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Bangkok: a picture of chaos and greed

Re: "The existential agony of a Bangkok urbanite", Tell It As It Is, July 31.

This brilliant piece of writing really did "tell it as it is" - the true story of how Bangkok was built. It's a familiar tale of corruption in environmental-impact assessments, aided by collusion among the owner, builder, BMA or other local authority and the police. It's about paying to break the law, ignoring sensible rules and regulations designed to benefit the majority, sticking "two fingers up" at local communities and playing dumb when someone makes a challenge. It points out the folly of filing a case with the Central Administrative Court and correctly forecasts the hell to be experienced by residents after construction is complete. This is the account of a well-established city-wide development process that will eventually and inevitably lead to the renaming of this once great city as BangCrashHalf-Cock. Of course, many of us will have left by then and tourists will have become bored of scams and jams - leaving the villains, city authorities and members of the construction industry to ponder over how graft and greed cemented the seeds of their own demolition.

John Shepherd


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