In an ideal world, people would be driven by ideas and possibilities, seeking to better the world through believing in the theoretical. But in Thailand, that is far from reality, with 5 dead only a few days ago, Bangkok shut down, a possible war is brewing. But throughout this chaos, much has been forgotten, and what we have forgotten may bring the truth more to the surface. We just have to remember.
We must remember who the individuals leading the parties are. Thaksin Shinawatra was a US-backed businessman who, while he did open up the Thai market to the international world, also monopolized the phone industry, placed friends and family in positions that would allow him maximum control of the economy, killed 3,000 in a “war on drugs” (many of the murders were not drug-related), and heavily censored the media to ensure his popularity. Suthep Thaugsuban was born part of the Thai elite, but was charged with murder after he authorized the use of ammunition during the 2010 crackdown, which left 12 dead. Thaksin was accused with crimes against humanity and charged with corruption, but is evading jail in exile. We must remember their history. The last decade has been a struggle for power, tit-for-tat, between the two parties, led by the same, or friends and acquaintances of Suthep and the Shinawatra party, that is still fighting today.
We must remember that Suthep’s “People’s Council” may lead to a more authoritarian rule. He may have pure intentions, he may have less democratic intentions in mind, and are only putting out promises and democratic rhetoric. We must remember that Yingluck tried to pass a bill that would grant a fully elected Senate (which will make make the Pheu Thai more secure politically), Suthep had been one of the leading politicians going against the amendment of power; however now he is the one pushing for a similar, but more extreme version of the bill with his People’s Council. Tit-for-tat.
The problem stems from the inherent income inequality that has plagued Thailand since the time of the monarchy, which the middle and upper classes (of which I am a part of) now want to preserve. What must be realized is that by increasing the standard of living, education, and career opportunities for the rural classes, we will be increasing Thailand’s productivity and output, which will make the Thai economy better and benefit us as well. It’s not about trying to hold on to power, it’s about letting go a bit of our power and our wealth for the good of the country, which includes us. And that starts with a change in perception. The more well-off see the lower classes as unintelligent people who only follow bribes, but even if it was true (which is a massive generalization and stereotype), what does that say about the society where we live in? What does it say about a society where the poor have to rely on bribes to have their voices heard, to get the very necessities that were denied them? If they are unintelligent, educate them. If they are following bribes, implement policies that will increase their wages. We must remember to try to provide solutions instead of just throwing simple insults.
So what is the solution to all this? Right now, there is none, except exposing the Thai people, who are separated by propaganda from either side of the political divide, and making them realize that although we may be separated by yellow and red, we are all Thai. There is not an us and them, no “rich” against “poor” that the two parties are trying to polarize in order to gain their own individual powers.
We need to remember the real problem in Thailand. It is not of what the Democrat Party may call the unintelligent poor and the Shinawatra family, who is characterize in the Democratic Party’s tv channels as almost demonic, nor is it necessarily the greedy rich that many anti-Democrat media sources characterize them to be. We are ranked 101st of 148 countries in quality of primary education (The Global Competitiveness Forum), 55 out of 6o countries in English proficiency of non-English native speaking countries (EF English Proficiency Index), and 130 our of 180 countries in press freedom (World Press Freedom Index). That is the real problem. And if any of the parties, whether it be Shinawatra’s party or Suthep’s PDRC, has viable, detailed plans on how to achieve this, please, do tell.
I believe in this country, our people. We as the Thai people must remember who we are, tied by nationality, tied by history. Do not let individuals break us apart.
This is solely my own opinions, and I am completely receptive to anyone who thinks differently, so if you have differing thoughts, please, post them below!