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Duty free scam at airport goes on unchecked

It is high time that the government stepped in to clean up the scam being perpetrated at Suvarnabhumi Airport to trap tourists who are falsely accused of shoplifting at King Power. The circumstances usually indicate that the victims were set up by duty free staff in league with the police.

The latest case is of two respectable British IT experts, Stephen Ingram and Xi Lin, whose holiday in Thailand was turned into a nightmare by the airport scammers. This has been plastered all over the press and television news in the UK and on the Internet globally as a warning of the type of hospitality that awaits unsuspecting holidaymakers in Thailand.

Despite the fact that the wallet that Ingram and Li were alleged to have stolen from King Power was not even found in their possession, they were hauled off to the police station, forced to stay in a squalid hotel near the airport, and made to cough up half a million baht to be allowed to get home in time for the funeral of Ingram's mother.

One call from the Prime Minister's Office could clean up this scam and put the real culprits behind bars. The benefit to the tourism industry and the Thai economy would be far greater than the effects of handing out Bt2,000 baht cheques to low-income workers.



Asean rights watchdog will be a laughing stock

I don't understand all the fuss about the Asean human rights watchdog. All the Asean leaders sound so excited about it. Or are they pretending to be? They are well aware that it's not going to make any significant step towards solving human rights abuses in many of the member countries, especially Burma.

Whenever I read the news and analysis about the body making any difference in Burma, I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs. It's got to be the biggest joke ever. I'll believe you more if you tell me that one day our planet will be ruled by aliens.




Get rid of outdated traffic law

When will the government dare to abolish or change the age-old law (from 1932) that prohibits motorcycles driving in any other than the two left-most lanes?

The reason for abolishing this law, or at least making it an unpunishable traffic offence? The law was created when the traffic was totally different from today, and so were the streets. Not many streets were wider than two lanes then. In town, motorcycles are not slower than cars, and thus pose no obstacle for cars.

On the other hand, catching motorcyclists using the outside lane is a favourite pastime of the local constabulary - to rip off money and disburse most of it into private pockets. So to abolish (or change) this law will help to reduce corruption in the police force.

And most of all, I think the government would receive kudos from all voters who use motorcycles on a daily basis.




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