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2/09/2008

A lesson from Thailand

The military junta led by Sonthi and his generals are wetting their pants. There is fear of reprisals, fear of vengeance, fear of Thaksin's return. Why should there be fear? They have been upholding justice and truth and did everything they did, for Thailand and the Thai people. Or what they did were something else? In third world political systems, the obsession of power, the unwillingness to share political power, the unforgiving and vicious exercise of power against political opponents, depriving the people of their elected representatives by the abuse of power, will inevitably lead to fear and tension. Fear and tension in the victors as well as the losers. When Sonthi led the military coup, he made use of the whole state machinery to go after Thaksin, his family, relations and friends, and his party. All kinds of charges were drummed up, from treason, disrespect to the king and corruption. With all the civil servants under his control, he could go throw all the files, all the documents, to dig out every little things that Thaksin and his allies did, and frame any charges he wanted. That was justice, the justice of power, the truth of a third world political system. Compares that with what we are seeing in the US. The losers are as gracious and the winners as forgiving. And they accept each other in good spirit and with goodwill. They are willing to share political power with whoever the people chose. They accept the will of the people. They accept a system and play by it. There is no inkling of a coup or grabbing the machinery of the state to serve private and personal political interest. The winners and losers continue their lives as if nothing had happened. After the last election Al Gore continues his life lecturing and trying to save the world. We can see Romney, Hucklebee, McCain, perhaps Obama or Hillary continue what they were doing after the Presidential election. There will be no fear of vengeance or oppression or law suits. Thailand will take a long time to be free from fear. The military junta was ruthless in the persecution of Thaksin and his friends. Now they fear the same ruthlessness befallen on themselves. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. No exception. Third world political systems are vicious and shortlived, and will end in upheavels when there is a regime changed.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

But some people will say that the American system or Western system of democracy cannot work in their country. They must destroy their opponents politically, financially and mentally. Even their families, friends and associates are not spared. This is akin to the old Chinese thinking that to get rid of the grass you have to destroy the roots as well.

troop-miner said...

Anon 9:46AM

Ah, sir. That is called "our brand of unique democracy". This brand is fine-tuned to the local context, according to one wise man. It is so customized that it looked so different from the first and third world democracies.

Hmmm.... is there such a thing called "second world"?

Elfred said...

Too early to tell for Thailand. Hehehe...

Pojamon returned, but Thaksin has not. When Thaksin returned, then who should fear who would be another issue.

As you have acknowledged... this is third world politics. Hahaha...

Until now, there is something missing while the PPP is said to be bending to bring Thaksin back.

Whether Thaksin will become Bhutto II will be anybody's guess. :D After all, PPP has been very reluctant to agree on no political backlash and such... as I read the papers.

All these point to one fate for Thaksin. And he has to return for the show to close. Before that... too early to jump conclusion.

Thaksin wanna free himself from the King; if he kowtow to the King in public, he shouldn't touch the military. Thailand wanna show the world it is returning to normal, but... that'd mean Bhutto II would have to be the way.

The way you have the cake and eat it.

Anonymous said...

In Thailand, the King holds the largest amount of political power, whether or not he takes part in politics.

As a revered leader who spends alot of time with the poor, the King effectively tasked Sonthi to tame Thaksin, and audit the country.

Now that is has been done, its back to grow Thailand's economy.

The real lesson is that every country needs to be audited once in a while.

Singapore is one such country. However, Singapore doesn't have a revered leader who can sanction these "audit".

However, Singapore can develop a strong opposition, and have a balance of opposition members in government.

Some say this will kill our society. Some say that its time for political, social maturity.

When you develop your own people, you are truely preparing for growth.

Matilah_Singapura said...

As a part-time resident of Thailand, I will tell you most people— even the Thais do not know what goes on in Thai politics. The (multiple) webs of relationships is always shifting and is extremely complex. The military is involved, so is business, so is the royal family, so are the intellectuals, and then there are the overseas Thais and the connections to the IMF, World Bank, UN, US, CIA etc etc etc.

In fact, Thailand is "safe" because of these multiple connections—everyone is cooperating and competeting, such that in actuality NO ONE has all the power nor can anyone have the power for very long.

IMO, this is healthy. It is chaotic...and uncontrollable. Which at the end of the day is GREAT for personal liberty and freedom — for the average INDIVIDUAL.

And you can see the empirical evidence to support this: the average Thai is FREE — he does what he likes (without hurting others), says what he likes in the many avenues of free expression available, and can earn as much as he likes — economic freedom.

The decline of the west is due to the fact that individual liberties are being chipped away.

Freedom and liberty are the only social institutions that guarantee long term prosperity, peace and "happiness". However, both freedom and liberty must be constantly guarded—unfortunately not many people understand this and eventually drop their guard.

redbean said...

the thais revered their king. but this trend will change as the people get more enlightened and worldly and start to question why should there be a king and for what?

if the role of the king is just ceremonial, to shake hands and kiss babies and take photographs with people, then it is not much different from Ah Meng. In fact Ah Meng did a better job and literally at the cost of a peanut.

In the new and sophisticated world, the people will question the contribution and the cost involved. paying huge sum of money for no or little effort will be subject to ridicule.

the king got to play his role right and carefully. getting involved in politics may shorten his days of glory.

Elfred said...

His days glory is at the hungry eyes of Thaksin. That could be his view, and it is the reality here. If Thaksin must have his way, as Mahathir wanna kicked the Sultans, Thaksin... alonside with his corporate 'friends' of cos wanna destroy this hassle.

And since the king moves... all the more the intensity of the reaction that the king must expect from Thaksin.

So now... Thaksin is certified not relenting, and sent Pojamon back and so PPP is bringing him back into politics...

The only way left for the military and the King is to have Thaksin back... and carry out third politics the third world's way.

Doing it in London or Singapore or what will necessarily bring in foreign intervention, especially investigation.

The smiles are all on.

In this game, it is obvious, one must survive. The military has bared their cards on Thaksin in the name of the King... PPP and Thaksin will have good reason to plot a revenge. And the King and military are no more stupid than Bhutto's Musharaff...

One side has to go. It's only when is the most appropriate timing... and where it should be.

Obviously, to the military and the king... any method is good method.

Which is why Elfred is all eyes...

Once Thaksin returns... Bhutto's alarm clock could be set.

Reality of politics... which is why Elfred doesn't wanna be in the frontline... unless forced to do so.

In Thailand, whoever has the control can make businesses... Thaksin is... politically speaking... expendable. Thailand can make more Thaksin, but the king would have to treasure himself and his monarchy and his family. So have the military.

After all, the military is the front man doing all this dirty job. They have to think for themselves... of a strong PPP and a returning man-eater.

It's gonna be interesting. Who is hold what card, is still too early to tell. Who fears who is too early as well to tell.