The Thai election last week has laid bare a burgeoning crisis of identity in the Thai soul, hitherto grounded in loyalty to king, nation and the Buddhist Sanggha. Of course, the immediate issue is how ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra will manoeuvre -- either from luxurious exile in Hong Kong or London or by "facing the music" in the courts for his alleged corruption in Bangkok, to exercise the real power his new party, the PPP, a pop-up for the Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) party which won almost a majority in the new parliament.
It isn't a Vladimir Putin-like situation, where the named nominee for the presidential succession didn't give a decent interval before promising that Putin would remain in substantive power. For there are four factors limiting Thaksin despite his unlimited funds, huge electoral plurality and unchallenged supremacy in the countryside, where his free medical care and job stimulation are, of course, popular.
One is the fact that he doesn't have a majority. Khun Samak, his stand-in, must concede some ministries to the small allied parties. Secondly, there are real corruption cases unresolved in the courts against Thaksin. There are some honest judges in Thailand -- a friend of mine once on the constitutional (highest) court resisted every blandishment five years ago to "overlook" the then charges against Thaksin. Justice is a real "risk" in the kingdom.
Thirdly, the military has inserted a clause in the existing Constitution giving legitimacy to their intervention if they deem fit. It's another hurdle Thaksin can jump, but it risks another coup, especially if he is contemplating treason charges against those very generals for the Sept 19 coup last year.
Ed. This is an extract of an article from today's The New Straits Times. Click on the link to read the full article. It's content would be deemed 'too sensitive' for the Thai press.
- New Living Dolls 1 is planning to party hard for New Year's Eve. They will be giving things away ALL NIGHT, bar fines, bottles of drink, beer, check-bins and more!! Draught beer still 50 Baht and shots start at 50 Baht
- Katoey has many surprises in her underwear - not least of which is 1,956 yaba tablets. Maybe 'she' had 2,000 tabs but 44 got sucked up when the Boys In Brown appeared. [via Pattaya Daily News]
- Hundred of thousands of New Year celebrants are expected to leave Bangkok Saturday to either to join their family members up-country or to take a long weekend holiday. Looks like being a busy few days in Pattaya.
- Myanmar has reported an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus among domestic chickens in a village near the Myanmar-Thai border, state-run media reported Saturday. The unusual deaths of domestic chickens in a village in eastern Shan State's Mongphyat township, about 50 kilometers (28 miles) north of the Myanmar-Thai border, was reported to the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary department on Dec. 23, the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus, the paper said. [via Macroworld]
- Why is it farangs 'dumb down' to Thai standards when riding their motorcykes around Pattaya? Twice in the last month I've had a farang try to cut through on the inside as I make a left turn. A turn I indicated for and indicators the farang must have seen as I had to crawl in traffic to get to the turn. Is it a case of checking their brains at Immigration? I know I'm being naive here but why can't farangs maintain their home standards in the hope that something rubs off on the Thais who haven't had the benefit of lessons. I know, I know, dream on.... If the farangs who tried to carve me up are reading this, you're a pair of fuck wits.
- On the morning of 29th December, the Pattaya police were informed of a fire which broke out at a Pattaya building on Soi Post Office off Second Road. The officers, rescue workers and fire brigade rushed to the scene and it took them two whole hours to get the fire under control.
- Transferring photos from your camera to your PC just got a whole easier with Eye Fi Wireless Memory Cards. Yes, there really is Wi-Fi inside that tiny little card. No cables, no waiting, no hassles.
The body of Mr. Ravi Gupta from India was found in the toilet on the second floor. He was only 23 years old. Another victim Mrs. Jampa Jaitrong(Thai), 33 was found on the third floor. Both died of smoke inhalation.
As per witnesses, the fire had begun in a sauna room on the second floor, however the actual cause of the fire will be determined after police investigation. [via Thaindian]
The Eye-Fi Card comes with everything needed to make it simple to set up and connect to your home Wi-Fi network. After that, pop the card into your digital camera and start capturing those memories. It stores pictures like a regular SD card no matter where you are, and uploads your photos automatically as soon as you return to your home network. All you have to do is turn the camera on.
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- Only 39% of the people browsing Pattaya Rag use Firefox. Around 53% use Internet Explorer (IE) and I have to ask myself why. I mean Firefox loads pages faster than IE, it has some brilliant add-ons and if the techie press are to be believed, it is more secure. So why use IE. Well, I do use it to get MS updates but only because MS won't allow me to get the updates with Firefox. Other than that, forget it. If you use IE but would like to see what 39% of Pattaya Rag readers already know, i.e. Firefox is a superior browser, then click here.
- Ten reasons why you should move to Sweden.... Top 10 sexiest Swedish babes
- Iga for Christmas
- A husband and wife, out enjoying a round of golf, were about to tee off on the third hole, which was lined with beautiful homes. The wife hit her shot and the ball began to slice - her shot was headed directly at a very large plate glass window. Much to her surprise, the ball smashed through the window and shattered it into a million pieces.
They felt compelled to see what damage was done and drove off to see what happened. When they peeked inside the house, they found no one there. The husband called out and no one answered. Upon further investigation, they saw a small gentleman sitting on the couch with a turban on his head.
"No, someone just hit a ball through the window, knocked over the vase you see there, freeing me from that little bottle. I am so grateful!" he answered.
The husband asked, "Are you a genie?"
"Oh, why, yes I am. In fact, I am so grateful I will grant you two wishes, and the third I will keep for myself," the man replied.
The husband and wife agreed on two wishes - one was for a scratch handicap for the husband, to which the wife readily agreed. The other was for an income of $1,000,000 per year forever.
The genie nodded his head and said, "Done!"
The genie now said, "For my wish, I would like to have my way with your wife. I have not been with a woman for many years, and after all, I made you a scratch golfer and a millionaire."
The husband and wife agreed.
After the genie and wife were finished, the genie asked the wife, "How long have you been married?"
To which she responded, "Three years."
The genie then asked, "How old is your husband?"
To which she replied, "31 years old."
The genie then asked, "And how long has he believed in this genie crap?"