The light that attracts migrants is money, not freedom

your say December 03, 2018 01:00

Re: “Keep that bright light of freedom always shining”, Letters, December 1-2. 

Al Eberhardt asks why millions of people from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are heading for Thailand? The answer is not that they are seeking more freedom here, as Al suggests. They come here for economic purposes, as they earn less in their own countries than they do in Thailand. Thailand offers foreign workers the same daily wages as Thais – that is why they are here. That is also why our foreign housemaids work for us, not because they can sniff the sweeter air of freedom in our lavatories but because they can make more money, and hopefully support their family back home. The same motivation applies to Thai workers trying to find jobs in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where they are paid more than what they receive at home.

Al should take a flight to China or Russia to see the real picture of how their people live before jumping to demeaning conclusions about those countries. Paddling a small boat will only lead you (if you are lucky) to a nearby lighthouse perched on a pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere. 

Last but not least, to single out other countries for being ruled by dictators, greedy oligarchs and mullahs is irresponsible without giving the facts. Don’t we also have in our system corrupt politicians, greedy tycoons and indecent clergy?  

Yingwai Suchaovanich