Imagine if you would a government in Thailand that was working for the country. Whether that thought will become reality or not, it is worth a moment to imagine what it would be like.
Assuming the Democratic party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva gets the Prime Minister post, the very first thing that would happen is dignity would return to that post. The dignity started to disappear about a week after Samak Sundaravej took the post. The post still had dignity when Thaksin Shinawatra was Prime Minister. Samak changed that when he started using the post to help Thaksin and do nothing for the country. When respect returns to that post, so will opportunity.
The second thing that would and should happen is a three word order that will start to restore international dignity with diplomats. That order is ‘Cancel Thaksin’s passports.’ that entire process should take a few hours as each government will need to be notified in writing.
While we are on the international topic, the fence mending with Cambodia should be looked at. However knowing where to place the fence is still the issue. Connecting the Dots had an answer a while back. Perhaps they should go and have a look.
The next thing is starting to rebuild Thailand in the eyes of the world. Abhisit would need to show he has a competent government that wont change their mind every other week. Very simply that bullshit will not fly if Thailand wants foreign investors to return. They will also need to make Thailand more foreigner friendly. The recent change for cross border tourist visa on arrival to be just 15 days does not signal open arms at all. Other changes making it more difficult to get other visas like Thailand non immigrant visas spells ‘Send us your money but stay home.’
Moving to the domestic front, jump starting the economy will be no easy task, and will be comparable to what must be done in the USA except on a different scale with different resources. Agriculture is a safe sure bet. No matter what the world economy is like, everyone needs to eat. Thailand’s rice is world renowned, adding a few other crops to the menu is a good idea.
The tourist industry will need to be tuned up and made more inviting. Keeping in mind people on holiday like to stay out late and some party all night. The early closing hours in the nightlife districts for clubs and bars needs to go. The amount of tea money being paid to corrupt cops is enough to fund a city of 75,000 people. That money can be reinvested into the tourist areas by venue owners to make it even better, and attracting even bigger crowds in the future. That also applies for cultural centers and shopping. Even expanding with some low cost non traditional tourist draws is an option. A big scale paint ball war game area would draw a new crowd and cost next to nothing to set up. The key would be to make Thailand the one size fits all tourist destination.
Looking to the long term future, and virtually everyone agrees with this is, fix the education system. It goes without saying lack of education is a significant player in Thailand’s problems both domestic and political.
That is a good start and much of it can be done at the stroke of a pen. Other things will require hiring of foreign consultants so they can be viewed with non Thai eyes. If they want to bring a big company to Thailand, they need to see things the way that company CEO sees things. Although the global economy sucks, they must start someplace. That should be good for the first few months. Then you may start to see something that has been missing from Thailand for some time now…. a smile.