Thai’s hostile reactions to critical reviews

It seems of late, several Thais in a position of power are responding to critical reviews with hostility. It clearly is a reaction based in anger, but when you look deeper many of the criticisms are justified and are being held to an international standard and not a Thai standard.


Thailand wants to become more of a global player, and the Thais want to expand their influence in many places. But to do that they must move above the Thai standard that often involves someone saying Maipenrai (Don’t worry about it). People who have never lived in Thailand may chuckle about it, but once you have lived in Thailand you come to see many Thai people taking a don’t worry about it attitude when they should.


For the most part much of what happens in Thailand is not of a critical nature as it is primarily a tourist and agricultural country. Things can be adjusted after the fact with minimal consequences. For example if the harvest is late by a day or so, no problem. But when it comes to things that require a top and timely response and properly done, Thailand falls way short. Much of that is as a result of a terrible education system that has robbed Thailand in more ways than can be easily counted.


Without a proper underlying foundation and understanding responsibility, it is way too easy to let something critical go unchecked. Perhaps the biggest example is Thailand’s aerospace industry. They were just downgraded by the FAA of the USA. They showed a significant number of faults that were not being addressed, and that resulted in a downgrade. Part of the reason is Thailand was not able to find enough people of a high enough caliber to perform the specified and required work. That comes back to Thailand’s education system not producing qualified people. The majority of people that do meet the requirement were taught outside of the Thai education system. Unfortunately this is where Thai pride faces reality, and that causes conflicts.


So when a person of some authority is facing some criticism that could very well be justified at the higher level that Thailand is trying to get to, the reaction is hostile and lawyers are called in to drag it into a courtroom. Unfortunately the reaction of onlookers is negative because the first reaction is to attack and not to clarify and perhaps sort out some misunderstanding. There are some high profile cases related to human trafficking and a high ranking navy officer is bringing legal action against some investigative journalists. But as things are unfolding since that all happened, it is very likely the journalist’s report was indeed accurate. It also implies that navy officer who brought legal action is involved as the proper and expected thing to do (At the higher level Thailand wants to get to) was to launch an investigation to dig out the problem.


Unfortunately this type of thing is being seen more and more, and that is all part of taking that step up to the next level where Thailand wants to be. Thailand must be willing to address critical reviews and not look to attack the reviewer. That behavior for the most part resembles a child’s temper tantrum, and that is not the way to get to where they want to go. Beating someone into submission does not get a certification, it actually gets a condemnation. When the attack is coming from a person of authority meaning they wear some sort of uniform, it reflects poorly on Thailand as a whole and is the basis of this entry.

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