Flood: Failure of the government?



Despite my recent post that compares Thailand to the “heaven on Earth”, I can’t help returning to criticize Thai politics again. After watching the documentary film Trouble the Water which is based on Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes in US history that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, I got a sense of frustration towards the incompetence of the US administrative system. This calamity reminded me of a similar incident that I experienced myself in Thailand. It is definitely not surprising since natural disasters happen everywhere. However, what is unexpected is the man-made disasters emerging from the leader and the people themselves that prevail even on the other side of the world.

From July 2011 to January 2012, Thailand encountered the worst flooding in five decades. The floods killed over 800 people and left millions homeless and displaced. Not only did Thai government fail to relieve the longevity and severity of the floods, but they also made the situations even worse. Some communities reported being unfairly treated by the government during and after the disaster. For example, the government requested a community along the capital city’s border to build a large barrier in the area to keep most of the flood water from reaching the inner areas of the city. The people were promised that they would be properly compensated for their sacrifice, however;  it turned out that the amount they actually received was even less than that of other less-flooded areas, immediately stirring up chaos and skirmish between people and the officials. Moreover, since the government was apparently divided into two opposing parties, news and all kinds of communication people got from one party in the government were often contradictory in content with that of the other political rival. For instance, we were informed that the situation was under control at one point, and suddenly at another point, we were threatened of vast flood and damage. Trust was continually undermined that the public later became resistant to the information the government provided, pushing people more to dangers from their ignorance of the situation. Like that of the US, the failure of Thai government’s plan to deal with the disasters, and the miscommunication between the leader and the public brought about a considerable loss to people, properties and the country as a whole.

I know it is displeasing to talk about such things that happen in our home country. Still, we cannot deny the fact that it really exists and will continue to do so. Lastly, let me leave you with a couple of questions. If you were part of the government or, let’s say, if you were the prime minister of Thailand or the president of the US, how would you deal with this situation? How would you change people’s deep-rooted distrust towards you and your party to something else beneficial to your beloved nation? Share your answer with me, please.

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1 Response to Flood: Failure of the government?

  1. Kenny Laufer says:

    Honestly, I have no Idea what I would do! If I was in a position of power like that, I could say that I would do my upmost to make the situation the best it can be, but in reality I’m not sure if that would happen. Huge disaster like these come without warning and are devastating. It’s natural for people, especially those in power, to make rash decisions in the event of such overwhelming disasters. As often as they happen in todays world I don’t think people really get used to knowing how to react toward them. Hopefully someday there will be leaders that will look to do everything in their power to provide help to the people when it’s needed the most.

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