16 Jan 2007

THAI-SINGAPORE TIES ON THE BRINK

The Nation

Thailand cancels invitation to Singapore's foreign minister

Thai government rescinded Tuesday the visit of Singapore's foreign minister later this month after ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's meeting with Singapore Deputy Prime Minister.

The government also announced it was suspending a civil exchange program with Singapore and canceled a meeting about the program that was to be held later this month.

"We expressed dissatisfaction with the explanation made by Singaporean authorities. Therefore we decide to cancel visit of Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo to Bangkok later this month ," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kitti Wasinondh said.

Thai Foreign Ministry summoned Singapore ambassador on Monday to express deep concerns on Thaksin's visit to Singapore.

An informed source said Singapore issued a private invitation for Thaksin to stay in the island nation for three days. Thaksin met Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar during the visit over the weekend.



6 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

The illegal govt in Thailand will be the country's ruin.

Currency controls, media restriction, restriction of public assembly, visa restrictions on foreigners...

Thaksin may not be the "cleanest" guy on earth, but he was ELECTED and is still rightfully the Prime Minister.

In spite of his (human) faults, The Kingdom was much better under his governance than who and what they have now.

OTOH, "anarchy" does have its merits. The closing time of bars has been creeping forward — Thaksin shut them at 1am. Last night I was drinking in one at 4 in the morning, and people are self-governed and self-regulated quite nicely. No aggro, all fun — hot babes, cold booze, and smokin' reggae beats — which at least (so far, touch wood) proves my belief that if you leave people alone, most of them have enough responsibility to govern themselves.

Khun Rak Thai!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this Thai-Govt is clearly anti-Singapore. Why no fuss when Thaksin was visiting *other* countries?

Trying to emulate the bullying tactics of that other *Abang* up north.

Hypocritical, bullies and twats.

Sod off.

Stand up for Singapore!

Patriot.

Anonymous said...

I think it was because of the "Shin Corp - Temasek" episode, and the Thais being angry with Thaksin's purported tax evasion at the expense of their nation (public money); and how proxies were used to gain more share/control of the company.

The other countries were not involved in such an episode or at least not closely associated with Thaksin in regards to his company, Shin Corp.

Temasek is seen by everyone as a company managed by the Singapore Govt directly or indirectly; and hence their anger with Singapore, I suppose.

So, it is not the bullying by others. We have to look at our arrogance and we must be careful in dealing with local feelings and sensitivites in other countries.

(It was conceded in the press a few months ago, I think by the govt, that though due diligence was done, other aspects were not taken into consideration by their appointed advisors - some companies engaged to look into this due diligence and Shin Corp investments by Temasek).

What we have done THERE - IS - what we do NOT allow other companies/countries to do HERE ---eg INVEST in our local banks, local media, SIA, etc...

To digress:

Our Media, and especially our own Transport companies, are closed to foreign investors and not really open though we may have several telcos...but competition is not real/superficial. In recent press reports, we all heard how BAD our bus services are (for a so-called First World country) and how they always claim to protect their shareholder and increase their value - obviously at the expense of the travelling public. So,we can see where their priorities lie !
Would they say the same if we allow foreign competition as many Singaporeans have been clamouting for.

So, are we also guilty of applying double standards when buying into overseas 'sensitive' companies, regardless of the fact their local laws (eg. under PM Thaksin,etc..) allow these investments at that time? (now these are being reviewed by these govts).

What is sensitive to another country may not be sensitive to our country; and vice versa.
Each local condition is unique and we cannot impose our values on others, just as we do not like others to do to us.
That is my point and humble view.

On being bullied - Do not forget Singapore was rebuked by China many a times esp the episode when our PM (then Deputy PM) visited Taiwan.
I am not saying that China should rebuke us. On the other hand, I support SINGAPORE; and China - can go to hell, - for their arrogance and interference in our affairs since the COMMUNIST PARTY OF MALAYA days and how they infiltratd our schools and Unions esp during our young and fragile years after Independence.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> Thais being angry with Thaksin's purported tax evasion at the expense of their nation (public money); and how proxies were used to gain more share/control of the company. <

That's what they want you to believe ;)

It is impossible to generalise — there are about 70 million Thai people.

But I'll generalise anyway...so here it goes:

The "poor" like Thaksin, mainly because of the introduction of a 30Baht flat fee to visit a doctor. The state subsidises the rest. Before this, many poorer Thais didn't go to doctors — because they simply couldn't afford it.

The business crowd, generally like Thaksin, or at least find him "less of an evil" than the wankers in power now. Exceptions in the businessworld are bar owners and those involved in Thailand's famous adult-entertainment industries, as Thaksin came down heavy on them and restricted their trading hours.

The group who detest Thaksin the most are the social democrats — mostly "intellectuals" from various depts. (usually the social sciences) in the universities, and of course their mates in the unions. Generally the collectivists who destest freedom and the freedom of markets and of individual enterprise.

And of course the military, who like their own "power games". These folks, don't forget have a hand in running the casinos (so-called "illegal", which is a misnomer) on Thailand's borders with Burma, Lao and Cambodia.

Thaksin's big mistake is he didn't rein in these folks when he had the chance. Having these lucrative "businesses", these guys are well-funded.

soci said...

You use the term 'intellectuals' as if it is a dirty word - especially that bunch of social scientists you refer to.

We must meet up some time.

Matilah_Singapura said...

:-)

Sure. If you're coming to Thailand, email me beforehand — it would be my pleasure to shout you a jug.. or three.

Cheers