Lives of most 'expats' are unenviable
Re: "Farang get an instant status upgrade" Letters, January 6.
Meechai Burapa's polemic against expatriates is interesting not for its prurient interest in what he perceives to be the hedonistic expat lifestyle based on narcissism, cheap sex and drugs, but for his selectivity in completely ignoring the vast majority of expats living in Thailand.
At least 4 million expats do not get an instant status upgrade when they cross the border. Instead they slave away in Thai sweatshops, homes and on construction sites in dismal conditions for a pittance, and play cat-and-mouse with draconian alien labour regulations and corrupt officials. Nevertheless, they are vital to the Thai economy, since they now comprise around 7 per cent of the workforce, and that number is likely to continue rising.
Successive governments have abjectly failed to address the issue of declining competitiveness or wean the economy from its addiction to cheap labour. I suggest that Meechai roll up his sleeves and research an article on the lifestyles of the majority of Thailand's expats and their perceptions of their hosts, who now depend on them. He might find it quite revealing.