Connect with us


Opinion: Lack of local involvement in politics

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Tueanjai Subanjong is a Phuket native who has spent more than 20 years volunteering for local projects. She is a community representative of Srisoonthorn sub-district and is also involved in many Corporate Social Responsibility projects, such as saving preserved forests and volunteering for the National Human Rights Commission, among others.

Here, she talks about the problem of lack of local involvement in politics and country development, and offers some suggestions to improve the situation.

Every time the government takes any new initiatives in the country, there is never any real involvement at the grass-roots level.

In my opinion, any sort of public hearing by the government doesn’t always have the desired impact. The government spends a lot of money trying to publicize and promote it, and tries to get locals as involved as possible.

However, what they don’t know is that locals hardly care about these issues at all.

The government sends promotional materials such as pamphlets and documents to people’s homes, but most people don’t ever bother to read them. Even efforts to educate people by having the Kamnan (village headman) inform them at local meetings are useless, because most people either don’t attend the meetings or don’t listen if they do attend.

These national policy-making matters are none of their concern. They do not get any money from joining these initiatives or learning all this new information. So, they have no reason to spend time on it. People are uninterested to the extent that some say they would willingly spend that time gambling or playing cards instead of attending ‘boring’ meetings. In their opinion, gambling could – at least potentially – help them earn some money.

Any time there are meetings organized by the government, the first question that locals ask is, “What’s in it for us?”.

We cannot entirely blame anyone for this mentality either. It is a capitalistic world and people care about nothing except money. It’s human nature to care about being rewarded, especially if their financial situation is not stable to begin with.

That is exactly the mentality that politicians exploit to manipulate local people. They have money, and they use it to control everything. Corruption is a serious problem in our society these days. Phuket, as well as the whole Thailand, is controlled by these politicians. As they say, you may not think about politics, but politics always thinks about you.

Locals wait to see how much money politicians can give them; then, once they have it, they will do as they are told.

This is a very worrying situation, and it is worsening not only here in Phuket but all over Thailand as well. The government needs to think of a better solution to solve this problem.

There are several possible ways to approach this issue. I cannot guarantee that these will work, but at least it is worth a try. The government should do whatever they can to improve the standard of living. If families are financially stable, they will be more open-minded toward new ideas.

When the situation at the grass-roots level is stable, people will be more open toward education and care about something other than money. Gradually, the whole system will improve. If the locals have money and education, no one can cheat and manipulate them anymore.

So, how can we improve the standard of living? In my opinion, the first and most important step is to stop corruption. Secondly, the state budget must be used in as transparent a manner as possible. Thailand is not a poor country, but we do need to deal with the problem of corruption and misappropriation of funds.

It is important for us to help each other and rectify the situation – ultimately, it is our national duty to improve Thailand as much as we can.

— Kongleaphy Keam


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 mins ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand20 mins ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport57 mins ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Best of1 hour ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism1 hour ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of2 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand2 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket2 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

World3 hours ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Pollution4 hours ago

Beached sperm whale covered in oil rescued in Phuket

Thailand4 hours ago

Unsatisifed with haircut, grandfather goes to police station for help

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thai DDC probe into Covid-19 vaccine recipient deaths to finish next week

Thailand5 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Situation in Hua Hin, bars petition for overturn of alcohol ban, Sandbox

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8