Re: ''Governor must speak out on city road plan'' (Opinion, Oct 17). It seems Thawisak Lertprapan (deputy chief of the Public Works Department) and the BMA are determined to go ahead with the so-called Asok ''roof'' road. Mr Thawisak quoted a statistic of increased capacity from the current 35,000 cars a day, to about 120,000 cars.
Why, would anyone in their right mind want to increase road capacity? Don't we have enough cars on the road as it is, so why make room for more?
Could it be that in the background, there could be another car buying scheme to benefit a lot more people? Maybe it could be that there are still certain contractors waiting in line that haven't had their chance to submit their offers yet.
The possibilities are unlimited.
It's (not) in the mail
Is anyone else old enough to remember those old western movies where the mailman had to get through against all odds to deliver the mail? There were dramatic scenes as the mailman spurred his pony on, saddlebags full of letters, battling Indians, outlaws, floods, fires and the occasional grizzly bear or mountain lion to fulfil his pledge as a US mailman.
I was only reminded of these childhood scenes because for the past two months I haven't received any of my credit card or bank statements and I'm told the floods in Thailand are to blame.
Jumping to conclusions
I was flabbergasted to read the caption of the front-page photo on the Bangkok Post on Friday [yesterday] relating to the Lao Airlines crash, saying ''... flight QV301 from Vientiane to Pakse crashed into the Mekong River on Wednesday as a result of bad weather...''
I believe the official crash investigation was barely starting and crucial evidence such as the plane's black boxes have yet to be found, yet the Bangkok Post has already jumped the gun to state that the crash was the result of bad weather.
Keep protests peaceful
Re: ''Rally rules in order'' (PostBag, Oct 16). I fully agree that Thailand needs laws regulating rallies that preserve both the right to protest and the rights of those affected by the protest, for example those living/working nearby, or the right of citizens to receive government services.
The minority, no matter how justified in their cause, has no right to infringe on the rights of others to work or live in peace at a protest site, nor may they impede the right of others to freely use services nearby, and all must enjoy the right of innocent passage. At the same time, protesters have the right to make their cause known and to persuade others to join _ provided, of course, they do not incite violence, slander, etc.
Thus, when a student anti-segregation group picketed a restaurant in the US deep South at a time when segregation was legal, by law, we had to keep silent, freely allow would-be patrons to access/exit the restaurant, and stay in public areas. We carefully abided by the letter and spirit of the law, and garnered much publicity (all favourable).
We had about 20 pickets, including myself; one policeman, observing from across the street, was sufficient to keep order _ a far cry from the 12,000 cops that PM Yingluck called in to deal with 250 protesters.
Thailand badly needs laws such as the above, rigorously and impartially enforced, or we will descend into anarchy.
Kittiratt jibe uncalled for
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, in responding to a request by MR Pridiyathorn Devakula for the government to scrap the money-losing rice-pledging scheme, suggested the former finance chief didn't know anything about accounting (BP, Oct 17).
That was totally uncalled for. It could trigger even more suspicion from taxpayers.
Thai taxpayers are wondering why Mr Kittiratt should be sitting on the country's balance books, refusing to reveal how much has already been lost in the rice-pledging programme after two years.
Mr Kittiratt himself could face accusations that he is one of the worst finance ministers in this country's history.
Panu out of his depth
Re: ''Quest for subs we don't need'' (Opinion, Oct 16).
Rear Admiral Panu was quoted as saying that ''territorial disputes in the South China Sea could escalate''.
Does Rear Adm Panu really believe that 10-year-old submarines, U-boats if you like, would stand a chance against modern Chinese technology, or even similar submarines of newer models?
Thailand is not a world super power and the editorial rightly points out the silliness of submarines that cannot operate in shallow waters.
When I was a little boy, my father bought me a set of Lionel electric trains.
I played with them less and less because my father played with them more and more.
Later I was to learn the old saying, ''Little toys for bigger boys''.
Rear Adm Panu, if you want to play with toys, buy a few rubber duckies or wooden sailboats and float them in the lakes in Lumpini Park.
DAVID JAMES WONG
Is Plodprasop clueless?
According to news reports on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said the flooding in the Central Plains and the East will be gone by next month, while on the front page there was a telling photo of the flooding in Prachin Buri.
The next day he informed us that the flood situation in the East is getting worse because of Typhoon Nari while at the same time we are informed that the water level in three main Bangkok khlongs is reaching a critical level.
Does the Water and Flood Management Commission headed by Mr Plodprasop have any idea of what is going on?
Why does this inept and incompetent politician who distinguished himself by his dismal performance during the 2011 floods and who excels at insulting and ridiculing those who disagree with him remain in charge of the Water and Flood Management Commission?
EDWARD B DUHIGG
Holding tanks the answer
Recently the media reported that owners of Japanese manufacturing plants in Thailand were dealing with potential flooding problems by putting their buildings on higher ground and draining off excess water into holding ponds.
New condo and retail developments in Bangkok are also making sure their buildings are raised above street level. However, they are not providing drainage ponds to deal with the runoff from their properties. The net result is that Bangkok's streets function like drainage ponds. The problem will only get worse as more large-scale development takes place. The problem could be dealt with by constructing large holding tanks/reservoirs under Bangkok's existing roads. Excess water could be stored there and pumped out via normal drainage routes after the excess water above ground subsides.
All this would be expensive. New property developments could be given a bill based on the scale of their development. After all, it's when properties are subjected to more population density that more water problems occur.
Phuket cops no Poirots
It's good to see that the crackdown by Phuket's boys in brown on the slow loris touts has been another overwhelming success. On Patong's Soi Bangla last night I only saw five men, each with a slow loris, openly approaching tourists for photographs.
You don't have to be Hercule Poirot to catch these guys _ but I guess you do need a commitment to law enforcement rather than accepting pay-offs to let the abuse of these endangered species continue.
THE CENTRAL SCRUTINISER
Rihanna, rent a jet ski
So Rihanna's tweet on a sex show in Phuket spurred local law enforcement into action!
Too bad she didn't rent a jet ski.
Age no barrier to exercise
It was interesting to read an article on the subject of fitness by ''Mickey'' Al-Lapach (Life, Oct 15). As a former professional sportsman myself, I certainly agree that keeping oneself in at least reasonable physical condition, no matter what your age, is absolutely vital.
I am now in my 90th year and still continue to exercise every morning: stretching, deep breathing and ''Dynamic Tension''. This combination helps me to sustain a degree of well-being.
''Dynamic Tension'' entails putting one's whole body into spasm, then relaxing. I also treat my abdomen with thumb pressure, giving special attention to the epigastric fossa which lies just below the breast bone. The pressure is applied with deep inhalation followed by slow, steady exhalation.
Graft rankings dubious
While I appreciate Transparency International's objectives (PostBag, Oct 14), I doubt that their regularly published world-corruption-ranking is helpful in fighting the problem. Do they have decent proof to put one country as number 90 and another one as number 95? I don't think so. From my point of view a simple distinction into four categories would be more supportive: a) low-level corruption; b) rising but still quite low-level corruption; c) corrupt society; and d) highly corrupt society. For the last-mentioned categories I recommend the following definition: c) you have to pay bribes to get illegal things done; d) you have to pay bribes to get legal things done.
I leave it to you where you choose to classify Thailand.
How deep-rooted the problem has become in this country is shown in polls where 13 year-old children advocate corruption. The only chance to change things for the better is to educate young people. They must be convinced that corruption redistributes money in the wrong direction.
Target illegal car parkers
Strict traffic law enforcement from Monday (BP, Oct 10) is welcome.
One of the road regulations that needs to be enforced strictly is prohibiting illegal on-street parking. People travelling on smaller roads such as Pradiphat Road every day have to suffer and spend more time on the road than they should because of inconsiderate people illegally parking on the road.
Most of the city's roads operate at almost full capacity during peak hours, and thus every bit of road is needed for vehicular movement. Illegal parking during peak hour reduces the capacity of our roads, causes bottlenecks and in worst cases gridlocks the whole area.
Traffic police have to strictly enforce parking laws. One way this can be done is by clamping the wheels of illegally parked vehicles. This is a very effective process because it reminds people of the hassle they have to go through to get their vehicles released and, as a result, they think twice before parking illegally next time.
Yellow buses a nightmare
Now that police have decided to tackle traffic jams, could they do something about the yellow air-conditioned buses? On many roads, these buses can be seen going berserk, driving in the wrong lanes, cutting dangerously in front of other vehicles, and stopping in the middle of the road to pick up or drop off passengers. And when there is no other bus (a competitor) nearby, they crawl at a leisurely pace, slowing traffic down.
At many intersections, it's common to see a yellow bus sitting in the free left-turn lane to sneak straight ahead when the signal turns green, but blocking the left-turning traffic. This behaviour is no different from the green buses of yore that earned the epithet ''death buses''. These have now turned orange and while some of them still retain their old driving habits, their numbers have dwindled considerably in comparison to the yellow monstrosities.
Plugging knowledge hole
One can find inspiration in PostBag of the Bangkok Post. One day someone alluded to The Emperor's New Clothes. It was new to me that it was from a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. So I immediately ordered the collected works, Samlede Verker, in Danish, by HC Andersen because I thought I should have such elementary knowledge (I didn't know much about European literature). I discovered there was a big hole in my knowledge.
ANOTHER DANISH WRITER
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