17 Mar 2006

Thai protesters burn images of Singapore PM

"If Singaporeans faced the same situation as we do now, we believe Singaporeans would also rise up to do what we are doing," said Somsak Kosaisuk

Actually I don't think Singaporeans would or could rise up...
By Pracha Hararaspitak | March 17, 2006

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Protesters burned posters of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outside the city state's Bangkok embassy on Friday as a campaign to oust his Thai counterpart, Thaksin Shinawatra, took a nationalist twist.

Waving placards saying "Thailand Not for Sale, Get Out," several hundred protesters urged a boycott of all things Singaporean in answer to the takeover of telecoms giant Shin Corp by its state investment arm, Temasek, from Thaksin's family.

"If Singaporeans faced the same situation as we do now, we believe Singaporeans would also rise up to do what we are doing," said Somsak Kosaisuk, a key member of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which is trying to kick Thaksin from office.

They also torched models of Singapore Airlines planes, its "merlion" national mascot and pictures of Lee's wife, Ho Ching, the Temasek boss.

The political crisis has already caused the Thai stock market and baht to wobble and is now raising long-term economic concerns, with ratings agencies looking at growth forecasts and companies delaying public flotations or investment projects.

The anti-Singapore sentiment, which stems from outrage at Thaksin's family paying no tax in January's $1.9 billion Shin Corp deal, now appears to be hurting business.

According to Chainid Ngow-Sirimanee, head of builder Property Perfect PCL, Singapore firms have delayed decisions on potential Thai property investments worth $256 million.

DBS Group Holdings, which had been thought keen on raising its stake in Thailand's TMB Bank PCL, had yet to make up its mind on whether to go ahead, a spokesman said. Analysts attributed the delay to politics.


Thaksin, who remains defiant in the face of the middle-class metropolitan movement to oust him, hit the provincial campaign trail once again, rallying his core rural support base for snap elections called on April 2.

The Election Commission says the poll, which Thaksin has billed as a referendum on his leadership, may have to be postponed as a boycott by the three main opposition parties is likely to render it constitutionally unviable.

Thaksin, who is accused of corruption, cronyism and eroding the checks and balances of the 1997 constitution, does not agree.

"April 2 is the day for people to choose whether to let mob rule prevail or give the democratic process a chance to work," he told sugarcane farmers in the western province of Kanchanaburi, home to the famous "Death Railway" bridge over the River Kwai.

"I represent the democratic process. If you agree with the opposition boycott, you can abstain," he said, referring to one of the options on Thai ballot papers.

More than 100,000 people hit the streets this week calling for his head, sparking fears in the royal palace and army of a repeat of the bloodshed during a "people power" uprising against military rule in 1992.

However, both sides appear to be going out of their way to avoid violence.

Police marshalling the protests have been good-natured and unarmed and Thaksin switched a meeting from Government House to avoid confrontation with thousands of protesters camping on its doorstep.

A 20,000-strong pro-Thaksin "caravan of the poor" which arrived in northern Bangkok on Friday also vowed to steer clear of its political adversaries.

"We don't want to clash with them," said Attarit Singhlor, head of the 3-km (2-mile) convoy of trucks and home-made tractors which snaked its way slowly down from the impoverished northeast as the political crisis in the capital deepened.

"We'll make statements and express our requests for the prime minister to help on land, land deeds and funding for organic fertilizer projects, then leave Bangkok," he said.


Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are like IMPOTENT pricks, they can't RISE even if the occasion calls for it.

Even Viagra cannot help them because after 40 years under the PAP the dysfunction is beyond cure. They can't RISE. Believe me, they will sit through every thing passively and apathetically.

d said...

Are there photos of this happening?

ted said...

Sigh I posted this topic on funkygrad forum, this chap answered:

Hotbull: Which makes me wonder is it a big deal that the photo of your PM is burnt by irrational potestors?

I don't see any tangible implications coming of out the incident. To react to such insignificant acts would be detrimental and unnesscessary.

It's just a photo.

ted said...

On second reading, I don't think this guy is a Singaporean..so balls to him.

Anonymous said...

lol seems like Singaporeans are too kuai liao, everything don't dare to protest. Like we aree to coward to fighting for our rights. Like rising bus fare, university fees etc, I also got complain

Anonymous said...

Lee Hsien Loong deserve it who ask him so cocky...

Matilah_Singapura said...

Damn. This is great. But where's the flag burning??

I'm going to manufacture S'pore flags in china, and sell them cheap in Thailand.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think Singapore is being oppress after so many years of PAP rule, our media is still under heavy censorship and the gahmen still treat us like children who can't take care of ourselves and make decisions for ourselves. Who are they to tell us how many children we should have? Singapore is a first world country that is which the gahmen is as kiasi as those in Myanmar or North Korea. How can this be good for our people long term?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.44pm, to answer your Q

Using data from the three waves of the World Values Surveys, which include 65 societies and 75% of the world's population, Ronald Inglehart and Wayne E Bakar find evidence that a syndrome of trust, tolerance, subjective well-being, political activism and self-expression that emerges in postindustrial societies with high levels of security. At the opposite extreme, people in societies shaped by insecurity and low levels of well-being, tend to emphasize above all other goals, and feel threatened by foreigners, by ethic diversity ad by cultural change. This leads to an intolerance of gays and ohter outgroups, an insistence on traditional gender roles and an authoritarian political outlook.

Anonymous said...

The protests in Bangkok shows one importan fact: Thailand is far more democratic than Singapore. Thais have the right to do protests, rallies, public demonstrstions and even burn pictures of politicians such as Tatskin and Singapore´s PM. In Singapore, the citizens must ask for a permit when they want to do gather and do demonstrations, therefore s´pore isn´t a democracy. If i add the lack of freedom of speech, i can say, without any doubt, that it seems a dictatorship! In the other hand, i think singaporeans have better life quality than thais, including well paid jobs, better education, healthcare, housing, etc... Thailand is full of slums, where children swim in sewage. In the countryside, the population is so poor that many young teenagers have to leave in order to sell their bodies in tourism hubs.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 10:03 pm, I also think the Singapore society belongs to the second group, we are still so insecure and soft, that buying flats, going to primary schools and saving our money (through CPF) still have to be controlled by our paternalistic gahmen. If they want us to grow up, STOP BEING SO PATERNALISTIC!!!

locky2ky said...

Hi anonymous 2:55AM,

Thailand is a big country while Singapore is only a tiny dot so it is easier to govern and control.

Anyway, there is an increasing number of households living in darkness. There are also some teenagers willingly sell their bodies to pursue the materialistic lifestyle Singapore has been promoting.

Anonymous said...

It is truly sad to see Thailand politics coming to this stage. High time, they change a better and more sincere govt to take of their citizens.

Thaksin is damn rich (billionnaire) and yet cannot even pay taxes to help and support the country. What a good leader he exemplifies!! What a shame!

Matilah_Singapura said...

What if...

...all the kick-ass Singaporean women and their angry expat "sisters" got together to PROTEST the prevalence of Thai harlots in S'pore. These delightful nubile hotties, who congregate nightly at Orchar Towers are often accused by local and expat wives and girlfriends, of STEALING their men.

Apparently lots of S'pore and expat men engage in this sort of thing, and obviously enjoy it.

So gals, what are you waiting for? Hit back at Thailand, and do something for Singapore :-)