ANCHORMAN vs ROSANA
ANCHORMAN vs ROSANA
ก่อนจะนำ 2 บทความนี้มาลง
เพราะผู้เขียนทั้ง 2 ก็ไม่ใช่เป็นบุคคลที่ผมให้ความสนใจเป็นพิเศษแต่อย่างใด
ทั้งคุณ ม.ล.ณัฐกรณ์ เทวกุล (ปลื้ม) และ คุณ รสนา โตสิตระกูล
ผมคิดว่าค่อนข้างชัดเจนที่ บทความเรื่อง Are you kidding me?
เป็นบทความที่อ่อนด้านข้อมูล มากกว่าบทความเรื่อง Who’s kidding whom? อย่างชัดเจน
ถ้าในมุมมองของผม ก็คงต้องบอกว่า คุณ ม.ล.ณัฐกรณ์ เทวกุล (ปลื้ม)
เขียนบทความนี้ ในขณะที่เต็มไปด้วยอคติ และอีโก้
ถึงแม้ว่าผมจะไม่ได้เลือกคุณ รสนา โตสิตระกูล ในการเลือกตั้ง ส.ว. ครั้งที่ผ่านมา
แต่ผมยอมรับว่า กรณีของ ปตท (PTT) เป็นกรณีที่ คุณรสนา โตสิตระกูล ได้แสดงจุดยืนเรื่องนี้อย่างชัดเจน
และเนื่องจาก ผมมีมุมมองที่ดีต่อ NGO มากกว่าโครงสร้างอย่างรัฐ ผมจึงไม่เห็นปัญหาที่ คุณรสนา โตสิตระกูล เป็น NGO แต่อย่างใด
ผมเชื่อว่า ตลาดเสรี (free market) ไม่ใช่ตลาดที่ไม่มีกฎเกณฑ์
แต่ตลาดเสรี เป็นตลาดที่ผู้เล่นต้องอยู่ภายใต้กฎเกณฑ์ที่เท่าเทียมกัน ป้องกันการผูกขาด
เพื่อให้ตลาด (market) ได้แสดงประสิทธิภาพสูงสุดของมัน
เรื่องนี้ ผู้ที่เชื่อระบบเศรษฐกิจแบบ Social Liberal อย่างผม มีจุดยืนที่ชัดเจน
มากกว่าคนที่คิดว่าตัวเองเชื่อใน free market and capitalism รวมทั้งฉลาดกว่าใครๆ
Are you kidding me?
By ML Nattakorn Devakula
Senator Rosana Tositrakul can be expected to block pro-investment/pro-business laws, cause disturbances to the otherwise smooth process of much-needed constitutional amendments, and last but not least be a nagging noise to rational people who work for a living.
Rosana Tositrakul, are you kidding me?
I would normally like to think higher of my capital city, the place I’ve come to believe holds the highest ratio of educated/informed voters to politically indifferent individuals. That ratio may not necessarily be so high any more, judging from the recent senatorial election results.
Aside from being a place where there is believed to be a whole lot of "smart" politically-aware voters, maybe Bangkok’s real values are similar to those of Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, Bolivia, and other leftist states out in the world.
Here’s the fact of the case. Social activist and claimed representative of consumers Rosana Tositrakul won 743,397 votes, or 49.78% of the tally, in the first senatorial election under the new constitution. Being that only one person can represent the capital, the selection became more significant than ever because the elected Bangkok senator would effectively be the city’s sole representative in the all-powerful Upper House.
This is exactly why the results that we received from the election are so sad. Anusorn Tammajai symbolically represented the investment class and values associated with free-market economics, while Nitipong Hornak symbolically represented the arts and entertainment community.
At the same time, Manit Wittayatem – as a former judge – represented the class of experienced officials which, in this case, is from the legal sector. There were a whole host of others who stood out in terms of background and accomplishments. Instead, we now get someone who can be expected to block pro-investment/pro-business laws, cause disturbances to the otherwise smooth process of much-needed constitutional amendments, and last but not least, be a nagging noise to rational people who work for a living, to those who are part of the real economy trying to bring about economic growth to this country.
Rosana almost single-handedly brought the downfall of PTT Public Company Limited, one of Thailand’s most successful business conglomerates ever, which has become the pride and joy of the country’s investment community. Her role in the nullification of the planned stock market listing of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand clearly shows how she stands in the way of development and economics.
As unforgivable as these past two actions are, there is more where that came from. Implicitly, leading a crusade in the name of consumers – who are represented by organisations without even having the opportunity to play a role in the policy-making of these organisations – led to Rosana’s very fame today.
It brought her name to the forefront of those who sacrificed personal time for the sake of the public – when, in fact, much of her popularity was earned on the back of investors and judges having to deal with petty burdensome cases relating to miscellaneous consumer claims, the very thing that paved the way for her political success. Nothing is sicker. Don’t sue me; I know that’s something you’d already planned to do.
Looking back at the senatorial elections prior to the coup, Rosana also won 118,332 votes which made her the 4th largest vote-getter in Bangkok. Believe it or not, she was behind only Nitipoom Naovarat, Samak Sundaravej and Klanarong Chantik. The more I think about all these results, the more I begin to contemplate the real potential of how "left" we are moving as a society.
Rosana should not represent a city that understands the values of the free market and capitalism. She should not represent a city that is attempting to become one of the thriving investment hubs of Asia. If there was a city she could represent, I was thinking Pyongyang or Caracas. Or maybe Havana, where she can join the new batch of Raulistas. Or even better, Sucre or La Paz, where she can wear similar native outfits to dance around with Evo Morales.
At the end of the day, however, I still hold higher hopes for Bangkok, for when the next election – whichever it is – comes around, the "smart" voters and the real silent-yet-informed majority will pick someone more in favour of growth and progression, rather than decline and stagnation.
Higher hopes translate into the selection of someone who understands that being a left-wing NGO seeking to redistribute income by bringing down the economic cornerstones of capitalism will never bring actual benefits to consumers. This past Sunday’s results show that there is much room for improvement when it comes to the mindset of city voters.
M L Nattakorn Devakula is a news analyst.
Who’s kidding whom?
By Rosana Tositrakul
You are a well-educated young man. Bangkokians know well that I am not against a free-market economy that is fair. After 30 years of public work I have achieved a firm position in society and have the patience to seek sense in what you write.
ML Nattakorn Devakula, who’s kidding whom?
Most Bangkokians support liberal democracy and a free-market economy. They love justice and hate corruption, unfair monopolies and hypocrisy. This has not changed and it does not make them "leftist" as you claim. The only people who could see this as leftist are those on the extreme right. Bangkokians know well that I am not against a free-market economy that is fair. What they, and I, will not tolerate is bad governance and shady privatisation deals.
The net worth of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand was as high as 3.8 trillion baht, but the government tried to sell it on the stock market through shares worth about 200 billion baht. (*See note at end of article)
PTT Plc was listed in a rush. Before the initial public offering, cabinet passed a resolution that the gas pipelines would be retained by the state and a regulatory body would be set up to protect consumers. This resolution was included in the PTT prospectus. A year later, the Thaksin government simply cancelled the resolution and the PTT acquired what should have been a national asset.
Fair-minded investors would agree that this is a form of theft. In fighting these cases of policy corruption, I never resorted to street protests. I always relied on the courts to give judgements on what was legally right and fair. Let me ask you this, as a dutiful, taxpaying citizen: does an attempt to reclaim public assets erode the foundations of the economy? Or does it instil respect for good governance, the rule of law and long-term stability?
One prominent banker recently said that Thailand is not just the stock market and the country’s future does not depend only on GDP. Your own father, former governor of the Bank of Thailand M R Pridiyathorn Devakula, touched on the short-comings of unthinking economic development on Oct 3, 2006: "Free markets without sufficiency won’t make it through. Some people follow Western theories and view the sufficiency idea as an impediment to economic growth – that is not true. On the contrary, the sufficiency philosophy serves as a balance to the growth – sustains it and makes sure that people’s wellbeing and the environment are protected."
This is similar to my economic standpoint. To be exact, I share the vision of the late Dr Puey Ungphakorn, another former governor of the BoT, in wishing to see free-market capitalism function alongside a serious attempt at wealth redistribution to benefit the more than 70% of the population who are still underprivileged.
Is this the Pyongyang or Havana way of thinking that you lambaste me for? Other countries have their own economic systems and I must confess I am not well-versed in the details, or how they have developed that way. But we should not discuss other countries with contempt.
We should cultivate an attitude of tolerance so that we can respect the economic and cultural differences that may have led them to develop the type of economic system they are using, just as our country has developed an economic system that is in harmony with our social and cultural values. But it doesn’t matter if my political and economic standpoint is the same as in other countries or not; I believe it must be consistent with that of the people of Bangkok, who voted for me.
You are a well-educated young man. If you try to see things from other people’s perspective, you might understand contemporary Bangkok better. It can be good for your political depression.
This is not the first time you have insulted me in your column. I, of course, have the right to protect my reputation by suing you for defamation. But as a Thai brought up in the Confucian tradition, I am grateful to your ancestors HRH Prince Devavongse Varoprakarn and HRH Prince Devavongse Varothai, former foreign ministers who stood at the forefront of the country’s elite who tried to liberate Siam from unfair treaties imposed by imperialist powers that wanted to control the Thai economy and judicial systems throughout the reigns of Kings Rama V, VI and VII. I will therefore refrain from doing anything that would cause damage to a distinguished family that has done so much for Thailand.
I would advise you to think more deeply and consult more widely before offering your opinions, especially if you are going to show contempt for decisions of the Administrative Court, the votes of your fellow Bangkokians, and people of other countries. As for myself, after 30 years of public work I have achieved a firm position in society and have the patience to seek sense in what you write.
Rosana Tositrakul is a social campaigner and newly elected senator for Bangkok.
(* Due to an error, the original story used the figure of 20 billion. The correct figure is 200 billion baht.)