Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

The beginning of the end for the Thai monarchy?

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
In view of the savage media driven criticism the King has just appointed a pair of highly trained media consultants to boost his image

1603208191010.png
 

Bardeyai

Old-Salt
The new one is a scandal-ridden sleazebag. He has a concubine in Germany, FFS. The German government are starting to take notice of his going-ons.

On and off, I've lived in Thailand for the last 20+ years.

The former King (Rama9) was revered, but it has been clear for over 10 years prior to the death of the former King, there were going to be issues.

The present King (Rama 10) is closely linked with Thaksin Shinawatra, the scandal-ridden and corrupt now exiled former PM.

This is well-known about in Thailand.

The fact due to Covid-19, a lot of people are out of work, the tourism industry is dead, and that the military is taking delivery of enough VIP aircraft and helicopters to do Britain, France, Germany and Italy proud combined has also gone down like a lead balloon.

The Thai press is being heavily censored at the present time.

The way things are going, there will not be a Rama 11.

The present military government has lived long past it's sell-by date, and this is another factor in the current crisis.

Also massive corruption is a way of life in Thailand, and this needs to change for the country to progress.

Interesting times...
Okay maybe making his poodle an Air Chief Marshal ( with salary) was a bit excessive. And the 20 mistresses in addition to the official concubine in Bavaria might tax those of us who are younger than 68. But you’ll note that the “close links” with Thaksin haven’t brought Thaksin and his sister any closer to having their exile ended. Odd that.
 
The application for an in-country demo for a mine flail, for use in public order demonstrations, would have been fun to write - and even more fun to read.

I was involved when MOD made off with someone’s (maybe Saudi) order for Aardvarks for our own use in GW1. Memory says I was very surprised when I- somehow- was sent photos of them in theatre, still painted Civvy white. You Sappers, eh!

A couple ended up being ‘acquired’ by the RO contract. Their use was very controversial as actually they don’t work very well as a primary clearance device. One of the crew lost their leg walking behind their own vehicle.
 

Bardeyai

Old-Salt
A couple ended up being ‘acquired’ by the RO contract. Their use was very controversial as actually they don’t work very well as a primary clearance device. One of the crew lost their leg walking behind their own vehicle.
My sympathy for the poor operator. Watching an early video of someone in the JCB style cab driving over Mines was exciting enough for me.
 
When I first set up an office in Bangkok in 2000 I used the services of a local estate agent. Having already worked two years in Cambodia I remarked on all the traditional Chinese paraphernalia on view. Dragons, red lanterns etc.

She explained to me that she herself was Thai-Chinese. But she only spoke Thai. She was about 35.

Her mother spoke both Thai and Chinese.

Her Grandmother only spoke Chinese (Hokkien IIRC).

So this woman couldn’t speak to her own grandmother.

Why? In the mid 60s the Thai government made a pronouncement. Basically it said ‘you’re either Thai or Chinese. Make up your mind’. At the same time all the Chinese language schools were closed.

Something similar (though far more bloody) happened in Indonesia at the same time. A Swiss friend of mine is married to an Indonesian Chinese of that generation.

Bear in mind that this was at the same as the Cultural Revolution and the Chinese insurgency in Malaya was a recent memory.

The Chinese merchant class in SE Asia have historically filled the same economic niche as the Jews in Europe. And been about as popular (for very much the same economic reasons). Hence the vast majority of the ‘Vietnamese’ boat people being ethnic Chinese, and Pol Pot killing off both the ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese in Cambodia, where even now many people in Phnom Penh identify as ethnic Chinese.

Chinese schools have recently been re-opened in Thailand. I doubt if many actual people from Krung Tep would object to being called Thai Chinese; bar girls from Issan might though.

I’ve also heard several different translations for ‘Thai’ including ‘golden’ and ‘free’.
The measures against the Chinese in Indonesia (in the 60s and 70s) weren't particularly brutal, it was simply as you say a pretty sharp insistence that the Chinese make their minds up and decide which country they wished to live in.

Ten years earlier the Dutch and mixed-race "Indos" were given the same choice, if you want to live in Indonesia you speak Indonesian and accept you are Indonesian or feel free to piss off to the country to which you feel yourself attached. A huge number chose to return "home" to Holland, a country most had never set foot in (and received a distinctly cold welcome), among these was a talented mixed-race musician from West Java, whose son died a week or two ago, a fellow by the name of Edward Lodewijk van Halen.

Most Chinese accepted it with a degree of reluctance, adopting official "Indonesian" names while maintaining their Chinese names within the family, very few felt the desire to take themselves off to Mau's China. The most obvious sign of the "Indonesianization" of the Chinese was the disappearance of the Chinese language from businesses and public buildings. If you see old footage of colonial Batavia it is quite striking that in all the street scenes the only thing you can see are the Dutch language and Chinese signs, the language of the natives, who comprised 90+ percent of the population is nowhere to be seen.

Soeharto, who imposed the toughest measures against open displays of Chinese culture, was actually very friendly with Chinese businessmen and genuinely believed he was doing them a favour by forcefully integrating them into Indonesia, rather than allowing themselves to stand aloof from the racial melting pot of Indonesia.

Of course as you rightly say resentment against the Chinese is never far beneath the surface, but while not wishing to engage in victim-blaming, I think most Chinese would recognise that the community does often bring some of that resentment on itself by its ostentatious displays of wealth and frequently eye-watering corruption (often as in the case of Soeharto in collaboration with high-ranking pribumi officials). This came to a very bloody head in 1998, and to be honest could erupt again any time soon.
 
It's only in recent years that Chinese holidays have been recognised or celebrated in Indonesia.
It's over 20 years at this stage, and Chinese New Year is a popular and well-celebrated holiday now. Like I say above, I think the Chinese themselves would be the first to admit they bring a lot of the trouble on themselves, not the poor little shophouse owner or trader trying to make a bit of a living for his family, and who suffers when the aggro starts, but the phenomenally wealthy and grotesquely corrupt, for the most part, rentier tycoons.
 

endure

GCM
You’ve got that right about the ethnic Chinese merchants. You’ll be well aware then that the Bahasa word “Amok” as in “to run amok” is Indonesian for describing the occasional pogroms on ethnic Chinese . Bad business all round and, naturally, the military response to clamp down to stop it it would be reported as “Tanks on the streets!” * in the UK.
* Tanks on the streets being UK supplied water cannon, as a non lethal alternative to ordering troops to open fire. Sometimes you can’t win.

The Thai version...

tank.jpg
tank1.jpg
tank2.jpg
tank3.jpg
 
The new one is a scandal-ridden sleazebag. He has a concubine in Germany, FFS. The German government are starting to take notice of his going-ons.

On and off, I've lived in Thailand for the last 20+ years.

The former King (Rama9) was revered, but it has been clear for over 10 years prior to the death of the former King, there were going to be issues.

The present King (Rama 10) is closely linked with Thaksin Shinawatra, the scandal-ridden and corrupt now exiled former PM.

This is well-known about in Thailand.

The fact due to Covid-19, a lot of people are out of work, the tourism industry is dead, and that the military is taking delivery of enough VIP aircraft and helicopters to do Britain, France, Germany and Italy combined proud has also gone down like a lead balloon.

The Thai press is being heavily censored at the present time.

The way things are going, there will not be a Rama 11.

The present military government has lived long past it's sell-by date, and this is another factor in the current crisis.

Also massive corruption is a way of life in Thailand, and this needs to change for the country to progress.

Interesting times...
No way is anyone going to get a grip of corruption in Thailand anytime soon. When I was going there to teach courses to Thai Airways in the 1990's, I met an Aussi who was trying to set up a business there selling swimming pools having had a successful similar business in the Phillipines. He said that in the Phillipines you knew who to bung to and business was easier because of it. In Thailand, everyone wanted a bung.

When I went back with my wife a few years ago, after a break of 20 years, I was amazed to find that they'd actually managed to modernise the infrastructure, with a new airport, Skytrain & Metro. This was something that was being furiously argued about in the '90s because various Generals had their fingers in different pies and were pushing their own solutions.
 
No British tanks were used in the making of this coup - official.
If it all kicks off again in Jakarta (as I feel it might well do soon) keep an eye out for the Ferrets, Alvis Saladins and Scorpion light tanks that the Indonesian Army still has knocking about.

British veterans of the 1970s and 80s might also grow nostalgic at the sight of the DPM uniforms of the Indonesian troops.

Hopefully however such scenes will not occur.

Insy'allah.
 

endure

GCM
No way is anyone going to get a grip of corruption in Thailand anytime soon. When I was going there to teach courses to Thai Airways in the 1990's, I met an Aussi who was trying to set up a business there selling swimming pools having had a successful similar business in the Phillipines. He said that in the Phillipines you knew who to bung to and business was easier because of it. In Thailand, everyone wanted a bung.

When I went back with my wife a few years ago, after a break of 20 years, I was amazed to find that they'd actually managed to modernise the infrastructure, with a new airport, Skytrain & Metro. This was something that was being furiously argued about in the '90s because various Generals had their fingers in different pies and were pushing their own solutions.


Things have changed sufficiently that chunks of the Thai population are brave enough to be out on the streets telling the current King to do one - something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime.

The country has so much potential with some really bright people if they were just allowed to.
 

Bardeyai

Old-Salt
If it all kicks off again in Jakarta (as I feel it might well do soon) keep an eye out for the Ferrets, Alvis Saladins and Scorpion light tanks that the Indonesian Army still has knocking about.

British veterans of the 1970s and 80s might also grow nostalgic at the sight of the DPM uniforms of the Indonesian troops.

Hopefully however such scenes will not occur.

Insy'allah.
Can’t do it. Nobody is allowed to use our kit in coups - DFID would go mental. We even check to make sure people haven’t got their fingers crossed behind their backs when they sign the contracts.

Except for the Saladin and Ferret ones, maybe. They might be from before we learned about the finger crossing business.

I thought that we and the Indo’s were best friends again?
 
Can’t do it. Nobody is allowed to use our kit in coups - DFID would go mental. We even check to make sure people haven’t got their fingers crossed behind their backs when they sign the contracts.

Except for the Saladin and Ferret ones, maybe. They might be from before we learned about the finger crossing business.

I thought that we and the Indo’s were best friends again?
The current Indonesian defence minister is in the US where the red carpet is being laid out for him. All previous awkwardness about his travel ban for alleged nefarious activities during his time in East Timor now conveniently forgotten.

It appears that Indonesia is on a shopping spree, and is playing off Russia, China and the US over who will be the beneficiary of its largesse. Other smaller players including Germany, South Korea, Italy and even Austria are very interested in talking.

Alas, no one in Jakarta seems to want to chat with their old pals in the UK. Perhaps the brouhaha over the BAE Hawks in the 1990s has caused lasting animosity.
 
No way is anyone going to get a grip of corruption in Thailand anytime soon. When I was going there to teach courses to Thai Airways in the 1990's, I met an Aussi who was trying to set up a business there selling swimming pools having had a successful similar business in the Phillipines. He said that in the Phillipines you knew who to bung to and business was easier because of it. In Thailand, everyone wanted a bung.

When I went back with my wife a few years ago, after a break of 20 years, I was amazed to find that they'd actually managed to modernise the infrastructure, with a new airport, Skytrain & Metro. This was something that was being furiously argued about in the '90s because various Generals had their fingers in different pies and were pushing their own solutions.

The sky train etc are impressive but they tell a story.

The sky train is very limited and for a long time didn’t connect to the new airport. When I was last in Bangkok there was ‘sort’ of a connection between the sky train and the line going (almost) to the airport but it involved several flights of stairs. IIRC at the other end it was about a km from the train station to the airport. It became mugger central at one point. I (and anyone else in the know) used a taxi. Can’t think how such a simple error was allowed to be made...

The sky train doesn’t connect with the newer metro. There’s only a few places, like Asok* where the stations are in the same place, and you can’t use one ticket on both systems.

The new airport is a scandal. They had just finished the new Terminal 3 at the old airport, and all of the shops in the duty free in the new one are owned by the same company, King Power. You’ll not be surprised to hear that nothing is cheaper than downtown. The airport is described as being an expensive shopping centre with planes attached. It’s so long with so few walkways that, if you find yourself on a short transfer you are met by a boy with a sign who then beasts you like a gym queen taking you on a BFT**. Also, the owners were so reluctant to spend money on infrastructure when it first opened there were almost no toilets. Men getting off a 12 hour flight were pissing in sinks (I know, who doesn’t) or even on the floor, like a tourist dirty protest). And they had to close it almost immediately because of dodgy concrete in the runway.

Oh, and neither airport easily connects, even though they are almost at opposite sides of Bangkok. There was a project to connect the old airport to town by sky train (called the Hopewell Project) but it died a death. You can still see the unfinished pylons.

All of these bits of infrastructure disconnect were possible because it was always about who was making the money, rather than what would be the best transport solution for Bangkok.

* Soi Cowboy to those visiting for ‘cuisine and scenery’

** I subjected myself to this indignity once. Only to arrive at the gate, sweating like Jimmy Saville at a school sports day, to be told actually my plane was now delayed for an hour. Since then I have taken a page from James May and walked. They’ve got my luggage in the system***. They’ll wait.

*** Or they haven’t. The cnuts.
 
Can’t do it. Nobody is allowed to use our kit in coups - DFID would go mental. We even check to make sure people haven’t got their fingers crossed behind their backs when they sign the contracts.

Except for the Saladin and Ferret ones, maybe. They might be from before we learned about the finger crossing business.

I thought that we and the Indo’s were best friends again?
Or they could have learned from the sixties when Harold Wilson cut off all the sales of spares to said Saladins and Ferrets during Confrontation.
 

endure

GCM
The sky train etc are impressive but they tell a story.

The sky train is very limited and for a long time didn’t connect to the new airport. When I was last in Bangkok there was ‘sort’ of a connection between the sky train and the line going (almost) to the airport but it involved several flights of stairs. IIRC at the other end it was about a km from the train station to the airport. It became mugger central at one point. I (and anyone else in the know) used a taxi. Can’t think how such a simple error was allowed to be made...

The sky train doesn’t connect with the newer metro. There’s only a few places, like Asok* where the stations are in the same place, and you can’t use one ticket on both systems.

The new airport is a scandal. They had just finished the new Terminal 3 at the old airport, and all of the shops in the duty free in the new one are owned by the same company, King Power. You’ll not be surprised to hear that nothing is cheaper than downtown. The airport is described as being an expensive shopping centre with planes attached. It’s so long with so few walkways that, if you find yourself on a short transfer you are met by a boy with a sign who then beasts you like a gym queen taking you on a BFT**. Also, the owners were so reluctant to spend money on infrastructure when it first opened there were almost no toilets. Men getting off a 12 hour flight were pissing in sinks (I know, who doesn’t) or even on the floor, like a tourist dirty protest). And they had to close it almost immediately because of dodgy concrete in the runway.

Oh, and neither airport easily connects, even though they are almost at opposite sides of Bangkok. There was a project to connect the old airport to town by sky train (called the Hopewell Project) but it died a death. You can still see the unfinished pylons.

All of these bits of infrastructure disconnect were possible because it was always about who was making the money, rather than what would be the best transport solution for Bangkok.

* Soi Cowboy to those visiting for ‘cuisine and scenery’

** I subjected myself to this indignity once. Only to arrive at the gate, sweating like Jimmy Saville at a school sports day, to be told actually my plane was now delayed for an hour. Since then I have taken a page from James May and walked. They’ve got my luggage in the system***. They’ll wait.

*** Or they haven’t. The cnuts.


It's 1.2km from the transit security check to the Emirates transfer desk and not a walkway in sight :mad:
 

Bardeyai

Old-Salt
The sky train etc are impressive but they tell a story.

The sky train is very limited and for a long time didn’t connect to the new airport. When I was last in Bangkok there was ‘sort’ of a connection between the sky train and the line going (almost) to the airport but it involved several flights of stairs. IIRC at the other end it was about a km from the train station to the airport. It became mugger central at one point. I (and anyone else in the know) used a taxi. Can’t think how such a simple error was allowed to be made...

The sky train doesn’t connect with the newer metro. There’s only a few places, like Asok* where the stations are in the same place, and you can’t use one ticket on both systems.

The new airport is a scandal. They had just finished the new Terminal 3 at the old airport, and all of the shops in the duty free in the new one are owned by the same company, King Power. You’ll not be surprised to hear that nothing is cheaper than downtown. The airport is described as being an expensive shopping centre with planes attached. It’s so long with so few walkways that, if you find yourself on a short transfer you are met by a boy with a sign who then beasts you like a gym queen taking you on a BFT**. Also, the owners were so reluctant to spend money on infrastructure when it first opened there were almost no toilets. Men getting off a 12 hour flight were pissing in sinks (I know, who doesn’t) or even on the floor, like a tourist dirty protest). And they had to close it almost immediately because of dodgy concrete in the runway.

Oh, and neither airport easily connects, even though they are almost at opposite sides of Bangkok. There was a project to connect the old airport to town by sky train (called the Hopewell Project) but it died a death. You can still see the unfinished pylons.

All of these bits of infrastructure disconnect were possible because it was always about who was making the money, rather than what would be the best transport solution for Bangkok.

* Soi Cowboy to those visiting for ‘cuisine and scenery’

** I subjected myself to this indignity once. Only to arrive at the gate, sweating like Jimmy Saville at a school sports day, to be told actually my plane was now delayed for an hour. Since then I have taken a page from James May and walked. They’ve got my luggage in the system***. They’ll wait.

*** Or they haven’t. The cnuts.
I flew out of LHR heading towards Dong Muang but landed as one of the first flights into Suvamabumi (sp?). Unfortunately all the staff, including baggage handlers, were still up at the old airport. Oh how we laughed as we waited 4 hours for our luggage.
Ive never used the sky train from the airport. Taxis are cheap and a lot less hassle.
Soi cowboy you say? A street for both country and western fans. There’s a bar with a glass dance floor. I was sitting at the bar on the floor below and my companions fell silent. I looked up - Scenery and culture indeed ... No wait, It was a friend who told me about that!!
 
I flew out of LHR heading towards Dong Muang but landed as one of the first flights into Suvamabumi (sp?). Unfortunately all the staff, including baggage handlers, were still up at the old airport. Oh how we laughed as we waited 4 hours for our luggage.
Ive never used the sky train from the airport. Taxis are cheap and a lot less hassle.
Soi cowboy you say? A street for both country and western fans. There’s a bar with a glass dance floor. I was sitting at the bar on the floor below and my companions fell silent. I looked up - Scenery and culture indeed ... No wait, It was a friend who told me about that!!

A friend of mine told me about the glass ceiling too.

He also told me about the ‘English’ fish and chip shop just round the corner- so both cuisine AND scenery!

However he prefers Nana as it’s staggering distance from where he stays.

Joking aside, I was like a rabbit in headlights when I first went there. But lots of actual friends started making excuses to visit and I soon got very bored of the whole nightlife thing.
 

Latest Threads

Top