It is difficult to imagine a scheme more ripe for abuse and inefficiency than this one. If it is true (and one must always be cautious about taking what appears in the newspapers at face value), then five private companies are to be given 100 million baht each to make films with a view to promoting Thai culture, as well as boosting the Thai film industry.
It is not clear how these companies are to be selected (which in itself raises suspicions) nor what criteria are to be used for determining the extent to which the money is being well-spent. If this had been a plan announced by Thai Rak Thai or PPP, then unelected senators would already be preparing cases for ‘corruption’ to send to their pals in court.
What kind of films can we expect from such a scheme? Well, it seems reasonable to assume that any kind of adult content or consideration will be right out – so, no use of cigarettes or alcohol (although violence towards children and women will probably be considered acceptable). Certain ideological positions will be favoured over others (there should be no need to spell this out – watch out if there are any Burmese characters included or farangs, come to that) (especially farangs buying up prime beach side land with a view to smuggling it out of the country). There will be lots of people bowing before monks, the timeless wisdom of old people and especially old farmers happy to exist on what they have, plenty of dangerous creatures out in the wild which mean we must have a strong military to protect us.
I am all for Keynesian solutions to economic crisis such as we facing at the moment but the people who need most help are those being laid off from their manufacturing jobs – women in particular, since new jobs (if the government ever does get around to doing something) will be concentrated in sectors in which men dominate most jobs (e.g. construction). For once, this is an activity that the private sector should lead – unless a very worthwhile film project cannot be made because of lack of finance, which does not seem to be the case here.