I’m spending most of this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Just a quick 4-day trip to buy a bunch of cheap books for my bookshop back in Bangkok, and lots of CDs (some not so cheap) for myself. And of course indulge in the variety of great food here. All in all, I like KL a lot, and enjoy spending time here in the city.
I left Bangkok on Sunday, which was the big national election day. I planned this trip many months ago, so leaving on election day was pure coincidence. It’s not like I expect “problems” in Thailand in the wake of the election, particularly after the big Pheua Thai party win, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about how the transition to the new government will go, and how the results will be accepted by the so-called “elite” corridors of power.
And yes, I still use “Pheua Thai” when referring to the new ruling party, and not the ridiculous “Pheu Thai” they insist on using when spelling the name in English. Just another example of how clueless these politicians are. Why they decided to eliminate an entire vowel from the English spelling is very odd. And the mass media, being the sheep that they are, blindly go along with this bizarre spelling change without questioning it.
Meanwhile, get ready for the “Pheu Thai” era. Taking a look at the list of Pheua Thai executive members, you’ll see a veritable rogues gallery of unsavory characters. If that doesn’t frighten you, nothing will. It reminds me of the David Bowie song: “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.” But they won the election fair and square, so that’s what Thailand now has to look forward to. The Democrats screwed up their chance at the helm thanks to blatant incompetence and poor communication, plus they ran an uninspiring and dismal campaign, so it’s not a surprise to see Pheua Thai win so easily. But it’s still a mighty depressing scenario. The same Red Shirt thugs who held Bangkok hostage last year, the same deviants who instigated and provoked the entire confrontation, will now be running the government. And our new prime minister lists her experience working in real estate as evidence that she’ll be able to handle the job. Actually, the ability to pick the phone and take orders from her older brother on the phone is all she’ll need to do, right? Urrgghh!!!
I’ll be leaving KL just before they hold a political rally or their own here too. Yes, people are dissatisfied everywhere nowadays. I just watched BBC coverage of the House of Commons back in England, and all the shouting and hooting reminded me off a football match attended by hooligans. These are the people making laws in that country? No wonder the world is screwed up.
Right now my main concern is just getting to the airport with all the heavy bags I have. After packing tonight I realized that these books not only take up lots of space, but they weigh a ton, too! But I found some good stuff, some fun stuff, and some stuff that should sell well. Books are a good thing. Factor in some pretty cool CD finds, and this was a very successful trip. Now I just have to brace myself for the red road ahead.