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  • OPINION

    Thailand's 'wicked' development trap

    News, Published on 19/09/2019

    » For almost five decades now, Thailand has been a victim of the middle-income trap. From the 1970s to the 2000s, the country was ranked by the World Bank as lower-middle-income, advancing to upper-middle status in 2011. Considering the ongoing political uncertainty and weak governance institutions, the prognosis is that Thailand will likely remain at this ranking for many years. This has become a "wicked problem" for the country's economic and social development.

  • OPINION

    Culture of apathy must be rooted out

    News, Wasant Techawongtham, Published on 24/08/2019

    » Earlier this week, a one-minute video clip widely shared on Facebook showed a woman in university student uniform standing at a bus stop blocking the path of two motorcycles while waving them off the pavement.

  • OPINION

    Military 'efficiency' will torpedo EEC

    News, Paritta Wangkiat, Published on 21/08/2019

    » Since being initiated by technocrats and the previous government in 2015, the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) has been touted as a new special economic zone that will transform Thailand into a high-tech economy.

  • OPINION

    FFP 'Illuminati' charge based on unjustified fear

    News, Atiya Achakulwisut, Published on 06/08/2019

    » At 87 years old, Thailand's constitutional monarchy is not among the world's oldest nor has it been the most robust. Still, it has beaten the odds and remained our system of governance.

  • OPINION

    Army unwilling to yield to democracy

    News, Erich Parpart, Published on 31/07/2019

    » For the country like Thailand where the military staged two putsches within the past 13 years, a coup d'état should no longer be necessary.

  • OPINION

    Give parliamentary politics a chance

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 26/07/2019

    » After a five-year hiatus, parliamentary politics returns this week with a constitutionally mandated policy statement by the coalition government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. With government and opposition back at work again, in contrast to the previous military-appointed rubber-stamp legislature under junta rule, Thailand has yet another small window of opportunity to regain and rebuild popular rule.

  • OPINION

    Huge army spend is self-serving folly

    News, Zachary Abuza, Published on 24/07/2019

    » It goes without saying but, coups d'état are good for a military's bottom line. According to data recently published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), the Thai military has benefited handsomely from its repeated interventions in Thai politics.

  • OPINION

    Thai-US relations in the Indo-Pacific era

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 16/07/2019

    » When US State Secretary Michael Pompeo stops in Bangkok for a three-day visit at the end of this month, he will find good old ally Thailand is ready to tango. Their relations will no longer be, as in the past, based on reaction and counter-reaction to the cycle of coups. In the past five years, Thailand has survived Western-led sanctions. Now with a civilian government in place, the Kingdom's economic and political dynamism will no longer be curtailed by what was perceived as democratic backsliding and increased authoritarianism.

  • OPINION

    Army budget out of control

    News, Editorial, Published on 06/07/2019

    » With Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha's return to power as prime minister and him being tipped to also become the defence minister, the downsizing of the military and defence budget and repealing the military conscription rule -- which were electoral campaign pledges of key opposition parties -- are unlikely to take place.

  • OPINION

    The evolving Thai political fault lines

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 05/07/2019

    » Over the past five years under military government, it is clear that Thailand's political polarisation has not been bridged. It has, in fact, expanded into new fault lines. Apart from the longstanding yellows versus reds revolving around supporters and critics of the established political order premised on military, monarchy and bureaucracy, we now have a clear demarcation between pro- and anti-junta and authoritarianism versus democratisation camps. Newer fault lines are generational and ideological in orientation. While some of these divisions are global in nature, bringing them in line towards a new consensus in Thailand will necessitate a kind of leadership and compromise without which the country will be unsettled for the long term.

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