Updated: Reform yawn

20 12 2010

In case readers missed it, according to the Bangkok Post, the “National Reform Assembly has finalised its nine-point proposal calling for widespread political, economic and social change, and forwarded it to the government for action.” Yes, we know our header is cynical, but read this report and see if anyone gets energized.

Chairman Prawase Wasi handed his recommendations to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva during a forum on national reform and Abhisit “said the government would turn the list of proposals into an operation plan and take action.” Ho hum. PPT suggests no one hold their breath while this process is “actioned.”

Readers can view the summary in the article, and PPT guesses there must be some detail in them. Here we mention just a few.

The suggestion that “state media communicate with the public in a way that can help the country achieve national reform” seems like a recommendation for propaganda, while the suggestion for the public to “be encouraged to participate in brainstorming sessions on all issues that concern them” sounds warm, cuddly and naive in the extreme.

The fourth proposal to decentralise administrative power is useful but is one made hundreds of times in the past.

A seventh proposal, to “reform … the taxation, social welfare and finance and budgetary systems to improve fairness and decrease the disparity between rich and poor” sounds nice. The problem is that there are structural impediments to any such reforms.

The eighth proposal “is for the Education Ministry to upgrade the national education structure for the sake of community strength, promoting honest livelihoods and academic strength.” This sounds like the usual moralistic position that Prawase has personally advocated for several years.

This is at the end of the report: “The government, meanwhile, says it wants to achieve national reconciliation before a new election is held.”

Was our headline inaccurate?

Update: A reader chastises us for failing to note that it seems this “reform” report says nothing of political freedoms that have been removed under recent regimes and most especially under the “savior of the parliamentary system” Premier Abhisit Orwell. Good point.


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