Sunday, May 6, 2007

Deconstructing Nongnuch Singhadecha: Hysteria from Matichon's Chief Right-Wing Apologist for the Junta


Support new constitution

A local columnist argues that it's useless to second-guess the coupmakers. Instead, all Thais should work together to make the transition back to democracy


Bangkok Post

If morning TV news is to be believed, it seems there is nothing good any more in Thailand, said Nongnuch Singhadecha, a Matichon writer.

A certain group advocates boycotting the upcoming referendum on the constitution, even if it means bloodshed, as it is the product of dictatorship. On the economic front, some say that Thailand is facing a crisis, pointing to a rise in the unemployment figure from 1.3% to 1.5%, noted Nongnuch.

She did not think well of morning news talk show hosts who could only repeat what they heard without offering any analysis. She asked if the 1.5% jobless number was really high.

Nongnuch cited Singapore's GDP growth of 7.9% last year, with a 2.6% unemployment figure. This year's first quarter figure GDP growth was even stronger, and yet the unemployment figure rose to 2.9%. Does this mean Singapore's economy is facing a crisis? Does the United States' jobless figure of 4.5% mean that country is on the brink of disaster?

I agree with her about the unemployment numbers. If the economy was in the toilet, the numbers would be going up, but instead, unemployment is dropping. The country is probably at full employment.

Turning to the political front, Nongnuch said that political activists and academics would certainly oppose all efforts by the CNS and the interim government with the simple mantra that anything connected with the coup could not be justified. Instead of helping to restore calm in the country, they chose to make the situation worse.

It was useless to talk about whether the coup should have happened because it was already accomplished, and there were countless reasons why it took place. It was pointless to speculate on whether the country might be better off under Thaksin.

It was also pointless, said Nongnuch, to say that the coup leaders should not have revoked the whole B.E. 2540 Constitution, but only certain contentious sections. This was laughable, as the coup leaders needed to act quickly to seize power and didn't have the time or expertise to deliberate over which sections should be amended or abolished.

I almost puked my lunch when I read this today. The coup leaders had to act quickly to seize power? According to many sources, they were conspiring to overthrow the government since at least the beginning of '06.

Certain people would rather pose on the higher moral ground of democracy defenders, and condemn others as lackeys of dictators for participating in drawing up a new constitution and sitting in newly constituted independent organisations, said the Matichon writer.

The democracy defenders are on the high moral ground. The others are lackeys of the military junta. This is indisputable. The junta handpicked the CDC and NLA.

A law faculty dean voiced his opinion on TV that it wasn't the role of soldiers to meddle in politics, and said the Thai people were not patient enough to give democracy time to develop. Nongnuch said this was discriminatory and defended the rights of bureaucrats and the military to engage in politics. They are also Thais, and have the right and duty to choose to help govern the country, she said.

I agree with the dean. Nongnuch is an idiot. Nobody picked the bureaucrats or the military to represent the country. The bureaucracy and the military have proven over many decades that the only constituencies they care about are their own.

It would be ridiculous to say that doctors should only treat patients or that academics should stick to the classroom and not utter political comments. Yet some doctors and academics dare to say that soldiers and career bureaucrats should refrain from politics. What a double standard, declared Nongnuch.

Week after week, Nongnuch rants, and the more she rants, the more idiotic she sounds. If she knew anything, she would admit that the bureaucracy and the military are part of the problem concerning Thailand's political development. Countless thesis' have been written on this topic.

Another criticism that irked her was the claim that it was the bureaucrats, and not the people, who were presently drawing up the new constitution. Would they say that the United Nations, the biggest bureaucracy in the world, is a useless organization and should be abolished? Would they prefer to write in the constitution that this country does not need civil servants, soldiers, etc?

The UN is not the biggest bureaucracy in the world. She really is stupid. Plus, Thai bureaucrats have proven their incompetence over and over again. Academics know it, the people know it, and anybody with half a brain cell knows it. And, nobody is arguing that the bureaucracy should be abolished. It should stay out of politics.

Those democracy activists and academics should not have talked about shedding blood to oppose the new constitution if they are really so democratically minded, said Nongnuch. They should believe in the people's voice.

I agree with this. I believe in non-violent civil disobedience.

In the present economic climate, most people would like to see a general election in December as promised, so as to return the country to normalcy. The politicians also would like to see a general election as soon as possible, because otherwise they have no platform to voice their opinions. Every side should come together to find the best way out, said the writer. There is still time to amend the first draft. The Constitution Drafting Committee is open to suggestions and opinions, concluded Nongnuch.

No comment on this bit, because it is insignificent.

I don't know why Kamol loves to talk about Nongnuch every week. Her right-wing hysteria really grates on my nerves.


Charles Edward Frith said...

In all fairness to Matichon and other apologists for the dictatorship, their heads are on the line if Thaksin comes back. And back he is likely to come - A slump in economic sentiment the death of HRH, further civil unrest down south, coronation of the unloved one, and the remarkable ability of the Chinese Thai elite to put their own material wealth before social equality aspirations is more than enough. Oh. did I forget that he still has the popular vote?

Thailand will welcome Thaksin back like a dog to it's own vomit (Proverbs 26:11) - Understand those who will have to leave if this is the case.

If there is one idea that should be in the new constitution. Thai people should pass a test before having the ability to vote. What's the point of consulting the people when 98% of the them don't even know what the Senate is.

anon said...

The unemployment figures are a poor indicator at the capacity utilization of the eocnomy. For one, a large part of the Thai workforce is employed in agriculture, which is inherently seasonal. A fast rising percentage of the workforce is employed in the service sector, and I really doubt that the figures accurately measure service sector unemployment.

Don't forget that the Thai government doesn't give social security benefits to the unemployed. If it did, I'm sure you'd start seeing much more accurate unemployment figures coming out.

Fonzi said...

Interesting comments.

I agree with Charles. If there was an election, Thaksin, even without the cheating, in a free and fair election, would probably win in a landslide. I don't know if he would seek revenge. Many of his former enemies might come crawling on their hands and knees to beg for forgiveness though. All hypothetical, though, because he probably won't be back for the new election.


Unless we are all in dark about the real macro numbers(which is possible), according to macroeconomic theory, there is a direct correlation between employment and economic output. If
the economy is operating below its economic potential, unemployment should rise. Even if the government was off by a 2 percentage points, unemployment would still be low.

The thing that makes me suspicious is if we are at full employment, there should be some wage inflation, which doesn't seem to be the case, but, then, Thailand imports a lot of its manual labor from neighboring countries.

Who knows the truth? But I'm not convinced the economy is collapsing.

hobby said...

I also agree with Charles Frith.
"the remarkable ability of the Chinese Thai elite to put their own material wealth before social equality aspirations"

Does that remind you of anyone?

"If there is one idea that should be in the new constitution. Thai people should pass a test before having the ability to vote. What's the point of consulting the people when 98% of the them don't even know what the Senate is."

As soon as Thaksin showed his true colours he should have been kicked out by the peoples vote.
Charles has identified a major problem, and why further coups are inevitable.

Anonymous said...

I also think the bugger is coming back. If only because he has more supporters than there are soldiers.