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Jakarta Post

[COMMENTARY] When Gen. Prayut was outraged by my comments about his coup

  • Kornelius Purba

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sun, November 22, 2020   /  11:00 pm
[COMMENTARY] When Gen. Prayut was outraged by my comments about his coup Pro-democracy protesters perform in front of the Royal Thai Army headquarters as they protest against government and military in Bangkok, on Sept.17. (Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

The old Indonesian proverb Raja alim disembah, raja lalim disanggah (A pious king is worshipped, a despotic king is defied) can probably explain what is now going on in Thailand. The current waves of street protests mark demands for reform in the royal family and the resignation of the prime minister. The first demand is very complicated and can only materialize very gradually, but the second demand will be much easier for the Thai political elite to realize. Sooner or later, the royal family has no choice but to readjust itself to the global wave of democratization, and the military has few alternatives but to stop the long-held coup tradition and let civil society determine the future of the great nation. Thailand is one of ASEAN’s most important members. It was in Bangkok that ASEAN was born on Aug. 8, 1967. Thailand is now in a serious leadership crisis and probably in...