Thai Life, live, reflected and quote back


Towards a Fair Society or not?

I spotted this article, Thailand’s shocking inequity statistics on the BKK Post and thought I share with you the figures. Then leave you to ponder what it all means for us. Are we any different from any other first world country? Do you think this is any different than historical Thailand pre-wars? What can we learn from it really?

Prof Pasuk Phongpaichit speech “Towards a Fair Society” at the King Prachadhipok Institute conference, quoted the following as facts:

– The top 20% own 69% of the country’s assets while the bottom 20% own only 1%.

42% of bank savings money comes from only 70,000 bank accounts holding more than 10 million baht. They make up only 0.09% of all bank accounts in the country. In other words, less than 1% of the people own nearly half of the country’s savings.

– Among the farming families, nearly 20% of them are landless, or about 811,871 families, while 1-1.5 million farming families are tenants or struggling with insufficient land.

– 10% of land owners own more than 100 rai each, while the rest 90% own one rai or less.

– On income distribution, the top 20% enjoy more than 50% of the gross domestic product while the bottom 20% only 4%.

– The average income of the bottom 20% is the same as the poverty line at 1,443 baht per month.

– The gap between the richest and poorest family is 13 times, higher than all our neighboring countries.

Nidhi Eeo-seewong, was quoted to say,

“Thailand will never be the same again,” he wrote. “There is no use in being nostalgic. Instead, we must put our heads together to find out how to minimise the damage.”

Do you agree?

Here is the global view,

Well this is certainly true for Thailand and that particular someone who widened the earning gap considerably when he sold his technology asset!

This is the View of BKK Post

The lack of political will among the power cliques and corruption are apparently Thailand’s biggest obstacles. But the decline of public trust in parliamentary/money politics is no reason to debunk it, she insists. It is still the best system to allow democracy to grow more strongly, to effect fair taxation and state spending for the public good, to fight corruption and facilitate peaceful conflict resolution. “We just need to be patient.”

What do you think? Can we allow things to be as is and wait for the state to change? Do we believe that we, the people have the power to change? Or do we still lack the will, the vision and the foresight to summon up change?

Answer not on  a postcard but right here below this line, please.


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A Different Perspective

I recently came across a gallery, La Lanta first on-line and later in person and thought I should encourage you to take a tour. It was a piece by the Bangkok Post on Photocubism by M.L. Mingmongkok Sonakul that caught my attention.  Here are some examples that I found of interest and like to share with you.

Photo montage of the chaophraya river by M.L. Mingmongkol Sonakul

© 2009 Chaophraya by M.L. Mingmongkol Sonakul

What I like  about the collection of work is that it allows the subject to tell its own story.  Often we only get subjective view of from the artist perspective even when we view a landscape, we see that only from the photographer or painter own perspective.

The next piece I also like because of its simplicity and total honesty.

Photo montage of leaves by M.L. Mingmongkol Sonakul

© 2009 Leaves by M.L. Mingmongkol Sonakul

Then there is  this which makes me chuckles but have a look, corrugated zinc are so beautiful to look at especially the weathered and eroded pieces.

photo montage of corrugtaed zinc

© 2009 Zinc by M.L. Mingmongkol Sonakul

Now this is entitled “Yellow” and I must say, it’s my kind of yellow and I think it’s by far my most favourite.

photo montage of yellloe flames

© 2009 Yellow by M.L. Mingmongkol Sonakul

This puts a new perspective on things. It makes me take a close look at things that we often walk pass without giving it much care or attention. All things deserve a closer look at least  once in your life, for example when you travel down the Chaophraya river, have you taken noticed of the river or are you too busy getting suck into some melodrama playing right in front of your eyes? Or how many times do we walk on dead leaves without seeing what lovely texture they have and how they aged and died in such a graceful way.

Go on if you have time visit La Lanta if not then take a ten min break from your computer screena nd go online and treat your mind to a new way of looking at everyday things.

I would like to say thank you to La Lanta and here is how to get there.

245/14 Sukhumvit soi 31
Klongtan Nua, Wattana,
Bangkok 10110


Escape or confront? What’s your choice?

We all dream of living our life peacefully without facing  any major changes that might have an impact our daily life!

Take Bangkok traffic, we all seems to be able to cope with idiosyncratic drivers, taking short cuts that occasionally end their lives.  But when we have to face major roadwork that will improve the traffic conditions and road safety, what do we do?  We all feel aghast, cheated and shocked at why they have to do this now and disrupt our daily routine!

Changes are not easy to live with yet we do live in continuous flux of change but we hardly take notice! The only change we notice is when something major is happening in our lives. A wedding, a divorce, a birth and a death, getting fired, getting promoted, and getting a knock back from friends or colleagues. .. I don’t need to go on here, do I?

Before the actual change takes place, there’s usually something that instigated the change; a reason, an incident, an outcry but most of us simply ignore this. We simply get on with our daily lives and simply bury our heads in the sand or under the duvet, your choice!

Take the political situation in our country, long before the PAD or the red go marching, did anyone of us care about how this country is shifting and bending to a particular direction. I don’t think so! What we care about is how to please ourselves, our family, our friends. Or how to get what we don’t have or have more of what we like!

Each time that groups of people instigated any changes, we simply listen in one ear and out the next. As long as it doesn’t affect us then just let things be, much safer and easier that way.

The question is why are we Thais afraid of changes, new things and progress. Why do we leave things to the last minute until it gets almost out of hand before we choose to take a peep and see what’s happening!

Right now, Thailand is at a crossroad. What will you do? Escape or confront your inner most fear. Allow progress or just let things continue on as is. Can we afford to not make a choice and do something about this? I don’t think so!

Are we going to be like passengers in taxi cabs, allowing the drivers to rant about their political views and aspiration while we winced and hope they don’t turn round and ask our opinions!

What is there to be afraid of? With change comes uncertainty and not knowing but with change, comes progress!

Catherine from Women Learning Thai, recently commented on my previous post,

My take… for westerners, it’s a part of who they are. Coming up with ideas to improve where they live is all about contributing to whatever society they find themselves in.

Standing by doing and saying nothing, could be be construed as taking while giving nothing back.

Anyway, that’s just the way I feel personally. If I am not giving back to a country that is giving so much to me, then I am being selfish.

Her comment shows us the difference in attitude between westerners here and I totally agree with her.  Standing by doing nothing to most of us is easy and supported our ” mai pen rai” attitude that seems to halt many progress.

Come on, isn’t it time we wake up to what’s taking place here in Thailand. This is actually quite exciting, it’s called progress. We all have the right to decide what we want for this country and the choices are not two colours but the whole spectrum out there. All that is required of us is to stand up to what we personally believe in, escape your fear and confront your enemy! We have the right to be free so what choice will you make?