Friday, May 15, 2009

Orange is a Nice Color

For a country well known for it tolerance build through the buddhist faith of the middle path, news about national reconciliation must bring joy to the population at large. The Bangkok Post reported on its online version, 14/5/2009...

"Parliamentary subcommittees looking at national reconciliation and charter amendment appear to be working towards pardoning politicians banned for electoral fraud."

Whilst those in the red and yellow camps may scoff at these effort...which may mean the end of the campaign for them they should probably starting tinking about Orange as being a really nice colour.

Labels: ,

Read more!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Someone died...Its not suppose to happen!

I have been silent for a while watching the discord in my paradise Thailand, and had hoped for a Paradise Regained.

But now someone got killed in street fights between the pro-government and anti-government groups. This is Thailand, a land of Peace and Love...this is not suppose to happen!!!

Reality bites hard as we watch the new politics in Thailand. Instead of the military coup in the past, its now people's action.

Its kind of a strange scenario. Politicians instigating people to fight each other on a mass scale with the police and army apparently acting like referees.

Once again, I say this can only happen in Thailand.

Meantime a group of friends is leaving for a deep water dive off Samui. They are totally unconcerned.

"We'll definitely go to Bangkok" after the dive to do our usual. Not worried at all" they say.

"There are only 10-20 thousand people on the streets and 10 million population in Bangkok, 60 million in the whole of Thailand...we are pretty sure we can give them a miss" a friend added,

Besides said another, "Most of the street fighters are from up-country, they were probably promise a few hundred baht to come to Bangkok for a holiday. They will leave when commanded. It's merely a stage show gone a little out of wack"

Lets hope these optimists are right in their assessment. Even more that Paradise will soon be Regained.

Labels: , ,

Read more!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Guess Who Else Needs Rebranding

Some months I wrote about rebranding Thailand. Now Jack Welch suggests in a posting in Advertising Age that USA needs rebranding too!

"If the U.S. were a client, any ad agency worth its salt would recommend a serious brand assessment. A recent New York Times poll found 81% of Americans believed "things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track." Sounds like a classic business problem to me."

Do note that Advertising Age may require you to register to read the article at

Read more!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thailand..the Joker

If as they say all the world is a stage...thenThailand must be the Joker. News reports especially in Asia is reporting the news that a party that backs former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra won a parliamentary election on Sunday, defeating a party backed by the generals who ousted him in a coup 15 months ago.

Looks like the whole nation has gone on a 15 month excursion and now is back...though not exactly where they started... nor is anyone sure where they are!

Meantime Mr Thaksin has become a famed British football tycoon and has been behind the recent success of Manchester City. Is this all tactical to maintain and boost his image through football politics? If one watch English football these see some banners promoting Thailand, and often sees referees wearing on their sleeves AirAsia Badges. Air Asia is a Thai-Malaysia company where Mr Thaksin wields considerable power. Mr Thaksin has probably helped to obtain such sponsorships to demonstrate that he still has considerable support from businesses in Thailand.

Whatever the case it is definitely unconventional politics, comical and can only happen in my beautiful Thailand.

Read more!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

When shit hits the Fan

Sorry, I am not posting much on this blog as I have not been visiting Bangkok. Glad to say that its not really about politics and security there but my own personal issues. Thankfully good friends in Bangkok continue to communicate with me regularly.

One of them has sent me this amusing slide. I guess when shit hits the fan, contemplations on toilet bowls could be a good preoccupation.

Click this toilette.pdf (724K) to enjoy and be provoked.

Read more!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

French Restaurant on the Chao Phraya

MMmmm.... looks like Bangkok is beckoning.

A friend just sent this photograph from her newly opened French Restaurant on the Chao Phraya River.

Business and Politics are not improving.... still under military rule, but I guess the foods gone one notch better....and that's all that matters sometimes.

And For happy travelers, there are many things French in Bangkok. Though never colonized, Thailand was once part of the French IndoChina.

Do sent a comment if you know of something nice and French....(other than the Frxxch.cap) in Bangkok or Thailand. Would most appreciate your contributions.

More restaurant photos

Read more!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Re-branding Thailand?

There is no Bangkok heat at the Suvarnabumi transit lounge. I used to break flight to spend a day or two with potential business partners in Bangkok on my way to Beijing, but since the coup and the seeming uncertainties in the government policies toward foreign investment I have given it a by. Personally I am still bullish about the Thai economy and its prospects, but its hard to convince investors influenced by constant negative reports in the mass media.

Looking out at the wide expanse of the tarmac, the plane lined in neat rows, and the spanking new and tastefully designed environment, one would not have imagined the controversies that surround the airport. It makes one wonder if the whole negative situation that currently exists is not someone's overplay exacerbated by the international media.

The local newspaper I picked up at the lounge reported that the prime minister will be commissioning an internationally renowned PR company to re-brand Thailand and to improve its image. Like many of the past policy changes by the care-taker government, I wonder if it is another swing that just too heavy.

What many Bangkokians hope for, at least the few dozens I have spoken to, is a return to civilian rule and aleadership that will return the country to a "state of tolerance and harmony" The Thaksin era has seen the country being "power-shafted" to high growth mode and now a reversal with a forceful push towards sustainability.

The principle of sustainability arises from systemic thinking that every force creates an equal reaction. A forceful push in one direction can create unwanted backlash. The middle way, and tolerance that is so much of the Buddhist culture imbibed universally by Thais avoids such conflicts resulting in a sustainable approach.

No where in Thailand, in my view demonstrates the principle of tolerance as in the Soi Nana area of Sukhumvit. Here on the hot, stuffy and crowded streets cluttered with hawkers and vendors, you will find the most luxuriant potpourri of cultures and counter cultures in the world.. "veiled to the eyeball" muslim ladies from the Arab world, shop and jostle, dine amidst the girlie pubs, massage parlours, pimps, prostitutes, gayboys, transvestites and dirty old men. They all do their own thing happily with little anxiety in accordance to their faiths and beliefs, often even exchanging greetings with one another.

Coming from a pristine, clean Singapore, it was culture shock for me when I first visited Nana some 20 years back. My thoughts were that this place will soon explode or implode. 20 years on, it is still growing, bustling, more crowded, more developed, more variegated with large international hotel chains vying for space along its crowded streets and lanes. There has to my memory never been a riot all these years. The most exciting events being drunken brawls and loud arguments between customers and clients which tend to attract a pretty good crowd.

There certainly is sustainability in diversity. Little forces pointing in all directions probably creates constant ripples, maybe a brawl or two. Conflict come only when big forces clash. Sustainability cannot be ordained by push and shaft and even less by the gun. It comes through awareness, understanding and acceptance.

The spirit of tolerance,harmony has always existed amongst the Thai people. Perhaps it is best for politicians, opposition members, dissidents and policy makers to take a back seat and leave diverse private citizens and businesses to go on their own affairs.

A friend just send me an email to say her dad is starting a French restaurant along the Chao Phraya. That's the kind of news I would rather hear. Perhaps there is now a reason to visit, especially with the S$4 fare offered by AsiaAir, the budget carrier.

Read more!