When you speak to me of Thailand, it is not Bangkok that comes to mind, nor the beaches of Pattaya or the tranquillity of Kanchanaburi. The modern urban excitement of Bangkok contrasting with the tranquillity of its temples makes Thailand an experience of the senses that is uniquely Thai. No I do not think of those things.
To me Thailand is King Bhumibol. I cannot forget those images in May 1992 of the King quietly reprimanding Suchinda and Chamlong for the havoc and death done upon the country and the Thai people by their personal rivalry and greed. I cannot forget the images of these two powerful men crawling, as is the custom for the Thais when in the presence of their revered King, crawling towards the King while the world watched. He reminded them that the Kingdom was being destroyed because of their rivalry and suggested that it was their moral and patriotic duty to stop before the country was destroyed.
“Who will soon forget the remarkable picture of the military ruler and the opposition leader together on their knees before the king of Thailand?”
Hours later violence ceased and Bangkok was sane again. Only King Bhumibol had the prestige and reverence of the people to make this possible.
Like the then Thailand of May 1992 we in Malaysia now have one faction of the population (UMNO Malays) getting rich on Government contracts. Like the Thailand of May 1992 we have a Government whose business of the day is to ensure it remains in power at all costs. In Bangkok in May 1992 this brought thousands of its people out on the streets to demonstrate their despair and desire for change and when the Government tried to suppress these demonstration by force – hundreds died leading to riots in Bangkok.
The Government of the day in Malaysia have not ordered the Army to shoot its own people just yet. However our people have started to die while under their custody. Corruption is rife and the business of the day for UMNO is how to stay in power. Its preoccupation in doing this has resulted in a country too much in turmoil and uncertainty as to render all business of good governance impossible. As matters stands it would not require much to take us over the brink.
Before we start shooting our own people. Before we are pushed over the brink into chaos and despair we can only live in hope that our demand for change is heard by the powers that be. If not who do we have but our own King to go to. Thank God we now have a King who have our respect, our reverence and our love.
His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin is a King who has firmly and yet gracefully convey to the Government of the day his pleasure or otherwise on matters that moves him – as it was with the appointment of the Mentri Besar of his State of Trengganu. He did so for the people of Trengganu. Not for himself. We know that should he be called upon to do what is right and good for our country, he will not let us down. Daulat Tuanku.