This issue of
Citylife

Your Say

Little England

Congratulations to Johnny Brash (‘Your Say’ September 2009) on highlighting the problem of complaining expats. These people would have complaints no matter where they lived, and this is the reason why so many ex-pats are not members of the Chiang Mai Expats Club, which has a fair proportion of whingers.
Many English expats come to Chiang Mai and have succeeded in creating a ‘Little England Ghetto’ in a bar in the city, where they continue with the activities they pursued in England. They would be better off broadening their horizons by making friendships with Thai people, and learning something about the culture and traditions of their new home.

Regards,
Anthony Sneddon

Mong the Mighty

I’ve just now had a chance to read your excellent editorial in the Sept ’09 issue; well done.
What superb timing that your writing ‘all of us deserve to be treated as equals’ and elitism should appear just as little Mong Tongdee made the headlines!
Bless him.
And the irony of your editorial appearing in the same issue as the Red-shirt interview is not missed either! The interview gives us an insight into the mind-set of this woman and her disciples; Thaksin’s puppets.
So, let’s hope Mighty Mong does well; no doubt Thailand will accept him as a hero if he does!

Best wishes,
Ron Lister

Is the Media too Selfish?

I see almost all of entertainment magazines publish the personal but eye-catching photographs of superstars’ private life such as romantic love affair. All these photos make me wonder whether the media does the right thing.
I think the media is never aware of the victims’ feeling from being gossiped negatively. Besides, the media might forget that it is against the human rights, the code of conduct, and morality. What they do can harm rather than better the society.
For the sake of the society, the media must be constructive, not destructive.

Ananya Buathong,
Chiang Mai University

Head Banging

It all started when a friend of a friend was admitted to Suan Dok Hospital when an accident on his motorcycle left him blind. He hit a pothole in the road and hit his head when falling off his motorcycle. The Neurosurgeon said if he was wearing a helmet he would be okay, as would 90% of the motorcyclists in the hospital!
I carried out my survey on six universities here in Chiang Mai, I did them all at the same time of the day, 7 a.m. until 8.15 a.m. during the month of July 2009. It was to see how many students arrived by motorcycle and of that number how many wore helmets. I have sent my survey to the presidents of all the universities and taken one to Major General Sommai Kongvisaisuk, the new Police Commander of Chiang Mai.
The results were as follows:
Rajabhat, 1,399 motorcyclists, 1,129 no helmets, 5 talking on mobile phones (20% had helmets); CMU, 1,301 motorcyclists, 1,007 no helmets, 1 talking on mobile phone (23% had helmets); Payap, 503 motorcyclists, 422 no helmets, 4 talking on mobile phones, 1 smoking (16% had helmets); Mae Jo, 580 motorcyclists, 538 no helmets (8% had helmets); Far Eastern, 56 motorcyclists, 37 no helmets (33% had helmets); Rajamankhala Technical Uni, 289 motorcyclists, 204 no helmet (42% had helmets).
Or to cut it short, of the 4,128 students arriving on their motorcycles 3,337 did not have helmets and 11 were talking on their mobile phones! I suggested that the police warn the students arriving at the universities of the dangers of not wearing a helmet, then at a later date if the warning has not been heeded then issue fines.
The police seem to love catching people near the old stadium and around the moat but ignore the universities and schools where it could have the most effect.

Derrick Titmus

Fuzzy Democracy

I want to applaud you for your courage in publishing your interview with such a controversial political figure. However, I was disappointed that you did not engage her in what many consider to be the key question in today’s colour politics; that is, “What is your definition of true democracy?” The term has been bantered about with such carelessness and disregard, it would have been enlightening, indeed to have K. Kanyapak elaborate in some detail and clarify her personal version beyond such simplistic statements as democracy “comes directly from the people” and “we believe in the 1997 Constitution”. To say that one stands for true democracy without giving a cogent explanation of what that actually means, is nothing but hot air. I think you missed out on a golden opportunity to shine a light on this poorly understood and most critical subject.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jonathan Nash

Blood on the Streets

Having seen the honourable lady on the streets of Chiang Mai, baying for blood, I was amused by her pacifist protestations during your interview.
I can put it no better than Shakespeare: “The devil can cite [Mahatma Ghandi] Scriptures for [her] purpose”.

Regards and all the best for Chiang Mai.
Tom

Fish and Polichips

I enjoyed your interview with DJ Aom although I found her comments to be rather disturbing. Seems I have may have moved to a rogue state rather than a part of Thailand!
I did on ThaiVisa try to get some discussion on this article going under my posting of ‘sparkles’. Unfortunately the response was underwhelming. Either people don’t care or the lure of Piggy’s Fish and Chips shop thread was far more important.

Regards,
Mike Parker