Monday, June 26, 2006

Suvarnabhumi Airport - latest vehicle for policy corruption

The Thai cabinet has given preliminary approval to a scheme to create an entirely new province around the yet to be opened Suvarnabhumi (pronounced Su-wanna-poom) international airport. This is to facilitate infrastructure improvements in the area surrounding the new airport, huge tracts of which are owned by leading members of the current ruling party (Thai Rak Thai, or "Thai Love Thai").

The fact that this will be costly and of no public good is perhaps the reason why it was not debated or put forward for public or parliamentary approval.

A brazenly undemocratic move, especially for an interim government with absolutely no legal or popular mandate (the last election was annulled due to rampant corruption).

Truly remarkable in that months of protests aimed at toppling the current regime were sparked by exactly this kind of opaque public policy implementation.

If there are good reasons for the creation of another province/metropolis right in the shadow of Bangkok, and why this can't wait until a legally elected government can review the issue, then it should be simple enough for the caretaker regime to state those reasons.

New airport metropolis is a well planned attempt to grab taxpayer money

I don't think it takes that much discussion of the pros and cons to convince people about the unfeasibility of building a metropolis surrounding the new Suvarnabhumi Airport and in the shadow of Bangkok Metropolis.

This mega project is fit only for the dustbin for two reasons:

1. No such city can be found on earth today. Dear planners, you can go ahead with your mega project if you can find an example. [ed. a good example of the arrogance of the current regime (and most 'credentialed' Thais) is this kind of 'closed room' 'Thai-know-best' decision-making whereby reactionary 'solutions' to often imaginary problems are implemented without a moment's research into how similar situations have been handled by other countries]

2. State investment in infrastructure and real estate around the Suvarnabhumi area will have to be increased several times over. We taxpayers have to pay for the enormous extra costs, most of which will go into the pockets of land speculators and project contractors who are close to the government.

At first I thought they must have been blinded by lust for gain; no, they are clear-headed with a lust for gain. They have long planned it and must have it done at all costs - all costs on the people - for their dirty gain. Watch out, they are starting to advertise the mirage on TV - at our expense.