I Love Thailand More Than Life Itself

Good catch by Thai 101 on the terms of service that users must agree to when they create an account on the I Love Thailand website that I mentioned in the post the other day.

It appears that in order to register you have to agree to the following:

1. สำหรับคนไทยทุกคน
2. ต้องเป็นข้อความที่แสดงถึงความรัก และปรารถนาดีต่อประเทศไทย
3. การแสดงออกความคิดเห็นต้องไม่กล่าวล่วงละเมิดหรือหมิ่นประมาทบุคคลที่ 3
4. แสดงความคิดเห็นด้วยสำนวนและวาจาที่สุภาพ
5. ต้องเป็นข้อความที่ไม่กระทบต่อชาติ ศาสนา และพระมหากษัตริย์
6. ต้องเป็นผู้ที่ รักประเทศไทย ยิ่งชีพ
7. ผู้ใดแสดงความคิดเห็นใดๆก็ตามที่ผิดต่อข้อตกลง/เงื่อนไข ผู้นั้นต้องเป็นรับผิดชอบแก่ข้อความนั้นๆ

According to Thai 101 this roughly translates to:

1. [This site is] for all Thai people.
2. Comments must show your love and respect for Thailand.
3. Expression of opinions must not violate or slander others.
4. Express opinions with polite language.
5. Comments must not disparage the nation, religion, or king.
6. You must love Thailand more than life.
7. Whoever expresses an opinion in violation of these terms and conditions must accept the consequences of that opinion.

Talk about being ultra-nationalistic.

9 thoughts on “I Love Thailand More Than Life Itself

  • July 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm
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    According to Thai 101 this roughly translates to:

    1. [This site is] for all Thai people.
    2. Comments must show your love and respect for Thailand.
    3. Expression of opinions must not violate or slander others.
    4. Express opinions with polite language.
    5. Comments must not disparage the nation, religion, or king.
    6. You must love Thailand more than life.
    7. Whoever expresses an opinion in violation of these terms and conditions must accept the consequences of that opinion.

    Talk about being ultra-nationalistic.

    And incredibly insecure. If you’re a foreigner, and you know this, why even bother going there? A complete waste of time. Don’t you get it? You’re a foreigner, you have no rights, you don’t count. Just leave them to their little insecure world and the foreigners can quietly continue on helping to develop their lovely little nation unnoticed.

    Example:

    Two years ago I was working on one of the largest offshore gas field development projects in the history of Thailand’s offshore oil and gas industry. We were tying in a very large pipeline – the major gas trunk line – for the Kingdom. CNG which would be used for industrial, domestic and transportation use throughout Thailand. A very real and direct benefit to the people of Thailand. During the months of the entire project all of the people in the decision making positions were foreigners.

    Like I said, if you’re a foreigner, why bother going to a website like I love Thailand.

  • July 14, 2009 at 6:39 pm
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    The other day I was googling around for something and ran across some guy’s travel site and he had an interesting observation about Thailand’s level of English. He said he had traveled around to many of Thailand’s neighboring countries and found that the average person on the street had a fairly good grasp of English. He cited Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia and his examples.

    I hadn’t really thought about it but at least in the case of Cambodia it’s true. I was approached by street kids trying to sell me water and I remember being somewhat shocked at how well they spoke English. Not just the sales stuff like here in Thailand “You buy water” but full and complete sentences. I told the girl I didn’t need any water and she said “Yes. I think you need some cold water. You look very hot.”

    Taxi drivers, hotel staff, bar girls . . . they all spoke English fairly well. I didn’t run into that many people who couldn’t at least understand basic English. And this is a country that has endured some pretty crazy stuff. It’s much poorer than Thailand and is still recovering from Pol Pot.

    Yet here in Thailand you have hotel staff in farang oriented hotels who get panic stricken when you try to speak to them because they don’t understand English. Likewise many taxi drivers or other street vendors are completely out of their element if you actually ask a question that isn’t in their playbook.

    I think Thailand would be much more prosperous if the Thai people were more accepting of outside ideas and people. It’s telling that in Cambodia you can get a 1 year business visa with almost no questions asked and no problems renewing it or silly 90 day border runs. They want foreigners to come to their country and help the economy. Thailand seems wary or even scared of too much western influence.

  • July 14, 2009 at 7:05 pm
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    Just a couple of observations on the above post:

    1. There’s a distinct possibility that you’re opening a can of worms: re Thai bashing.

    2. People with empty stomachs tend to be a hell of lot more ambitious than those whose stomachs are full. Lets see how the attitude towards foreigners is in Cambodia in 10, 15, 20 years time. Perhaps they won’t be quite as accommodating.

    I’ve included a link to a submission, from the stickman website, which I think is one of the best at explaining the xenophobia, that we often see from the Government Agencies/ruling elite, when the subjects of land ownership, residency, etc towards foreigners are being discussed or analyzed.

    At the end of the the day one either accepts the way thing are here or goes elsewhere.

    http://www.stickmanbangkok.com/Reader2006/reader2728.htm

  • July 14, 2009 at 7:57 pm
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    I believe they have their own reasons of taking measures in whatever ways they beleive is good for them. It’s their country and they manage this themeselves and as a guest, I have nothing more to say but just be aware of what’s going on and live with it and so give respect.

    My knowledge is limited to my experiences, learnings both academic and readings, belief, culture and exposure. Even the locals of some countries in some way couldn’t get into the deeper meaning of who they are and their own culture how much more a transient regardless of the length of time? I’m just getting that notion.

    I completely understand that one culture would like to preserve its own despite being open to others. I see more of good on it looking at another viewpoint, for long term perspective talking about legacy and future generations. It’s best to identify one’s uniqueness, one can be open without losing one’s distinctiveness and who they are.

    On the language, it should be the case as they cater to tourists who speak English so they should adjust to them and be hospitable in that way. I want to take it in a positive note that by the low level of the English language tends to promote their own language instead. Look how many farangs are learning Thai. It’s not bad, I think it’s beneficial on the farang’s side only that the usage is limited to Thailand alone. Whereas learning Chinese for comparison purposes is more advantageous as that language isn’t only used in China. I’m not sure if I’m right but there’s Chinatown everywhere! However, there’s nothing to lose in learning a language whatever is it, it’s always favorable to anyone. I think so.

    On the site Loving Thailand more than life, guess we farangs should leave that to them. It’s like having a best friend and been sharing a couple of things, but in cases when my bestfriend won’t allow me to touch some of his stuff then I must respect that. We would know for sure if we are in a win-win dealing or in an unfair position.
    And that’s the time when we have to make a decision, to leave or stay.

    Let us not forget too that Tourism is business for Thailand and they’ve proven that for years, I should say the country is definitely good at it. Indeed, they’ve got great harvests. Just brilliant and excellent. 🙂

  • July 18, 2009 at 11:26 am
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    @Mega: Link is dead

    @Eanah: I’ve read several of your comments and it seems you’re another one of these guys who wants to respect everyone’s points of view and be the diplomat. But sometimes things don’t fit into nice little easily resolvable boxes. To claim that as part of the terms of service you have to love Thailand more than life itself . . . what modern country would have such a silly requirement?

    It’s propaganda. It’s brainwashing. It’s ultra-nationalism.

    That’s not Thai bashing. It’s Thailand government bashing. 🙂

  • July 18, 2009 at 11:44 am
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    Ruai:

    Go to the Stickman website, readers submissions. Look up green star subs: ‘Thais, Farangs, and the Land by Camaschula. Quite an interesting read with lots of historical stuff there.

    Cheers.

  • July 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm
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    Actually it’s broke if you follow the link from Stick’s site as well. I may see if I can find a Google cached version 🙂

  • July 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm
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    I’ve got a copy of it in word. I can email it to you or post it on here (it’s about 17 pages long).

  • July 18, 2009 at 9:18 pm
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    Hi Ruai,

    Yep. I’m pretty contented with that principle of recognizing differences. I believe it’s a lot better than thinking of being always right and have this kind of superiority complex. Guess this keeps me happy in some way. 🙂 <:-P 😀

    Anyway, to add, hmmm…I don’t think I have to take LOVE THAILAND MORE THAN LIFE literally, the same way as it’s no problem for some to encourage patriotism. And I don’t see any sense of it relating to the country’s being modern (or not) either. The site is not mandatory then any Thai may not register in case one has a problem with the agreement. They’re just maybe aligning the agreement to the site’s objective whatever is it.

    Okidoki, good evening. 🙂

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