|  March 31, 2010

we must all have been, at some time or another, vexed by the lack, or uneven handedness, of law enforcement in this country, especially when it comes to blatant double standards between the haves and the have nots. Every time I saw an arrest of a gunman on television, read about the conviction of a hill tribe drug dealer, heard about a prostitution clampdown, I gnashed my teeth and wondered about the cowardly businessman who hired the gunman, the smug drug baron in his secure mansion and the human trafficking mafia boss masquerading as a politician. It was always the small fish who were caught in the wake of the faster- and bigger-finned.

So, here we are, having finally caught the Moby Dick of criminals, and we have no idea what to do next! As the nation attempts to reel him in, the greatest irony is the thundering screams of ‘unfair!’ when it should be a satisfied humph of ‘about time!’

As we watch our great whale thrash about, attempting to overturn and sink the boat, confusing the hell out of all the little fish in the ocean not used to the upending of the natural order of things, we are busy asking ourselves whether we have caught more than we can chew…not having fished in my life, I shall now move on from this tenuous metaphor.

Whatever your favourite colour, I believe that we can all say that Thailand post-Thaksin will never be the same again. I have always been an unapologetic optimist, and I genuinely do believe that some promising and exciting things have come out of the past decade’s turmoil. To return to the ocean, I believe that the great sharks and whales now have to start watching for nets in the murky waters; the precedent has been set and we know how to, and that we can, catch them. Hopefully this level of accountability will filter down the ranks and file of society. The poor can also be proud of the fact that they have been, and I believe will continue to be, heard. Unfortunately their methods have at times left much to be desired, but I have faith that they will learn to hone their rhetoric and tactics. Future governments will not ignore the downtrodden, and hopefully with hindsight and vastly greater political awareness, they will be more resistant to political propaganda and personalities, knowing that peacefully, they not only have a voice, but power to effect change. Also, in spite of the voodoo hoodoo bloodletting, I think that it is a huge testament to the integrity, nature and character of the Thai people that so little violence has been perpetrated by all sides.

The levels of frustration have been high, the polarisation absolute, the inability to see things in hues besides red and yellow blinding, the antagonism and propaganda crippling, the solutions buried in a quagmire of self-interest and with a nation quivering with indignation and anger, I have found it remarkable that we have – touch wood – remained relatively peaceful. One can see more violence in some English football matches.

We have a long way to go as a nation; nothing is going to change overnight, and nor should it. But I am hopeful. I am optimistic. Let’s go and catch some more whales! Maybe then there will be more food to feed us little fish.

Here’s to breathing easy in April…

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[right]Pim Kemasingki