Bangkok Post - - 7 DAYS -

Power of the pets

An­i­mals forced the gov­ern­ment to aban­don its sweet­est, eas­i­est tax idea ever. They forced Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Grisada Boon­rach to say some­thing no Thai mil­i­tary man, no Thai gov­ern­ment per­son, no Thai gov­ern­ment min­is­ter has ever said in the cur­rent mil­len­nium: “I want to apol­o­gise”. What hap­pened is that an­i­mals re­belled and howled when gov­ern­ment al­leged that their hu­mans were on the verge of aban­don­ing them. Gov­ern­ment pro­posed li­cens­ing all dogs and cats ex­cept for mil­lions of stray and feral beasts, with a 450-baht regis­tra­tion tax. Mr Grisada will try again later, with a lower fee.

Deep South

The trou­bled and of­ten vi­o­lent three and a half provinces lost a four-star gen­eral last week. But they gained a son. Gone is Bangkokian Gen Ak­sara Kerd­phol, who failed for four years to reach a peace pact with the Malaysian group Mara Patani. But to re­place him, they are get­ting just-re­tired Lt Gen Udom­chai Tham­masaro­raj. He is a na­tive-born south­erner. In 2016 he re­fused a pro­mo­tion to four stars in or­der to stay in the South to com­mand the 4th Army Re­gion. The po­lit­i­cal sands are shift­ing in the deep South be­cause of the election of Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, who does not like Mara-re­lated groups. But with Lt Gen Udom­chai, peo­ple of the South are get­ting some­one with their in­ter­ests at heart.


Be­ing a high-pro­file game hunter isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing. The con­struc­tion ty­coon Prem­chai Kar­na­suta was “ar­rested” in Fe­bru­ary and charged with killing a black pan­ther and eat­ing it — in­side a na­tional park. He’s still smil­ing, walk­ing around and get­ting gov­ern­ment con­tracts. Last week, a cou­ple of in­flu­en­tial of­fi­cials in Kan­chanaburi were caught in Sai Yok Na­tional Park with a si­lence ri­fle and paws from pro­tected bin­tur­ong, bet­ter known as bearcats or civets. Within a day of the “ar­rests” of the hunt­ing party, se­nior po­lice lamented they prob­a­bly didn’t have enough ev­i­dence to get the men into court, let alone prison.

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