Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Abhisit’s Many Hats

A Prime Minister must wear different hats in his/her job.  Abhisit is no exception.  Here are a few of the hats he’s worn since he became PM in December 2008.
Fisherman Abhisit
After a vicious flood in Phattalung province in January 2009, victims there looked toward their government headed by Abhisit for help.  Instead of helping, the government distributed cans of spoiled fish products through the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.  Originally the fish products would not sell so one of these notorious Democratic Party deals were made. The end effect, somebody got wealthier and about 100 flood victims got sick. As a British citizen, Abhisit probably enjoys fish and chips but you can bet he won’t be eating any in Phattalung province.

Skipper Abhisit
On a different jaunty nautical theme, in 2009 ethnic Rohingya boat people from Myanmar were detained along Thailand's southwestern coast, beaten and towed back out to sea and set adrift. Reports from survivors who washed up on India's Andaman islands and northwest Indonesia suggested as many as 550 of the 992 towed out to sea by the Thai military later died. No doubt the Rohingya are poorer and darker skinned than the elite in Thailand’s Democratic Party. Abhisit defended the actions of the Thai military – defending the indefensible.

Pimp Daddy Abhisit
In June 2010, the United States State Department downgraded Thailand’s status on their human trafficking watch list, accusing Abhisit’s government of failing to prevent women from being forced into prostitution. Human trafficking is a terrible crime. But evidently Abhisit doesn’t think so. He promotes it. Why else would he make former Mamasan, Pornthiva Nakasai, his Commerce Minister? I suppose that she is technically linked with commerce as she was running the Poseidon Massage Parlor in Bangkok.

"Scoops" Abhisit
Thailand’s 2010 ranking in press freedom, as ranked by Reporters Without Borders, fell to number 153th in the world. When Abhisit took office in December 2008, Thailand’s ranking was 65th. In 2009, his first year in office, Abhisit’s fascist policies caused the rankings to plummet to 130th.  I guess the good news is that he can’t bring the ranking down much lower than 153rd. There are only 178 countries evaluated. That means that only 25 countries in the world currently have a worse freedom of press ranking than Thailand. Watch out Burma, here comes Thailand.

Storm Trooper Abhisit

In April and May of last year Abhisit used the military to ruthlessly disperse a crowd of mainly peaceful anti-government protesters in Bangkok. Altogether, 91 people died (mostly unarmed protesters and a number of soldiers), while around 2,000 were injured. That was just a warm up. Now he’s goose stepping the army into Cambodia. On August 8 of last year on a People’s Alliance for Democracy, Aphisit announced, “I want to have Preah Vihear.” He also said, “I will not hesitate to use force when it’s time.” The border dispute with Cambodia is seen as another effort by the Abhisit’s minority royalist government to stay in power. And with the Thai election coming up, dozens have been killed and over a hundred wounded.  Nearly 100,000 civilians have fled the fighting.  Ceasefire deals get arranged regularly, only to be quickly broken by troops (usually Thai) opening fire.

Dunce Cap Abhisit

The recent results of the ordinary national educational tests for senior high school students, or O-net (Ordinary National Education Test), is an eye-opener regarding the Thai educational system and its quality of education. About 350,000 senior high students across Thailand took the tests which included 8 basic subjects, including mathematics, science, Thai and English languages, arts and social science. Out of a score of 100 for each subject, the students scored an average of less than 50 in all the 8 subjects. For instance, the average score was 14.99 for math; 19.22 for English; 42.61 for Thai language and 30.90 for science. Abhisit hasn’t done anything to address the quality problem but he has initiated universal education to students through to the end of high school at a cost of nothing – which is exactly what it is worth.
But one hat in particular that Abhisit has worn sums up his policies as Thailand’s Prime Minister:  

The condom hat

He seems suited and very comfortable in that hat.

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