Friday, 10 April 2009


Can't help but notice how the Red shirts compare with the Yellow shirts of the PAD in Thailand. Basically I think they're being too gentle. But that could be because they know that the Yellow shirts have the upper hand due to support from the old elites in Bangkok and the army.

That shows - maybe - that Thaksin is prepared to mobilise the masses for political gains or perhaps to protect democracy in Thailand - but is not prepared to make the masses suffer through economic deprivation like what the PAD did when they closed off the airports in Bangkok some months ago.

To an outside observer, the PAD don't seem to give a "hoot" as to what the common folks in Thailand feels or have to suffer by their actions. They have no qualms whatsoever in paralysing the tourism industry to achieve their political agenda. From what happened a few months ago, it seems like their efforts at paralysing the economy had a swaying effect on the judiciary in disqualifying a Prime Minister, and hence scaring off otherwise Thaksin loyalists to defect.

Now that Thaksin has raised his stakes in daring to attack the one behind the coup two years ago and the one backing the Bangkok elite and the PAD - it's General Prem I'm referring to in case you haven't been following Thai politics - it's anybody's guess as to what can happen to Thailand over the next few weeks. Thaksin is far away in exile. But what he can garner in the form of resistance to the government and the institutions propping up the government is anybody's guess. Even if the government accuses him of "les majeste", he's in exile and nothing can be done. He already has a considerable amount of assets frozen in Thailand as a result of corruption accusations, and has lost Manchester City, so what else can he lose?

The Chinese like to say that if you force a dog into a dead end lane, be prepared for the consequences. Is this beyond the UK-born Premier Abhisit who looks like he's of Chinese-origin although not necessarily have had the benefit of traditional Chinese Confucianist teachings?

Whatever, I thought! It's Thailand. My friends in business there tell me that Thaksin has been too greedy, not unlike the friends in Indonesia who used to lament about the Suharto clan trying to gobble up every deal up for grabs in Jakarta.

For those of you who are purists and idealists, maybe this is a lesson - at least in Asia - in that politics is not always about equality and welfare for all citizens rich or poor. Politics seem to be about power followed by wealth followed by more power! And that's before we look at what's happening in Taiwan and Malaysia.

So for those of you in the West who are used to your Western ideas and ideals about democracy, these are interesting times for you to chart in your history and economic journals.

No comments: