Monday, September 17, 2007

Plane Crash in Phuket; The Nation Blames "Foreigners"

Bangkok Pundit and Lost Boy have excellent coverage here and here.

The Nation, on the other hand, has decided to go nationalistic at this tragic time:

Like several other airlines, One Two Go has reportedly undergone manpower changes. The boss of One Two Go and Orient Thai budget airlines, Udom Tantisprongchai, is said to have replaced several of his Western and Thai pilots - allegedly to cut costs and reduce the chance of work disputes _-with crews with Indonesian and Philippine pilots.

However, authorities insisted it was too soon to presume anything, including whether human errors played a part in the tragedy.

Also here:

Chantra said it is not yet known whether the aircraft, which was leased by OneTwoGo from a foreign company, is covered by foreign insurance or not, something that the insurance commission still needs to find out.

However, airline companies normally buy insurance to cover both the aircraft in operation and passengers.

Chantra said foreign passengers usually have their own life and accident insurance, but Thai passengers, who are now being treated at local hospitals, will be able to get compensation from OneTwoGo, which will have to pay hospital bills immediately. The airline can claim those costs from its foreign insurers later.

Chantra said that the General Insurance Association had confirmed that OneTwoGo did not have local insurance for the MD 82 that crashed. He added that he will try to find out whether the foreign owner of the MD 82, which had leased it to OneTwoGo, had insurance for the aircraft.

I don't see the point in spinning this tragedy as caused by "foreigners." The insinuation that The Nation is making is a bigoted one. And it is disgusting.

Any why shouldn't aircraft, regardless of the owner, be required to carry insurance. WTF? So if Thai Air leases planes from Boeing or Airbus, then those foreign companies are liable for the actions of a Thai company's employees or for weather conditions in Thailand.

There really is something uncouth about worrying about who should pay the hospital bills at this time.

Lastly, in all the reports I have read, there seems to be no concern for the "foreign" pilot and co-pilot who lost their lives.


Anonymous said...

I read the same Nation news article you did Fonzi but I did not get any 'nationalistic' slant as you quickly interpret. There is more than distrust of The Nation you are evincing Fonzi. I have sensed it from the first 'Shark' broadside I read, which drew me to be suspicious of your website from then on.

That you are pro-Thaksin can easily be seen. That you will write half-truths for Thaksin is also easily seen. That you will make attempts to gloss over, diminish and often demand nonsense 'evidence' for Thaksins crimes (the extra-judicial killings right there on top) were your trademark 'deconstructing' style over and over again.

And your particular channel to direct your particular vitriol had been The Nation News . . . because you believe, rightfully of course, that The Nation News had been one of the key anti-Thaksin players responsible for the ouster of that dangerous ex-PM, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Fonzi said...


You should write comedy. You always crack me up.

I am glad you admit that The Nation was part of the propaganda machine that ousted Thaksin.

We may not agree politically, but give you points for that honest acknowledgment.

Thai Observer said...

Matty, I read the same article and I saw no reason whatever to even mention the words foreign, or foreigner, as if i some way they would be better aircraft or crew if they were Thai. And this has nothing whatever to do with Thaksin So I think on this occasion you are out of line in at least 2 respects.

I also watched TiTV when the reports were unfolding (bear in mind this is about 5 hours after the crash - hardly illustrative of Thais getting their act together. The TiTV anchorman announced (in English) that the plane was insured, "So all you people in hospital, don't worry about money, it will all be paid for". I was astonished at this crass and ignorant remark, but sadly, many people who have lived in Thailand and who both know and understand Thais, associate them with stupidity and incompetence. It is a great shame that they continue to show themselves up in such an unfavourable light and seem unable to do anything about it; at the same time as continuing to believe they are God's gift to the world.


Red and White said...

I have to agree with Matt, I saw no xenophobic stance here. Also, I believe that TN supported the anti Thaksin movement, but they were certainly not a 'key' player.

Fonzi said...

Red and White-

Please explain the intent of this quote:

"The boss of One Two Go and Orient Thai budget airlines, Udom Tantisprongchai, is said to have replaced several of his Western and Thai pilots - allegedly to cut costs and reduce the chance of work disputes _-with crews with Indonesian and Philippine pilots."

The obvious insinuation from The Nation is that if a higher paid and more qualified Thai or western pilot had been flying the plane, the accident wouldn't have happened.

R and W, I know you have a personal relationship with the journalists at The Nation, so that may cloud your judgment in their favor, but the text is there in black and white for everybody to see, and your buddy Tulsathit signed off on this text.

By the way, I have read many news reports on the crash from newspapers all over the world. The Nation is the only paper to make a bigoted distinction between the competency the "foreign" pilots and Thai/Western pilots.

And, The Nation seems overly concerned about the "foreign" liability insurance and the plane leased from "foreigners."

None of this "foreign" rhetoric is necessary.

sooksiam said...

Fonzi, why are you being such a dildo in this sort of situation?

I am not in the mood to argue with you right now. I do not even know which source of news I should believe either.

I came across an article about the incident on "Kom Chad Luek's website". It says something quite different:

I hope you can still read Thai.

Fonzi said...


The link doesn't work.

I don't understand your point.

You don't want to argue with me over what exactly?

Actually, today The Nation had a good editorial about the accident, and it was nice enough to leave the anti-foreigner stuff out.

Thai Observer said...

I see no reason to draw a distinction between Thais and non-Thais unless one believes that one group has merit or worth greater than the other. In every civilised country in the world it is illegal or improper to draw any distinction between races un;less it is at the core of the matter. In this matter, race is irrelevant and Thais show themselves up to be unapologetically racist.

hobby said...

Observer: Has it occurred to you that your generalizations about Thai's could also come across as racist?

I would have thought a psychologist would know better than to make such generalizations.