Thursday, January 25, 2007

Surayud Jumps the Shark with Speech to JFCCT

PM Surayud's speech to Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce

In the meantime, we are continuing to lay down the crucial foundation for Thailand's long term competitiveness. The national vision will need strong building blocks for our economic resilience and efficiency and productivity. We are moving ahead on these long term improvements, including through preparation of the National Productivity Improvement Plan and the National Intellectual Infrastructure Plan. In order to achieve quality growth, we need to constantly develop the quality of our human capital, physical capital and technology, particularly where SMEs are concerned. We also need better ways to combine them to produce goods and services, and develop new ones. This will require a better innovation system to nurture new ideas.

I hope that our foreign partners will join us in this great collective enterprise for us to prosper together. Indeed, we urge you to put forward recommendations for improving efficiency, transparency and productivity, not only in your businesses, but also in government. Join us in the fight to promote corporate and government responsibility. In so doing you will be renewing your commitment to the Kingdom of Thailand as we celebrate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King's 80th Anniversary.

With regard to this auspicious event, I wish to take this opportunity to invite all foreign businesses operating in Thailand to join the Kingdom's celebrations by launching your own "sufficiency economy" or sustainability projects under the theme of "From His Majesty's wisdom, sufficiency for our children".You can launch such projects within your own organizations or in connection with the communities in which you operate. The sustainable use of resources means seeking greater efficiency in every area in which you operate which in the long term is, I believe, good for the bottom line.

The Year of Great Reforms that I have outlined represents our progress toward a more sustainable development path, both in political and economic terms. In view of the many challenges along the way, it will require cooperation on the part of all Thais. It also will require the active cooperation of all our friends. You can be assured that Thailand does not take the contributions of the foreign business community for granted. We need the trust and confidence of our partners for these actions to succeed.

It is my fervent hope that our good friends in this room will continue to support our efforts to build successful political reform and establish the socio-economic preconditions for quality growth. Through our actions in 2007 I fully expect that Thailand will become a better place in which to invest and do business. It will indeed become more transparent, more efficient, more productive, more equitable and more sustainable - all long-term goals to which every nation should aspire.


Dear Stupid Farang,

Even though for the last four months or so this government has enacted draconian policies directed towards the farang expatriate and investor community, I want you to ignore our actions and for the moment listen to my sweet soothing words. In Thailand, we have a saying "Talk sweetly to the farang in the morning, have a new buffalo in the afternoon."

Look, for centuries, it has been the duty of the Thai government to get as much as possible from the farang without having to give anything in return. In fact, this is the sworn duty of every officer of the Thai government. The only problem is we can't say that directly to your faces. Therefore, it must be the policy of this government to use as much convoluted language as possible to confuse you. Normally, farang think we Thais are horrible at English. That is not true at all. We are very good at English, but we just don't want to commit ourselves to anything clearly in the English language, so it is better to mumble a bunch of incomprehensible words that makes us simultaneously look smart yet mean absolutely nothing of substance.

Anyway, the truth is that we Thais hate the farang. We love farang money. We love farang technology. We love our expensive homes in farangland. And we love to rip off farang any chance we get. So we have decided on a very important marketing strategy to keep as much as your money as possible without hurting your feelings or causing great disruptions to our anti-farang strategy. Put simply, we have to enact laws that get your money, but to get your money, we must pretend that that we love you. And that is exactly the point of this speech. I must tell you what you want to hear, because let us be frank, farang are really deluded about us Thais. I can tell you anything you want to hear and you will believe it. And we will continue to take your money without giving you anything in return. It has been a winning strategy so far, so why change it?

That is the nature of the Thai beast. If you don't like it, you can always leave. But you have to understand something about us Thais. We are just as deluded as you are. We will make our right-wing movies about Thai heroes from 500 years ago, we will wear our yellow shirts to the cows come home, we will stand for the national anthem twice a day like good fascists, and we will talk about sufficiency until we are blue in the face. Nobody knows bullshit like a bullshitter. And as the country is collapsing around us, we can always go back to blaming you, the farang.

So just remember this, give us your money for free and we will continue to say nice things about you to your face right before we stab you in the back, and, in the end, when things go to the toilet, we will blame you for all our problems. Have a nice day.

By the way, make sure you wear your yellow shirts this year, pay your taxes to our national coffers and bribes to our officers, and don't overstay your visas.

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