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  • OPINION

    What to look for in Thai election results

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 22/03/2019

    » Elections are often a referendum on incumbencies. Voters are asked whether they like what they have seen from government and whether they want continuity or change in view of competing alternatives. In the same vein, Thailand's momentous election on March 24, after a nearly eight-year hiatus that includes almost five years under military-authoritarian rule, is an opportunity to see what the governed prefer to have as their government. Here are some of early telltale signs that portend the political directions ahead.

  • OPINION

    Eastern Economic Corridor must continue

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/12/2018

    » As the election looms, the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will likely leave behind a very mixed legacy. Far from being a clean-up crew against graft and a technocratic team for effective policy performance when it seized power more than four years ago, this outgoing government has had its fair share of unaccountable corruption allegations and policy directions that merely served its own vested interests of staying in power after the polls.

  • OPINION

    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.

  • OPINION

    Thai-US relations back on the move again?

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 09/06/2017

    » Soon after the Asean Summit in April, United States President Donald J Trump placed phone calls to three Southeast Asian leaders and invited them to the White House.

  • OPINION

    Thailand as we knew it is now at an end

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 17/10/2016

    » When it comes to public readership, I was taught more than 30 years ago to write invariably in the third person. The time has come for change and exception because there is no better way for me to describe what has just happened in Thailand. What was once unimaginable when I was a schoolboy eventually became inevitable, and now is undeniable in my midlife.

  • OPINION

    17,410,742 Britons versus the world

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 01/07/2016

    » Thailand's recent habit of rejecting voter results through denial, manipulation and contrivance is apparently a global phenomenon. When it comes to the United Kingdom's spectacular referendum decision to leave the European Union, popularly known as "Brexit", the court of world public opinion does not like what it sees. Global critics have lamented and opined widely against Brexit voters, who numbered 17,410,742, representing a 51.89% overall majority from nearly a 72% turnout. But in many ways, Brexit may just be the wake-up call that the EU sorely needs. Making the best of Brexit should now be the task at hand rather than its reversal.

  • OPINION

    Punishment, crime and justice in Thailand

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 04/03/2016

    » Thailand's political polarisation knows no bounds. The raging controversy over media personality Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda's criminal conviction is merely the latest manifestation of a morality war being waged in Thai politics over the past decade between the rightful and the righteous for the country's future power and soul. While it does not seem that way on the surface in Sorrayuth's case, closer scrutiny indicates otherwise. The case also instructs us that such polarisation is no good for Thailand, that middle and third ways are still the only pathway out of the country's holding position.

  • OPINION

    Western folly in Middle East quagmire

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 27/11/2015

    » Democracy is not for every region. Nowhere is this more evident than in the modern Middle East. As individual regimes and the entire region disintegrate and revert back to their familiar past of tribal wars and internecine strife that are answerable only to force and strength, not international rules and norms, it is instructive to look back at the origins of the current phase of violence and mayhem.

  • OPINION

    A recalibration between Thailand and the outside world

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 02/10/2015

    » Thailand's relations with the outside world were naturally complicated by its latest military coup in May 2014.

  • OPINION

    Cabinet revamp vital in 'indefinite interim'

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 19/06/2015

    » Thailand has a military government that unilaterally seized power by force, and it intends to stay in office for a while during a once-in-a-lifetime political transition for the Thai people.

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