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  • News & article

    'My country's got' these socio-political ills

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 02/11/2018

    » The explosive Rap Against Dictatorship music video that has taken Thailand by storm has raised myriad socio-political questions and issues. Known in Thai as <i>Prathet Ku Mee</i>, the sensational music video has been viewed on YouTube more than 25 million times in just 10 days in a country of 69 million people, a feat in its own right and a record for its artistic kind in Thailand. How this five-minute rap song in the Thai language has done so much says a lot about where Thailand has been and where it is going.

  • News & article

    Global turmoil and Thailand's political reset

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/12/2018

    » As the world moves into 2019, there is a consensus that the roughly seven-decade-old rules-based liberal international order no longer works. Either it has to be fundamentally revamped to suit new realities and the international distribution of power and wealth, or it will be increasingly violated and marginalised. In a remarkable parallel, Thailand's hitherto political order that lasted about seven decades also requires adjustment and recalibration.

  • News & article

    The annals of Thailand's military dictators

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 12/10/2018

    » As Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha eyes longer-term power beyond the next election, his eventual legacy will be compared to other military leaders who have come and gone as heads of past Thai governments. Had he left office or stepped down to run for it earlier, Gen Prayut might be in a better place. As things stand, his tenure and subsequent exit from the political scene does not appear promising for how he will be seen in hindsight.

  • News & article

    Prospects after Cambodia's fabricated poll

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 27/07/2018

    » While Thailand has a seemingly indefinite military government with no clear poll date, Cambodia is holding an election on July 29 with a foregone conclusion. After methodically taken apart oppositional forces, the incumbent government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, under the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), is set to win a landslide. At issue now will be what happens after the election. At least three dynamics are in play. How they intersect and enmesh will determine Cambodia's political future.

  • News & article

    Uni rankings, wages need a bigger boost

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 08/06/2018

    » The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University rankings for 2018 are out, and the news is again not good for Thailand. Compared to the rest of the world, Thailand's top universities don't stand in good stead. Nor do they rank well compared to their peers in the region.

  • News & article

    Lasting lessons from Malaysia for SE Asia

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 25/05/2018

    » Some have likened it to an "earthquake," while others have called it a "tsunami." However it is billed, Malaysia's election outcome still reverberates far and wide. Its political aftershocks yield lessons and considerations for politics in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, which holds the dubious distinction as the only parliamentary system in this region that does not know when it will next stage a poll.

  • News & article

    Malaysia's poll ramifications for Thailand

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/05/2018

    » It was a vicarious happenstance. When the annual flagship event of Asean's consortium of think-tanks known as the Asia-Pacific Roundtable was scheduled in Kuala Lumpur for May 7-9, not a weekend but the first half of a working week, no one thought it would run into Malaysia's 14th General Election (GE14). But it did, as Prime Minister Najib Razak chose a Wednesday instead of a typical weekend, to stage Malaysia's momentous polls. But the tricky timing failed to help his cause. He lost in a big way that bears far-reaching ramifications for the fate of democracy and authoritarianism in the region and beyond, not least here in Thailand.

  • News & article

    Graft gobbling up our dream of democracy

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 20/04/2018

    » Corruption lurks everywhere where power intersects interest. No country is immune to it. At issue is what happens when corruption happens. News headlines against corruption in major Asian countries this week suggest that Thailand is lagging behind in the anti-corruption struggle. Countries can stay behind in all manner of well-being indicators from growth and education to infrastructure and healthcare, but being left behind by the scourge of corruption is ultimately the worst of all.

  • News & article

    Elections, corruption and Thai democracy

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 16/02/2018

    » People at home and abroad are calling for elections in Thailand on the premise of returning democracy to a country that has been under nearly four years of military government. But elections cannot bring genuine democracy if blatant corruption rears its head in open daylight with utter impunity. No doubt elections will be needed to get rid of the current set of military rulers but democracy in Thailand requires the strengthening of its democratic institutions that are so shoddy and woeful.

  • News & article

    'Watch scandal' now and amnesty bill then

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 02/02/2018

    » The gnawing scandal over Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon's dubious and expensive watches has become tantamount to the amnesty bill that upended the previous elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra, who is now on the run after being overthrown and subsequently convicted over the rice-pledging scheme. These two cases are ostensibly different but in fact they both spell the beginning of an inexorable end.

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