ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
By David SwartzentruberAseanAffairs 24 October 2011
Quite often when disasters hit a country, they can bring about change by forcing the established government, political , business and moneyed interests to rethink the issues.
For example the recent New Zealand earthquakes devastated Christchurch. The multi-story buildings are gone to be replaced by lower structures that are more resistant to earthquakes.
The same scenario may now apply to Thailand.
Watches can be set by the fact that Thailand, along with the rest of South and Southeast Asia get hit with monsoons every year. They go out with a flourish as October often is deluged and then at the end of the month, humidity usually drops and the “high season” for tourism begins with cooler and drier weather appearing.
Thailand has been receiving lots of water this monsoon season and quite obviously the existing water management was not up to the task of handling the deluge. Whether climate change is or is not the causative agent is not the issue, but public safety is.
The people paying the price for Thailand’s water management policies are the everyday Thai people in central Thailand and Thailand’s northern suburbs, not the Bangkok elite, including the members of the Pheu Thai cabinet.
After the deluge is over in Thailand, perhaps change will come to develop an improved water management system. The political powers should also consider methods to prevent Bangkok from becoming inundated by ocean waters as well.
Public safety is an essential duty of any government and the current Thai government as well as those of the last 20 years may get a glimmer of what real populism is- making its citizens safe.
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