More and Better Information on Bangkok’s Gubernatorial Election


Coincidence or not, both English language papers have started talking about Bangkok’s gubernatorial election today (I am always ahead of the game. Well, sometimes).

The Nation takes its support of the increasingly rightist Democrats seriously by talking up the achievements of incumbent Apirak ‘rarely seen’ Kosayodhin, as follows:

“As the incumbent, Apirak has lots of advantages. He belongs to the Democrat Party, which has strong support in all Bangkok areas. He has managed his job well enough to reduce traffic jams by improving road infrastructure and extending Skytrain routes. He has initiated bike lanes, which should be extended further. He should be credited for the creative plans to transform Bangkok, to enable it to compete with cities like London, Paris or Tokyo. He has also attracted more people to public transport as a way to save energy and resources.”

These improvements seem in reality to have had precious little to do with Khun Apirak, so far as I know. What are these plans to enable Bangkok to compete with London and Paris? Compete how? People are using public transport because of high petrol prices and because the government introduced free bus rides for people – not sure what his role in that was.

Oh well. How about the other candidates? Khun Prapat Chongsanguan is running for the PPP and formerly ran the MRTA so actually does understand public transport. Dr Kriangsak Charoenwongsak is a former Democrat MP running on programs for young people – perhaps he is the guy I mentioned yesterday – one of the problems I have in not watching television or getting news information from it is that I don’t actually know what most people look like.

There is also Khun Chuwit Kamolvisit – massage parlour baron – for once I am in agreement with the Nation, which also sneers as Khun Chuwit’s insistence on appearing as constantly furious like some kind of pantomime demon king. ‘Personality’ Leena Janjanja is being treated as a bit of a joke; she is the only female candidate – coincidence?

The final candidate is ML Nattakorn Devakul (ML denotes an aristocratic title). I mentioned yesterday that he appears to be the smartest of the candidates in terms of innovative thinking and internationalization, so far as I can tell. His ratings are low, apparently and so he remains an outsider.

The poll is due to take place on October 5th.  

More and Better Information on Bangkok’s Gubernatorial Election


Coincidence or not, both English language papers have started talking about Bangkok’s gubernatorial election today (I am always ahead of the game. Well, sometimes).

The Nation takes its support of the increasingly rightist Democrats seriously by talking up the achievements of incumbent Apirak ‘rarely seen’ Kosayodhin, as follows:

“As the incumbent, Apirak has lots of advantages. He belongs to the Democrat Party, which has strong support in all Bangkok areas. He has managed his job well enough to reduce traffic jams by improving road infrastructure and extending Skytrain routes. He has initiated bike lanes, which should be extended further. He should be credited for the creative plans to transform Bangkok, to enable it to compete with cities like London, Paris or Tokyo. He has also attracted more people to public transport as a way to save energy and resources.”

These improvements seem in reality to have had precious little to do with Khun Apirak, so far as I know. What are these plans to enable Bangkok to compete with London and Paris? Compete how? People are using public transport because of high petrol prices and because the government introduced free bus rides for people – not sure what his role in that was.

Oh well. How about the other candidates? Khun Prapat Chongsanguan is running for the PPP and formerly ran the MRTA so actually does understand public transport. Dr Kriangsak Charoenwongsak is a former Democrat MP running on programs for young people – perhaps he is the guy I mentioned yesterday – one of the problems I have in not watching television or getting news information from it is that I don’t actually know what most people look like.

There is also Khun Chuwit Kamolvisit – massage parlour baron – for once I am in agreement with the Nation, which also sneers as Khun Chuwit’s insistence on appearing as constantly furious like some kind of pantomime demon king. ‘Personality’ Leena Janjanja is being treated as a bit of a joke; she is the only female candidate – coincidence?

The final candidate is ML Nattakorn Devakul (ML denotes an aristocratic title). I mentioned yesterday that he appears to be the smartest of the candidates in terms of innovative thinking and internationalization, so far as I can tell. His ratings are low, apparently and so he remains an outsider.

The poll is due to take place on October 5th.  

Samak to Struggle On; Klong Prem Women’s Prison; Thai Rugby


The talk today is of the current administration lasting until the end of the year. This is on the basis that it will take six months for the Constitution Court to reach a decision about dissolution of political parties accused of electoral fraud. There is little if any enthusiasm in society as a whole for an immediate dissolution of parliament and another election – outside of the anti-democracy movement and certain others of the unnamed. Workshy quisling Abhisit Vejjajiva is as usual behaving extremely shabbily and trying to worm himself into power.

The Bangkok Post has an interesting story about life in the Klong Prem Women’s Prison. Some 4,400 women are currently incarcerated in the prison, mostly it seems for dealing in ya ba (amphetamines). Conditions are pretty grim – daytime offers not much apart from hanging around outside but the twelve night hours involve occupying a space so confined that the prisoners have to sleep on their sides in rooms full of people. There are no leg irons such as in the next door men’s prison but treatment is still not very good. Well, they are being punished of course for what they have done but there is an additional role for prison in a civilised country, which is to help prisoners become people who do not feel themselves compelled to repeat their crimes because of no other options. It is not clear how well this aspect is being conducted. There are some philanthropic and Buddhist groups who help with meditation, religious education and the like but that may be of secondary importance when people need to find money and work.

Thai rugby is improving but is still behind the ‘elite Asian’ group of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Arabian Gulf and Kazakhstan. A divisional structure has been set up and countries can be promoted and relegated, so that competitions will revolve around games which are more competitive – it is difficult to improve when one side is hugely better than another and it also leads to loss of interest and motivation. Size would seem to be important in rugby and that is always likely to be a problem for Thai teams.

Samak to Struggle On; Klong Prem Women’s Prison; Thai Rugby


The talk today is of the current administration lasting until the end of the year. This is on the basis that it will take six months for the Constitution Court to reach a decision about dissolution of political parties accused of electoral fraud. There is little if any enthusiasm in society as a whole for an immediate dissolution of parliament and another election – outside of the anti-democracy movement and certain others of the unnamed. Workshy quisling Abhisit Vejjajiva is as usual behaving extremely shabbily and trying to worm himself into power.

The Bangkok Post has an interesting story about life in the Klong Prem Women’s Prison. Some 4,400 women are currently incarcerated in the prison, mostly it seems for dealing in ya ba (amphetamines). Conditions are pretty grim – daytime offers not much apart from hanging around outside but the twelve night hours involve occupying a space so confined that the prisoners have to sleep on their sides in rooms full of people. There are no leg irons such as in the next door men’s prison but treatment is still not very good. Well, they are being punished of course for what they have done but there is an additional role for prison in a civilised country, which is to help prisoners become people who do not feel themselves compelled to repeat their crimes because of no other options. It is not clear how well this aspect is being conducted. There are some philanthropic and Buddhist groups who help with meditation, religious education and the like but that may be of secondary importance when people need to find money and work.

Thai rugby is improving but is still behind the ‘elite Asian’ group of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Arabian Gulf and Kazakhstan. A divisional structure has been set up and countries can be promoted and relegated, so that competitions will revolve around games which are more competitive – it is difficult to improve when one side is hugely better than another and it also leads to loss of interest and motivation. Size would seem to be important in rugby and that is always likely to be a problem for Thai teams.