She doesn’t know, he doesn’t remember, while another friend seems disinterested with my queries, and my persistence. While it was all passionate intelligent talk almost a month ago, now it’s simply “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” and whatever, with the polite nods and glaze in the eyes that hints with tentative annoyance. I guess “Bangkok people” are bored, literally, with their political fuckery, with the Democrat Party’s messiah taking the streets with his usual manic depressive speeches.
I should just avoid asking friends and strangers about Suthep’s politics and the much talked about (and highly anticipated) coup which has flipped from military coup to judiciary coup. As it is, Bangkok’s attempt to remove their prime minister Yingluck from office is a source of amusement for those in Malaysia, while Thais fear out an all-out civil war, or what seems a minority are eagerly looking forward to hanging people and hitting them on the heads with metal chairs. You can never know the emotional design of an ultra nationalist nor fathom the barbarism that stems from educated, privileged urban folks.
Where is Suthep, the man who cleverly juggles internal politics within his consortium of puppets? He is still in Bangkok, quite an energetic old man with the vigorous charm of a war lord. Suthep lacks the pretty-boy looks of his ‘boss’ and former regime prime minister, Abhisit, but makes up with his incredible determination to knock common sense out from the vocabulary of Thais.
I’m naturally not fond of governments, and I find people like Suthep, who was a deputy prime minister, to be a maverick of a different breed. He breaks the laws and traditions of his own country, he rebels against the government and the constitution that his political party helped set-up, and outrageously he seeks a demise of what he built in the past. Now that being said, Suthep is a man favoured by the urban folks of Bangkok who despise his lack of high society sensibility but feel they have no other choice. And what of “his people” in his southern province. While some chant his name as if Suthep was Buddha’s brother and offering him money to fuel his crusade, others in the plantations dislike him.
It’s the classic gap between the rich and poor, and Thailand’s rural society can’t escape from the evolving contradictions of Thainess.
You’ll find all sorts of analysis of reforms in the name of Suthep, or the government’s passive sway to the need for consultation, or even the academic circles trying to whip up frenzy with their annoyingly educated tones, however despite it all these lectures don’t seem to have any positive effect on changing the behaviours of policymakers, politicians and even the tycoon-owned media. Everything in Bangkok is about what he wants or what she desires.
Going back to elections, no that didn’t solve the problems as courtesy of Suthep and his underlings in the democrat party, February 2 poll was a disappointment in terms of turnout. People wanting to vote were prevented from doing so thanks to a cocktail of violence, physical intimidation and hate speeches. So now it’s the right of an individual to force others not to vote in the name of so-called democratic reforms? Democracy is a participatory ideology, yet here we have a bunch of hypocrites and political militants running amok on the streets stopping others from voting. Aye, it defeats the ulterior goal of elections.
That being said, urban folks continue neglecting their countrymen and kin from rural Thailand. The south continues to be subjected to violence and savagery. Even the Thai Muslim leaders in Bangkok are busy throwing their support, fawning while at it, to the democrats knowing full well the “blues” and “yellows” failed miserably to uphold justice, peace and fairness in the three south provinces. That and their lies about human rights. Their complacency has brought about fundamental extremism in the name of “Pattani-Melayu” after the coup in 2006. Now the Islamic religious body is seen as a puppet controlled by the refined Siamese in Abhisit’s wardrobe. What has Suthep and Abhisit done for the south when they were in power besides expecting Muslim leaders to nod at their every whims and fancy? No wonder ThaiSouth has been reduced to a pariah state, where an iron fist pounds upon the rural poor and the marginalized. And as if “civil war” doesn’t already exist in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Or is the south simply beyond the comprehension of urban Thais?
Some people expect Yingluck, who seems to have little knowledge of the Thainess in politics and an amateur at Thai cut-throat political arena, to resign as caretaker. Some, while mouthing the principles of human rights, believe it’s best to have a selected neutral prime minister (let me guess, Suthep right?) and limit the rights of the poor to election.
As said by some, the poor are poor and ignorant and thus extremely vulnerable to corruption.
They should not vote, as they are stupid and don’t know about the delicate nature of politics. Such talk explodes with class prejudice, self importance and bourgeois pride. But that’s ok to say, if one is a loyal PDRC follower or a rich brat from a respectable high-so family. The courts, the law, the logic of humanity is naturally out of this equation particularly when you’re connected with PDRC, with the democrat party.
So, it seems my Thais friends are on the verge of resigning to the perceived defeat of democracy, the demise of common sense. In truth, I can’t blame them for not wanting to answer my questions or even update me on the latest information about politics. They like many perhaps feel that the contradictions have finally overwhelmed society and that it’s now all up to the invincible hands of karma, or Suthep the Messiah to solely decide the fate of over 65 million people. As for me, “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember” speaks volume of the strangulation of common sense in Thailand. Whatever.