I don’t mean to spoil your Songkran, but in years to come what you do this week may be illegal. Even worse, we may not even need a law to prevent people from throwing water at one another. The treasured practice will likely be seen as an act of total insanity, or simply undoable.
Last week, two men displayed very different ways of dealing with embarrassment after the Thai national football team were humiliated by Japan in a World Cup qualifier. Football Association president Somyot Poompanmoung went public to announce “I’m ashamed.” Soon after, team coach Kiatisak Senamuang thanked his players, fans and family and promptly quit his job.
Over 6,500 vehicles were seized from traffic violators, including those who engaged in drink driving during the recent long holiday break in Thailand. Some 600,000 traffic violations were detected by the police, mostly at road checkpoint during the five-day Songkran festival break on April 12 to 16. Some 45,000 law violators have been prosecuted....
It’s a story of two camps going out of their way in a bid to outsmart each other. If the renewed efforts to tax Thaksin Shinawatra over the 2006 sale of Shin Corp to Singapore’s Temasek are baffling, the scheme he allegedly used to evade that tax is no less perplexing.
Round One is going to Marxism. There are two possibilities regarding the alleged Russian interference in US politics: Either the claim is true or it is false. Either way, people in the Kremlin must be rolling on the floor laughing right now. Wait. It’s Capitalism that is actually on the floor at the moment.
“I have stopped, but you haven’t,” the Lord Buddha said to Angulimala, setting the stage for the ruthless killer’s redemption. Angulimala had exhausted himself “chasing” a sage who appeared to be standing still but was able somehow to keep his pursuer at arm’s length.
Many of us had been involved with bribery even before we were born. Our parents called them “gifts” to the doctors who delivered us, but in many cases those gifts were just bribes with their hair combed. After we die, the “name” changed again, this time to something like “merit money”, with the recipients being senior monks or temple staff who know the way around a tight funeral queue.
Thank you, Donald Trump, for making “conflict of interest” a popular political term once again. I confess I was losing faith in modern-day democracy, as it seemed anyone with a fat bank account and decent track record in business could take a nation’s helm unopposed.
This may go contrary to what many believe, but a delayed election could actually benefit Pheu Thai. Analysts, forecasters and advisers of Thailand’s biggest party must know this already, but it’s not politically correct to say so in public.
This is a period when love, compassion and forgiveness rule and little else matters. Which can be a bit strange since this season of giving is absolutely man-made, meaning that human beings’ best qualities prevail for a few days merely because they want them to. In other words, there is no divine hand guiding our goodness (albeit fleeting) to one another at the moment.
Thailand has been poised on a stepping stone this year. Around us have swirled strong currents that are international, domestic and a mix of both. Some signs are obvious while others have appeared in glimpses or flashes. It has been yet another year that shows this country is ready to grow, although the future remains uncertain.
If “All men are created equal” is where you come from, welcome to Thailand during these intriguing times. Welcome to the land where, over the past few weeks, one of the most prominent messages on billboards and TV can make you frown.
When I was a kid, December 5 was just a holiday with extra festive mood because it was close to the New Year. Adults would take us to “watch the lights” in the evening, as many places in the vicinity would be colourfully illuminated.