Surin Pitsuwan: Thailand needs new order

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SurinFormer ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan in an opinion piece published in the Bangkok Post on January 29 demanded a” new order” for Thai politics, arguing that Thailand was “condemned to self-destruction if we refuse to change and transform ”

Pitsuwan, whose term as ASEAN head is widely acknowledged as a successful period for the ten-member bloc, earlier was foreign minister of Thailand and is also member of the Democrat Party. Today, he acts as lecturer and visiting professor at several universities internationally. He also heads a think tank of he Democrat Party in Bangkok.

Pitsuwan says that the challenge for Thailand was “to accommodate the newly found political and economic potency of the formerly rural poor and to manage well the strong reaction of the urban ‘”middle class” who are also feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the prevailing political norms and institutions that are open to an unprecedented level of political corruption and abuse of power for narrow clique and familial interests.”

Due to Thailand’s growing economic prosperity over the past decades, “in one short generation, the productive forces in Thai society have created a high level of wealth unexpected and unseen in our long history,” Pitsuwan says.

“That expanding middle class, in all urban areas of the country, with their rising purchasing power, is asking for a larger space and a bigger say in the way in which the country and its affairs are being managed. Political and social institutions are experiencing increasing pressure to become more transparent, with higher degrees of participation and a measurable level of accountability. We are incapable of managing the resultant ‘contradictions’ that we have ourselves created over the past four to five decades.”

According to the ex-ASEAN Secretary General, what Thailand is facing now is no less than a process of “creative destruction” in its political transformation.

“This is a time for a major political restructuring by all concerned parties. We must recognise the old mode of political interaction has become obsolete. A new power structure must be created. The old way must yield to the new power relations. Neither side will be able to resist the changes that have taken place, some as consequences of their own making and policies suitable for the time past,” Pitsuwan wrote.

“Thailand now needs a new political order, leaving behind the old and dangerously flawed system. Much like a colourful butterfly emerges from a dead caterpillar, a new Thailand must be able to ascend again from the ashes of her own unworkable factionalised politic,” he concluded.

 

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Former ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan in an opinion piece published in the Bangkok Post on January 29 demanded a” new order” for Thai politics, arguing that Thailand was “condemned to self-destruction if we refuse to change and transform ”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

SurinFormer ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan in an opinion piece published in the Bangkok Post on January 29 demanded a” new order” for Thai politics, arguing that Thailand was “condemned to self-destruction if we refuse to change and transform ”

Pitsuwan, whose term as ASEAN head is widely acknowledged as a successful period for the ten-member bloc, earlier was foreign minister of Thailand and is also member of the Democrat Party. Today, he acts as lecturer and visiting professor at several universities internationally. He also heads a think tank of he Democrat Party in Bangkok.

Pitsuwan says that the challenge for Thailand was “to accommodate the newly found political and economic potency of the formerly rural poor and to manage well the strong reaction of the urban ‘”middle class” who are also feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the prevailing political norms and institutions that are open to an unprecedented level of political corruption and abuse of power for narrow clique and familial interests.”

Due to Thailand’s growing economic prosperity over the past decades, “in one short generation, the productive forces in Thai society have created a high level of wealth unexpected and unseen in our long history,” Pitsuwan says.

“That expanding middle class, in all urban areas of the country, with their rising purchasing power, is asking for a larger space and a bigger say in the way in which the country and its affairs are being managed. Political and social institutions are experiencing increasing pressure to become more transparent, with higher degrees of participation and a measurable level of accountability. We are incapable of managing the resultant ‘contradictions’ that we have ourselves created over the past four to five decades.”

According to the ex-ASEAN Secretary General, what Thailand is facing now is no less than a process of “creative destruction” in its political transformation.

“This is a time for a major political restructuring by all concerned parties. We must recognise the old mode of political interaction has become obsolete. A new power structure must be created. The old way must yield to the new power relations. Neither side will be able to resist the changes that have taken place, some as consequences of their own making and policies suitable for the time past,” Pitsuwan wrote.

“Thailand now needs a new political order, leaving behind the old and dangerously flawed system. Much like a colourful butterfly emerges from a dead caterpillar, a new Thailand must be able to ascend again from the ashes of her own unworkable factionalised politic,” he concluded.

 

 

 

 

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