Over the past five months, the political and social atmosphere in Thailand has been on edge. With the pandemic resurgent, government mismanagement of the economy apparent, and a political situation akin to a tinderbox, it is understandable how many Thais have felt a tinge of hopelessness.
A new movement has even sprung up among younger Thais who say they want to leave the country forever and move abroad.
One can hardly blame them.
We have a government whose incompetence knows no bounds but is unaccountable to anyone but itself. We have ministers who are allowed to continue in office even though they are convicted drug dealers. We have two brainless generals running the show when they have proven incapable of ruling a graph. We have dissidents in prison for protesting for their rights and their voice.
And worst of all, people are dying.
In Chinese, the word for crisis is made up of two characters. One is for danger and the other is for opportunity.
If I may offer some hope, then it is to the opportunity that is currently at our finger tips right now. Keep in mind, Thailand has never faced a crisis like the current situation for decades. The combination of government ineptitude, a once-in-a-century pandemic, and a political crisis has culminated in a situation that is unpredictable.
But the opportunity to emancipate ourselves from cursory illusions has never been more apparent.
The myth that the army has the best interests of the nation at its core should be dispelled once and for all. Never mind that there has never been a good coup government in our history or that coup governments seldom do anything but fill their own coffers.
The historic incompetence of the Prayut Chan-ocha government should once and for all show that there is no military solution to our various political crisis. From now on, our political solutions must come through representation and negotiation, not from the threat or possibility of coups.
Those that gave the keys to the generals should be jailed and should never see the light of day again.
The pandemic and current crisis should also teach us an important lesson about the role nepotism and monopoly plays in our society and why it must be addressed as soon as possible.
Remember why we’re in the vaccine mess we’re in. It is because two companies were given monopolies in saving the country and being unable to deliver. The CP-owned Sinovacs Vaccine and Siam BioScience were given the trust of the people and they have failed and cost lives. We should not blame the hardworking scientists and medical personnel at these companies, we should blame the government and policies that gave monopolies to these entities.
Going forward, the opportunity is there to break these trusts and monopolies and open up the country to real competition and innovation.
Yes, while the situation is bleak now, there is an opportunity for our country to emerge from this crisis stronger. In that, at least, I see hope.