03 May 2007
I arrived late last night from a long flight. My first experience of the new airport, and perhaps even more impressive, the lavish road connections into the city. Impressive in a technical sense. Thailand has severe social and environmental problems, most of which would benefit from well-directed government largesse. But it's prestige projects like airports and multi-lane highways that seem to attract much of the available funding. Perhaps they are seen as necessary to the country's development, and perhaps the Thai Government is making wise, long-term, necessary decisions, that will benefit its people in ways that are less obvious than giving a higher priority to the disadvantaged or the physical environment. I can't prove anything one way or the other. It just doesn't feel right, that the rich - who are the main users of air and private road transport in Thailand - are so obviously well served by public funds.