Better get used to it, because it looks like a long haul from here…
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Let’s see… What happens when you add 3 or 4 Billion dollars (if not more) worth of heaping, rotting warehouse fulls of steaming hot Hom Mali or regular Thai rice, a fatally flawed rice pledging scheme, falling global rice prices and a failed government policy geared towards the rice growing sector’s electorate?
First, that it should not be too difficult for the opposition’s lawyers and civic groups in the not too distant future to prove official malfeasance, gross negligence and total mismanagement of public funds in the form of government-owned, soon to be or nearly (by now) rotten rice by the tens of thousands or even millions of tons in the Grand Rice Fiasco.
And if the massive rice growing carrot is ever removed, as it surely must be… ? Rice farmers will be in a huge uproar, and there will be more than hell to pay, literally, as they can simply blockade the city and effectively shut the capital down, holding the entire population and government hostage to its wishes; yet, since they themselves are predominantly pro- government- allied Red Shirts, the cancer of selfish anger can be carefully managed and/or contained, but how can it be eradicated, since it obviously benefits certain strong national party leaders and acts as a potential chained attack dog ready to be unleashed on future anti- government. demonstrations or military coups?
All one needs is a large group of Isaan farmers, hard core Red Shirts and poor, and there is an automatic media event and political scene ripe for airing discontent that virtually everyone is anxious to avoid, including the military and police.
Now, this is at a time when the entire Asean region is facing a variety of serious financial challenges from a difficult global economic crisis engulfing the Big 3, (ex- China, although now of course it, too is slowing down to ground speed) in the EU, US and Japan, while much of greater Asia is experiencing slowing export growth and rising inflation, (not to mention a rise in likely regional armed conflicts) both the first two of which the GRF (Great Rice Fiasco) will be likely be credited and much maligned for accelerating here in golden Shina-topia-land.
Second, that the warehouse rents and long term storage, inspection, weighing, transporting and milling costs, along with other administrative and various associated rising financial costs (= read ‘highly possible’ corruption spreading like cancer throughout the entire chain) for clinging to an obviously misguided, politically populist strategy of forming a huge government based Thai rice cartel (Mr. Dubai has been fantasizing of becoming a major ‘rice sheikh’ in the OPEC region for too long perhaps…?) will only serve to entrench and fossilize the already failed policy even further, much like a failed and unwinnable war that now resembles the Vietnam Syndrome.
So, welcome to the Great Rice Fiasco that is now upon the nation, and sure to only add to its current war of woes.Massive government spending in the tens of billions of dollars is now on order- and that is nearly all throwing good money after bad. Bad rice that is…
The GRF is definitely a success in that regard- bogging the gov’t down in an effort that would require a much greater cost, efficiency and effort to ever truly succeed at and still resemble a victory- or forcing it to speed up the exit immediately if not sooner and face certain, bitter political defeat- at not only great human and material cost, but also serious loss of face and further diminish the Pheua Thai party’s credibility in the process… Oh, forgot, isn’t it already too late for that? Yes, that much is obvious to even the most casual of astute observers.
The recent slap in the face election loss of the ‘Magic Eyes’ candidate representing the Shinawatran national power monopoly in the Bangkok gubernatorial/governor’s election showed that despite Pheua Thai fielding the best candidate possible, Bangkokians are still loyal and disloyal at heart- loyal to themselves and disloyal to those who wish to represent their own interests over theirs first and foremost.
Virabongsa Ramangkura, veteran respected government economist and the government’s own adviser serving on the Strategic Formulation Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development said “the rice pledging program will doom the country” in a quote from the Bangkok Post on Oct. 3 last year.
Earlier in September, a certain de-facto leader of the Pheua Thai government living in exile staunchly defended the policy, yet Virabongsa’s highly credible verdict came out just a few days later, while subsequently PM Yingluck vowed vehemently to carry on with the project.
Third, thus it will become impossible for the immeasurably prominent but not wise Pheua Thai puppet leader and Co. to realize total defeat (or responsibility for that matter) for the utter disaster until it is only too late- and then probably only post-haste by finally rightly being voted out of power or being otherwise kicked out of the majority leadership in parliament, perhaps due to official malfeasance.Then, the opposition or another party’s leaders are going to be stuck with the unenviable task of dumping (literally) billions of baht of sub-standard rice into a dump site, or to pay even more and leave it to rot.
Isn’t this where the Hopewell Project lead?
What about the failed iron fisted policies during a certain period of time, not so long ago, that fueled the rise of Muslim insurgency in the south?It is now so entrenched among a hard core of terrorists (yes, that’s what they are, but yet that is not what they once were) that all efforts at peace have failed and containing the collateral damage likewise proves impossible for the security apparatus to even predict when or where they may strike except in a few lucky instances, such as what occurred recently on the attempt by about 20 attackers to overtake a marine/ranger base, resulting in the entire attacking squad’s deaths.
The unavoidable carnage and untenable position the government finds itself faced with as the region’s most violent and prolonged conflict of the new millennium grinds on should serve as a painfully obvious, graphic and deadly grim reminder of that famous proverb:
“All that glitters isn’t gold.”
Once the course is set, determined and executed, who will clean up the mess?
Your future leaders, corporations, taxpayers, soldiers, teachers, doctors, nurses, hardworking unsung heroes, innocent victims and the legions of poor and infirmed working class will, of course…
You, in a nutshell.