An article in the Bangkok Post this week caught my eye. Titled “Chuan says schools must focus on ethics” the article highlighted a speech that Chuan Leekpai, a former prime minister of Thailand, gave at the 53rd anniversary celebration of the National Institute of Development in Bangkok last week.
During the 24 years that I’ve lived in Thailand, Chuan Leekpai has always been my favorite Thai prime minister. Of course, considering the inept and creepy cast of characters that have also held that position over the years, the competition is not exactly a close one. Chuan is an intelligent and articulate speaker, a savvy and skillful politician, and dare I say an honest and ethical one too; which is a rare thing in politics nowadays. One only has to observe that embarrassing antics of the rude and bombastic buffoon who currently acts as president of the United States to appreciate intelligent leaders like Chuan Leekpai.
Anyway, to get back to the speech he gave last week, Chuan, who is now the government’s House Speaker, suggested that Thai students should be taught more about ethics and morality in school, saying that this would help to lessen future conflict and problems in the county. Some people, Chuan said, “do not make good moral judgments when faced with scenarios which require honesty, courage and self-discipline. If individuals uphold good moral values, they will be aware of the consequences of their actions and refrain from indulging in such acts. We need people who are good academically to develop the country, but we also need good people who cherish high standards of morality and will not compromise on corruption.”
Well said, Khun Chuan! If any of the younger generation actually pay attention and heed his words, maybe the future of this country won’t be so bleak after all.