The first steps to Thailand’s recovery have been initiated by Thailand’s new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The steps are both diplomatic and in the correct direction. However the pro Thaksin supporters are already plotting to hinder Thailand’s recovery.
The coalition of the new government is a blend of good and bad. Some old faces with bad habits have found their way to Minister posts. That had to be done so as not to start off with a swarm of political enemies. However the requirement to perform or step aside is a very western approach. This is also the complete opposite of the Thaksin supporting government. Who you know does not count anymore, and that is very un-Thai, but also very necessary if any recovery is to be made. The engine will not perform well with fouled spark plugs. In better times it may have slid by, but this is not better times.
Because of economic times being rough everyplace you look on the planet, pushing the un-Thai approach will be grudgingly accepted by all except the most self serving Ministers. There will be a clear showing of who sat in the back of the class reading comic books and who paid attention to the teacher. It also will encourage the hiring of consultants with the know how, and that can’t be a bad move no matter how you cut it.
The western approach will be a great help to Thailand, and will act as a filter eventually leaving only top performers in the seat of power. There will be more than a few changes before things settle in.
There is also a concern that some corruption will find it’s way into the government as old habits are hard to break. But the same performance filtering should also start to reduce this too. So essentially the bad economy becomes a good excuse for significant house cleaning. Only the best of the best need apply.
On the negative side the pro Thaksin supporters are already plotting to throw several wrenches into the works to serve themselves. The anticipated blocking of parliament to hinder the policy delivery can only be seen as hurting Thailand to serve one fugitive on the run.
On the things to fix list, there is still remnants of Thaksin anti foreigner lingering around. Each and every time small companies owned by non-Thais go to renew visas and other documents, there are more and more hoops to jump thru. New startup companies face the same layers of discouragement. Some of the things being asked for a quite ridiculous (Standing on one leg tapping your head and rubbing your stomach while reciting the lyrics of a Thai song) and only look to discourage investment in Thailand. The general feeling amongst non-Thai business owners is someone is just doing this for fun. The same bullshit requirements do not apply for Thai owned companies. This is unnecessary and absolutely must go as foreign owned small business makes up a significant part of the Thai economy. There are plenty of other countries in the area who will gladly welcome these small companies.
All and all Thailand at least has the appearance of a government working for the people. Time will tell if it will endure.