Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deconstructing Sopon Onkgara: Hysterical Xenophobia, Double Standards and Coup Advocate

Is our country run by bunch of outlaws?

By Sopon Onkgara

The Nation

THE quality of our public office holders, political and civilian, has plummeted to a new low. There is a general perception that our country is being run by a team of outlaws in a hurry to enrich themselves with taxpayers' money.

These desperados are meaner than the meanest we have seen in recent years. This time around, they simply show no respect for the law of the land, starting with the Constitution. They will not give a second thought to breaking the law to further their self-serving interests.

Sopon has respect for the constitution? He was eager to tear the last one up and it seems he wants to do away with this one as well. See last two paragraphs.

Not only that, their track records are tainted, their performance in office is sloppy and inept, their level of morality is despicably disdainful. On second thoughts, what can we expect from these desperados who want to sell the country to foreign investors?

What has been sold off to foreign investors?

We used to talk and hear about traitors in no certain terms. We even doubted whether there were such individuals, especially those elected by the people, who would have the nerve to betray the public trust and their motherland for money.

Sopon is a joke. I guess when The Nation begs for that strategic partner/ foreign investor money that is a different story.

Not any more. There are more than just a few corrupt people - in the government, the civil service and in the private sector - who form an axis of evil perpetuating the vicious circle that plagues our gutter politics.

The Nation is part of that axis of evil.

They are shameless, immoral and treacherous. In the past, self-serving politicians and civil servants were corrupt, but at least they did not want to be perceived as traitors, opening doors for foreign counterparts, who are their equal, and their dubious ventures.

I guess I have missed those articles where foreign criminals and mafiosa are heavily investing in Thailand's strategic industries and national assets. Or maybe Sopon is confused with Thaksin's investments in the UK.

Right now, betrayal of the public trust has become all too common. Just a few days after taking a ministerial position, a businessman-turned-politician declared that he wanted to amend relevant laws to allow foreigners to own land as a means to stimulate foreign investment.

In Sopon's world, any person who advocates foreign ownership of land is a traitor, an outlaw and a criminal.

How does Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej feel about public criticism towards his Cabinet members, even after the reshuffle? No need to ask, because the line-up must have been part of his decision and grand design. One thing for sure: he does not care about public criticism.

He should ignore Sopon's criticism.

With such indifference, we can expect more law-breaking through direct actions and policies, especially over decisions to approve projects with huge budgets. The corrupt become bolder and more audacious even amid conflicts among rival factions. Oh yes, they are in a hurry to build up their war chests.

I follow The Nation very carefully every single day. It has supposedly transformed itself into the Thai version of the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal(OK, you can stop laughing now.)Funny, I have yet to read all those investigative reports on Samak's corrupt government. If Sopon knows who is robbing the treasury, why don't he report it instead of going into hysterical fits and hyperbolic rants ?

What choice does the public have in preventing the country from sliding further down this treacherous path and its unpredictable end? Soiled hands are within reach of the national reserves and there is vast interest in the money and financial markets. Who can deal with the desperados and the thieves?

Here it comes:

Here, the armed forces can prevent possible harm by supporting the rule of law and at the same time assuring the public that they are not subject to the influence of immoral and self-serving politicians.

There was a slogan - "We protect those who protect us" - used by the men in green uniforms. Maybe it's the right time for the Thai public to extend full support to the armed forces - if they carry out their protective duty for our due process of law.

No wonder nobody takes The Nation seriously, it is a national joke and it is going bankrupt.

Anybody with an IQ over 50 and has an elementary understanding of government and civics can tell you that the armed forces shouldn't be involved with politics and the law. Besides, the Thai armed forces(at least the upper echelons) are just as corrupt as the politicians and bureaucrats that Sopon is excoriating.

Sopon has yet to account for why General Sonthi, Surayud and the others are multimillionaires on a soldier's salary.

I'm really surprised Thanong allowed this to be published. The Nation is one of two English language newspapers in Thailand. The fact that you have one of your major columnists calling every Thai who does business with foreigners a traitor, thief and scumbag in a paper that caters to mostly foreigners isn't good for business, especially when the paper is going broke and begging for subscriptions.


Rikker said...

They're short-staffed these days, so they're probably desperate for material. It was allowed to go to press, but they made the headline a question as a subtle disclaimer.

Is our country run by a bunch of outlaws?

That question is most definitely not posed in the article, which is clear on which side it comes down on. So we can take it as an editorial hint along the lines of 'yes, we know this piece is garbage'. Someone was savvy enough not to use the headline "Our country is run by a bunch of outlaws"--the same words in different order.

Pretty incredible stuff.

fall said...

Oh, and I was under the impression that after 1997 crisis, Chuan signed IMF deal to sell-off national asset was OK. Guess Chuan and the Dem are not up to Sopon's standard anymore.

This guy goes way over playing devil advocate, more like dictatorship advocate.
We just love men in green to run our country! Let's implement "Military First" program and put all politician in the gulag.

Unknown said...

Thaksin is not a Morgan Tsvangirai-type figure. His life is not in danger here. He could have stayed, hired the best lawyers and fought the charges against him through the courts for years. Instead, he's running scared, and for good reason, I suspect. I have no quibble with your attacks on The Nation, by the way. But I would like to see more intellectual effort put into the argument that his fate MUST be decided by the courts (and speaking of, let's all cheer them for Watana's sentence -- what a real creep). Oh, and as regards The Nation yarn about that PPP faction attacking Samak for letting the police treat Thaksin and Pojaman like common criminals -- hey, you supposedly university-educated members of Parliament, Pojaman and her teary-eyed little victim of a husband have jumped bail. They're now WANTED criminals. Shame on the WSJ for believing his contrived efforts to paint himself as a victim.