Political protests & now floods have crippled businesses & increased unemployment for years. Proposed pardon could restart the downward spiral.
Photo above of a red shirt protestor pretending he is dead to make people remember last year’s crackdown on anti-government protesters at Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok.
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Pardon timing quizzed, Chamber calls move 'strange' during floods by Phusadee Arunmas & Chadamas Chinmaneevong
Business leaders are uncomfortable with the cabinet's approval of draft royal decree for a royal pardon that could include Thaksin Shinawatra, saying it could add political risk at a time when businesses are already suffering from floods.
''It sounds strange to do a thing like this as it is not the appropriate time. People are concerned about the flooding,'' said Phongsak Assakul, acting chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce
The decree approved by the cabinet on Tuesday would seek pardons for thousands of convicts on the occasion of His Majesty the King's birthday next month. However, it was worded in a way that would include people convicted of corruption, notably the self-exiled former prime minister.
The first priority for government, said Mr Pongsak, remains to push water out to sea as soon as possible.
If the government cannot manage the flood, people will be increasingly unhappy because the water is becoming polluted now.
''The mood of the people can't be good,'' he said. ''Businesspeople don't want to see the government act like this, though it has the right to propose the decree as well as make political decisions."
''As long as Thailand still has water, rehabilitation and prevention measures will not happen.''
Pornsil Patcharintanakul, the chamber's vice-chairman, said the last thing businesses needed now was a political decision that could provoke protests or even riots
He said businesses believed the government should stay focused on the big picture and maintain a balance among political, economic and social issues. If the government cannot balance these three elements, it is failing in its political role
''Businesses feel political risk may return again so the government should rethink [the pardon] and take the opportunity to do it better,'' he said
''Businesses have severely damaged and have no weapons. The government has to be careful and not underestimate [the impact of its decisions].''
Akapol Sorasuchart, president of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), suggested the government not stir up any new political conflict again as the country has already suffered a lot from flooding
Since the end of 2008, the tourism business including the meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition sector (Mice) has suffered a lot of negative effects from political instability
''We have been hurt severely by the flood crisis and this should be enough. The government should focus on its reconstruction plans to revive the overall economy,'' he said
Mr Akapol said private operators already had to deal with many business risks, and political risk would re-emerge due to the approval of the royal pardon decree
As of Nov 15, five Mice events have been cancelled and another 19 are postponed, which means the loss of 3.23 billion baht in Mice revenues
''Private tourism and Mice operators are trying hard to recover from the flood and we need to see the confidence of foreign tourists restored. But if political problems return, their hope for recovery will disappear,'' Mr Akapol said
The TCEB and Mice operators have launched a campaign called ''Together We Fight for Thailand'' to help restore confidence, with a budget of 40 million baht. Operators hope to see government agencies and private firms to spend more on meetings to spur domestic activity after the floods
(Source: Bangkok Post, Pardon timing quizzed, Chamber calls move 'strange' during floods, 18/11/2011, Phusadee Arunmas & Chadamas Chinmaneevong, link)
Political Risk Vocabulary
pardon - an official decision to forgive someone for committing a crime and to free them from punishment การอภัยโทษ การนิรโทษกรรม
timing - the time when things happen in some task or activity and whether the situation is right at this time (example: the right timing is important in making an announcement, so that people are listening)
pardon timing - the exact time when the pardon request is made and whether this is the right, whether perhaps another time would be better
chamber of commerce - a group of business people in a town, city, area or even whole country who work together to help their businesses and provide information and training for business (See Wikipedia)
chamber - same as "chamber of commerce"
approval - official permission การอนุมัต
draft - a document, plan, etc. not in final form that may be changed before it is finally accepted ร่าง
decree - an official order or decision made by the ruler of a country
approval of a draft royal decree for a royal pardon
risk - danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง
political risk - dangers from politics (protests, terrorism, declining investor confidence, etc)
suffering - physical or mental pain or problems ความทุกข์ทรมาน
a time when businesses are already suffering from floods
concerned - worried about something มีความกังวล
people are concerned about the flooding
worded - words chosen in some writing to give (convey) a certain meaning
convicted - having been proven guilty of a crime by a court of law ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่ามีความผิดจริง การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
corruption - (See Wikipedia on bribery, corporate corruption, and political corruption)
X, notably Y - Y is a good example that shows or demonstrates Y
exiled - living in another country (because they can't live in their own country for political reasons)
self-exiled - when a person chooses exile for themselves
it was worded in a way that would include people convicted of corruption, notably the self-exiled former prime minister
priority - something important that must be done first or needs more attention than anything else การให้ลำดับความสำคัญ
the first priority for government, remains to push water out to sea as soon as possible.
mood - the way you feel at a particular time อารมณ์
rehabilitation - to bring back to a good condition again; the process of making normal again after suffering injury or harm การทำให้กลับสู่สภาพเดิม, การทำให้กลับมาดีเหมือนเดิม การฟื้นฟูสภาพกิจการ
prevention - the act of preventing something, or things that people do in order to prevent something
measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
X as long as Y - when situation Y still exists, situation X will also exist
as long as Thailand still has water, rehabilitation and prevention measures will not happen
provoke - to deliberately try to cause a reaction, especially an angry one ยั่วยุอารมณ์, ทำให้โกรธ try to make someone angry or to cause a reaction ปลุกระดม ปลุกเร้า
protests - meetings, sometimes forceful or violent, or public statements by people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
riots - violent protests
provoke protests - cause protests
the last thing businesses needed now - meaning: businesses really really do not need this now
the last thing businesses needed now was a political decision that could provoke protests or even riots.
maintain - to keep รักษา
balance - takes into consideration all opinions and is fair and reasonable to all
maintain a balance
issues - subjects that need to be considered ประเด็น
the government should stay focused on the big picture and maintain a balance among political, economic and social issues.
elements - sets or groups of people or things องค์ประกอบ
role - the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship บทบาท
if the government cannot balance these three elements, it is failing in its political role
opportunity - a situation when it is possible to do something that you want to do (See glossary)
take the opportunity to do it better
impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
the government has to be careful and not underestimate [the impact of its decisions]
stir up - to say things deliberately in order to cause trouble between people ปลุกเร้า
conflict - an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
suggested the government not stir up any new political conflict again as the country has already suffered a lot from flooding
meeting - when a group of people come together to discuss issues and make decisions การประชุม
incentive - reward to encourage certain behaviour; something that makes you want to do something or work harder, because you know that you will benefit by doing this สิ่งกระตุ้น
convention - a large formal meeting of people who do a particular job or have a similar interest, or a large meeting for a political party การประชุม
exhibition - a public event displaying objects of interest (either commercial or artistic); a public show where art or other interesting things are put so that people can go and look at them นิทรรศการ, งานแสดง
sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition sector (Mice)
negative - bad ที่เป็นด้านลบ
instability - unstable, can change suddenly without notice, this makes it difficult to work with
suffered a lot of negative effects from political instability
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์ วิกฤต
we have been hurt severely by the flood crisis and this should be enough.
focus - the main thing something is concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
reconstruction - the process of building or creating something again that has been damaged or destroyed การสร้างใหม่, การประกอบใหม่
revive - make active again, bring to life again; get started once again after stopping ฟื้นชีพ ทำให้ฟื้นชีพ ชุบชีวิต
the government should focus on its reconstruction plans to revive the overall economy
operators - businesses doing some kind of business
private operators - privately owned businesses (not owned by the government)
re - again
re-emerge - appear again, come into existence again
private operators already had to deal with many business risks, and political risk would re-emerge due to the approval of the royal pardon decree
postponed - delayed; decided that something will be done at a later time เลื่อนออกไป
five Mice events have been cancelled and another 19 are postponed
revenues - money received by a business or government รายได้ของรัฐ
the loss of 3.23 billion baht in Mice revenues
recovery - when the situation improves; when the economy gets better (more jobs, higher incomes) การฟื้นฟูสภาพ
recover - 1. to get something back that has been lost; 2. to become healthy and fit again after an illness or injury การฟื้นไข้
confidence - the quality of being certain; feeeling sure about something ความมั่นใจ ความเชื่อมั่น
restore - to cause a particular situation to exist again, especially a good one ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
private tourism and Mice operators are trying hard to recover from the flood and we need to see the confidence of foreign tourists restored
launched - started, began; เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ เริ่ม
campaign - a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim การรณรงค์
budget - an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
Mice operators have launched a campaign to help restore confidence, with a budget of 40 million baht.
spur - to cause something to happen ก่อให้เกิด
domestic - within the country ในประเทศ
spur domestic activity - make business (and incomes) increase, in the country
operators hope to see government agencies and private firms to spend more on meetings to spur domestic activity after the floods
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