The Pheu Family’s Democratic Hypocrisy
“Democracy” is the key word in Thailand’s current political debate, despite confirmations that elections will be held on February 24. The Pheu Thai Party is the most vocal when it comes to preaching democracy, and in some odd way in justifies their anarchic ways too.
The Pheu family consists of the Pheu Thai Party, Pheu Chart Party, Pheu Tham Party, Prachachart Party and the Thai Raksa Chart Party. Democracy is an obvious brand identity and a basic political strategy which can never be talked down.
It is important to note that this particular group of people were always standing on democracy’s shoulders during election time. However, when they are stripped from a position of power they never resort to the rules of democracy but rather towards straight-down barbarism.
Key Pheu Thai figure Sudarat Keyurapan had told the press that she has never given up her standing ground, while claiming to have never sided with those who undemocratically take power.
“Even at times when our party was dissolved, some invited me to join another party but instead I decided to stop and do what makes me happy. I do not want anyone to label me as a betrayer. Our position as a politician and as a party comes from the power of the people, therefore we can never betray the people nor our ideology. Those who betray the people and choose us are not considered real supporters of democracy.
Ironically, it was the Pheu Thai government who designed the rice scheme which exposed one of the largest corruption scandals in the Thai political history. Sometimes people claimed that they were not given the opportunity to finish the job which led to the failure of the rice scheme, but that does not change the fact that widespread corruption had occurred.
Rewind a little further and we find ourselves in 2009 when the red-shirts ambushed and barricaded an ASEAN summit meeting at the Royal Beach Cliff Resort in Pattaya. This led to a violent confrontation between the red-shirts and the alleged blue shirts whom were locals in Pattaya that wished to protect the city’s image. Seems like there are substantial inconsistencies on what side of democracy these Pheu Thai figures are sitting on.
Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who was the leader at the time was forced to call off the meeting and declared a state of emergency in Chonburi province.
The failed ASEAN Summit meeting was considered to be a tragedy for both Thailand and the ASEAN community as leaders were figuring out a way out of the global financial crisis.
It was estimated that the nation’s economy suffered losses between 50 to 100 billion baht as a result of the conflict in Pattaya as videos and images surfaced worldwide which caused foreigners to see Thailand as a dangerous destination for visiting and investments.
It was the red-shirts who burned down Central World and the adjacent mall beside it, along with a town hall in an attempt to pressure Mr. Abhisit to dissolve the parliament and resign from his post. Again, the damages were felt from both within and beyond the Thai borders.
The attacks were by no means random, as most of the damages were done on businesses that were supporting the opposition. The looting and destruction of property was worth at least 1 billion baht in damages.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the Pheu Family supports democracy during elections, but relies on barbaric means when they do not get what they want. Either they have a personality disorder or the democratic side of things is simply a mask.