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Pornpimol Kanchanalak
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Asia

Law's sanctity must be respected if we are to avoid Blood Moon prophecy

The Nation/ANN | Pornpimol Kanchanalak | Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

In the next 30 days, the Constitutional Court will rule whether Premier Yingluck Shinawatra abused her power in removing Thawil Pliensri from his post as National Security Agency chief.

The reprieve afforded by Songkran came and went much too fast. Now we return to our evermore-acute anxiety over the country's political and economic state of affairs. Without a fully functioning government for more than four months, Thailand has been shamefully put on an autopilot. Truth be told, we have become a failed state.

In the next 30 days, the Constitutional Court will rule whether Premier Yingluck Shinawatra abused her power in removing Thawil Pliensri from his post as National Security Agency chief to make way for her relative. A judgement against her could mean a "pink slip" for the caretaker prime minister, reprising Donald Trump's catchphrase in his TV "reality" show "The Apprentice" - "You are Fired!"

Then, Yingluck has another case to answer at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) over her alleged dereliction of duty in the rice-pledging scam, which puts to shame all previous political frauds in Thai history.

Both the PDRC (the People's Democratic Reform Committee) and the UDD (United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship) are bracing for the end game, as the two verdicts loom. We don't need to believe the dire predictions surrounding the appearance of the rare astronomical phenomenon known as the Blood Moon on April 15 to know that we are in deep trouble. No matter how fair and just the two verdicts are, chances are high that not everybody will be completely thrilled.

Already, the UDD has issued threats against the two independent organisations not to rule against their liking. Meanwhile, the PDRC leader has told the protesters to cross the T's and dot the I's for the judgement day.

Lost in the eye of this twister is the notion of the sanctity of the law, which must be respected regardless of any side's liking. Thailand cannot be a bona fide democratic nation unless we are willing to uphold and respect the law and the ruling of the courts.

In the United States - arguably the world's oldest constitutional democracy - there was a time when the Supreme Court, not the people, elected the president. The case involved the 2000 presidential elections contested by Al Gore and George W Bush. The infamous "hanging chads" in Florida - where the number of votes was decisive - made the country more aware that polls were a very messy business in more ways than one could count. In that election, Bush was declared the winner despite the fact that Al Gore received more votes (48.4 per cent) than Bush (47.9 per cent).

But riots did not break out. Like or dislike the Supreme Court Justices and their decisions, Americans realise and accept that the court is not final because it is infallible; but rather it is infallible because it is final.

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