Google

ASEANAFFAIRS
Sign up | Log in

    ASEAN PROFILES

  ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS

Home  >>  Daily News  >>  ASEAN ANALYSIS

ASEAN ANALYSIS

Asean Affairs  4 January 2011

This year in Thailand-what next?


By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     4 January 2011

Related Stories

January 3,2011
Asean jaw droppers of 2010

December 30,2010
Asean ends the year

December 29,2010
Laos struggles with influx of foreign workers

December 28,2010
Asean rides the economic teeter-totter

December 27,2010
Where is the Chinese economy going?

December 26,2010
WEEKLY SUMMARY

December 24,2010
Labor issues in Asean

December 23,2010
VW moves into Asean

December 22,2010
Keys to look for in 2011 Asia

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year.

As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health.

Moving on, it is widely anticipated that the Thai Parliament will be dissolved and new elections called. The Democrat party, the major party in the ruling coalition, survived two law suits against it in 2010, both dismissed by the courts on procedural questions, not on the substance of the charges. Most Thai media pundits expect this to happen in April. The law requires an election by December.

One of the conditions that was laid out by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva for a new election is that politicians should be able to campaign in every part of the country without fear for their lives. Recent trips by cabinet members to the red shirt opposition strongholds of North and Northeast Thailand were uneventful so it appears the PM’s requirement has been met.

Also, the Democrats have learned a lesson from the grassroots politics of fugitive Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and have embarked on social programs benefitting workers. These include raising the minimum wage, addressing pricing distortions in food markets, utility and transportation costs. Financial assistance is promised for informal workers such as taxi and motorcycle drivers, street vendors and workers. Ten million households are expected to benefit from the Pracha Wiwat (People's Agenda) programme, which will be driven by lending from the state-owned Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Government Savings Bank. The questions arises from local media is this handout program sustainable or just a tool to win votes a la Mr. Thaksin?

What about police and educational reform? The police often seem to run their department in the manner of a private business and ask a Thai student a question about anything outside Thailand and one is likely to get no answer or an incorrect one. The Bangkok well-to-do get around this by sending their children to private and expensive international schools in Bangkok or outside of the country for their college educations.

Bureaucratic reform is also needed as a new frontier looms when the Asean Economic Community starts in 2015. This will bring Thailand a lot closer to the world than many of its residents and politicians have ever dreamed and least expect.

This year could be a remarkable year of transition for Thailand if a nonviolent and peaceful election occurs. A hunch is it will be peaceful but real progress in social and institutional reforms and curbing corruption will be much slower as Thailand tries to move toward a more cohesive and democratic society.

By
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
  Online Ad Rates
Contact: marketing@aseanaffairs.com

Comment on this Article. Send them to  your.views@aseanaffairs.com

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
 
or
submit your comment in the box below
Name

Name


Email

Email



1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code


Today's  Stories    4  January 2011 Subsribe Now !
• Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent Asean Affairs Premium
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry


• Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline
• Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan
Asean Analysis    4 January 2011 Advertise Your Brand
• This year in Thailand-what next? Sponsor Our Events
Asean Stock Watch    3 January 2011
• India ASEAN
Global News Impacting Asia    17 November 2010
• Bank of America sees Asian inflation
• Lloyd’s increases insurance push in Malaysia
• Wells Fargo analyst on euro
• Obama’s visit to Asia

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

• Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore
• Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline
• Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan

ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs  
04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2017 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand
asean@aseanaffairs.com