Big Joke, no joke

Bangkok Post - - OPINION -

Re: David James Wong’s com­ments in his Sept 25 let­ter that Big Joke did not go far enough. Big Joke rep­re­sented all that is harm­ful to Thai­land’s pol­i­tics, its rep­u­ta­tion, the tourist in­dus­try and to those liv­ing in Thai­land on var­i­ous visas. His pol­icy to en­cour­age Thais to re­port any “sus­pi­cious Western­ers” was a page out of a Rus­sian Kom­so­mol hand­book dur­ing the Stalin era in the old USSR.

While vis­it­ing Myan­mar many years ago, I was cau­tioned to be su­per care­ful about what I said near stu­dents, chil­dren and those adults who ca­su­ally in­tro­duced them­selves in the streets and at the Sh­wedagon Pagoda. The stu­dents re­ported what they heard, the chil­dren re­ported what their par­ents talked about and those “ca­sual adults” were se­cu­rity staff on the look-out for any tourist who said any­thing un­favourable. Yup, Big Joke would have gone full Monty, given enough time and lee­way. The PM is right to be wary of any politi­cians, po­lice or gen­er­als who con­sider them­selves in­dis­pens­able, and de­clare them­selves the true guardians of the na­tion and the preser­va­tion of na­tional in­ter­ests.


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