Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Respect to the Thai King

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One of the main differences I noted in my stay here in Thailand was the love the people have for their King, His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej. Without prompting, Thais will say " I love my King" ...amazing! But this is because the King is down to earth and has always put the welfare of his people first. This is a lesson we must learn.

Here are some exerps from the Bangkok post :

" For six decades, not a single day has passed in which the Thai people have not felt His Majesty’s dedication to the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, the young, the aged and those faceless people on the street, and this affectionate bond between the 79- year-old King and his 62 million subjects grows stronger every day.

His Majesty the King is overwhelmingly admired not only as a sovereign but as a saviour whose dedication has maintained national stability, given the nation dignity in the eyes of the world and improved the livelihoods of the poor, ethnic minorities, and others who have been marginalised by mainstream society.

"The public has strong faith in His Majesty because he is a giver," Dr Sumet Tantivejkul, secretary-general of the Chaipattana Foundation, explained. "Throughout his hardworking life, His Majesty has done all he could do for the people without asking anything in return. If a problem arose in the country, His Majesty would not be reluctant to work for a solution whether it is human, social, political or scientific. He would do it all, as long as it relates to his country."

Rather than adding to the glamour of Chitralada Palace, His Majesty added a fish pool, a rice mill and a dairy farm. Rather than ordering the construction of a fancy garden at Klaikangwol Palace in Hua Hin, His Majesty permits students from Klaikangwol School to grow vegetables in the flowerbeds. Instead of raising a canine with a foreign pedigree, His Majesty adopted a street dog.

"In his lofty status, His Majesty can afford anything he desires, but he chooses to live a simple and frugal life," said ML Usni Pramoj, a privy councillor. "There is nothing luxurious in his palace. How he lives and eats are as simple as you and I live or eat. Nothing exquisite. Nothing excessive. There has never been a time that I have seen the King indulge himself in needless luxury. Actually, a lot of rich men these days live a far more lavish lifestyle than does our King."

His Majesty's simple lifestyle, Dr Sumet said, epitomises the notion that those who have attained the zenith of wisdom have fewer material needs in life. "Yet, what is abundant for them is virtue. But then a good man without wisdom might not be able to contribute as much."

"His Majesty's solution to the problem of soil erosion is a perfect example of this. Where technocrats would have employed heavy equipment such as tractors to construct erosion-preventing borders for terraced rice fields, His Majesty grew vetiver grass. Tractors are a costly technology. They consume oil and waste the limited resources of the farmers. Vetiver grass is grown naturally and costs almost nothing."

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