speech in Bismarck, North Dakota, supposedly to outline his plans on tax reform. (A quick aside for the historically-minded: Bismarck is named after the Iron Chancellor who invented realpolitik and Germany. Could there be a starker contrast?)
1 Oct 2017
‘Govt sets B3 trillion tourism target’ reads the Bangkok Post headline (together with a pic showing ‘Chinese tourists at Wat Phra Kaeo’ who have fair hair and big noses) (the dastardly Chinese tourists must have started wearing disguises!). So that’s alright then.
25 Sep 2017
How’s your arithmetic? In April this year, North Korea celebrated the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army. And it was no secret. USA Today’s headline was ‘North Korea marks anniversary of its military with massive live-fire drill’. Reuters ran with ‘South Korea on heightened alert as North Korea readies for army anniversary’. The Daily Mirror: ‘Terrifying rally in North Korean parliament to mark army’s 85th anniversary as fears of war grow’. And lots more on Google.