Another bad baht bus
It was with great interest that I find that I read your
article last week concerning Baht Bus Drivers. I have had no problems with
taxi drivers until yesterday. On August 23, at approximately 6 p.m. I
stood on Beach Road and Soi 5 and hailed taxi number 367. Taking the taxi
to the Royal Garden Plaza, with the intention of eating at Sizzlers, I got
off and gave the driver 5Baht.
He demanded more money. Since I speak enough Thai to
get by, called out the number of his cab- sarm-hok-jet and told him I
would contact the police. He took out a large flashlight, got out of his
cab and threatened me - that is, he was going to use the flashlight as a
I could have easily decked him, but since my flight was
on August 25, I didn’t want to be bogged down with any legal matters
that arose; so I walked away.
I went to the Tourist Police, told them what happened
and gave them a description of the driver, a slightly built man, 5 feet
tall wearing glasses. They were very nice - they took me down to cab
number 367, but I don’t think they grasped the real gravity of the
matter of him threatening physical harm.
I have been coming here every summer for the past
eleven years; I was here when the only movie theater was the big screen at
the Marine Bar. I was here before the Royal Garden was established and
before the Big C was built. I have seen the mayor do a wonderful job
improving Pattaya. I have enticed many of my friends from New York to come
half way around the world to vacation here. I have told everyone I know in
America how wonderful Pattaya is. However, my last impression, after
spending 55 days of vacation here, is of a crooked Baht Bus Driver of Taxi
367 who was dangerous enough to use a flashlight as a weapon. I will have
to rethink whether or not I will be coming back next summer. I wonder how
many other people has this bus driver threatened? How many other people
has he dissuaded from returning to Pattaya?
(I am writing) In response to the schoolteachers and
pedophiles who have molested kids in Thailand.
I am deeply disturbed by what is going on in Thailand.
I think Thailand is a very beautiful country because the people who live
there make it so. What’s going on there now is a tragedy and must be
stopped. Apparently, some foreigners go to Thailand to abuse children
because they seem to think that Thai parents don’t love their kids. The
molesting and exploitation taking place in Thailand shows no respect to
these parents. Children are the treasures of any country. They are
literally scarred for life when some adult misleads them to believe
certain things and then manipulate them into compromising situations that
they don’t understand is wrong. Because I visit Thailand regularly and
have close friends who reside there, I know that things are hard for Thai
people. However, this is no reason for foreigners to go there to buy
children and exploit them, or anyone for that matter.
I read the Pattaya Mail weekly and although I hear
about these incidents through media coverage, I never hear what happens to
pedophiles that commit these awful crimes. I think the media widely
publicized the consequences of those illegal acts and how swift the law
can be to offenders, foreigners who go to Thailand to prey on these
innocent treasures might think twice if they knew the stiff penalty of the
I am not just another American trying to solve the
problems of another country here - child molestation happens allover the
world, not just in Thailand. But for some reason, foreigners seem to think
they can go to Thailand and buy anything they want, including children.
This is wrong. I hope the Thai authorities get a handle on this problem
and make good examples of the people who commit these atrocities. I think
these criminals should be humiliated and exploited for who and what they
are. Additionally, the nature of their crime and what happens to them for
their bad deeds and wrong doings should be heavily publicized.
If foreigner wants to be involved with children in
Thailand, they can help them in positive ways, not degrade or abuse them.
to a sad situation
Referring again to the sad situation concerning foreign
visitors coming to Pattaya intending to sexually abuse minors, I too am
unaware of what becomes of the mentally deficient persons after being
apprehended by police exposing the behavior considered to be immoral the
world over. I can only assume that some of what I hear is true, whereas,
the accused pay their way out and are banished from Thailand with their
visas being non-renewable. I trust this is being done and if so fine,
their future requests for visas to Thailand should justifiably be denied.
I have also been told that some countries have the individuals picked up
by authorities as soon as they arrive back home and prosecuted in their
own courts, as should be.
For countries that do not get involved with the
offenders when they return back home there may be internet browsers in the
general vicinity of the offender’s home reading the article from the
Pattaya Mail Newspaper on the world-wide-web. Those readers may be clever
enough to assist their governments, if not already involved, by contacting
the responsible agencies who can insure the disturbed offenders are not
engaged in any type of employment involving young children, such as
Possibly the respective embassies residing in Thailand
are informed, one way or another, and co-ordinate this procedure
routinely. If not, I suggest they get informed and go one step further and
put restrictions on the offender’s passports so the disturbed
individuals can be maintained in their native countries prohibiting them
from going to any other foreign country exploiting children with their
sick desires. Additionally, after being notified, the offender’s future
activity should be constantly monitored by their hometown authorities,
whether they spent time in jail for the offence or not, because this type
of crime is non-repayable to society.
Kitty Hawk Visit
I am glad that you were able to make a visit to the USS
Kitty Hawk while they were in Pattaya, but I would like to point out one
thing that I believe you were not aware of. You made the following
statement at the beginning of your article: “The Pattaya Mail team last
week paid a visit to the Kitty Hawk - the only non-nuclear operated ship
of 12 US aircraft carriers, and the oldest active ship of the US Naval
The Kitty Hawk is in fact the oldest ship in the US
Navy, however, it is not the only “non-nuclear” carrier. There are the
USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) still in the
active fleet. I am currently in the US Navy and I just finished a tour on
the USS Kitty Hawk and I have served on the USS Kennedy also.
I really enjoy the Pattaya Mail and I think you do a
really good job bringing the news to us that have interest in Pattaya, as
I am a home owner there and I like to keep up with the news. I also have
Thai friends here in Yokosuka that go to your sight and see what is
happening at home!
Thanks again and have a great day,
V/R, Roy Rommelman
Response to Alan
In response to your correspondent Alan Smith, referring
to my letter published in Pattaya Mail of 12th August, Thai Farmers Bank
already implemented the policy of giving only 1% interest to foreign
passbook savers last month, and I gathered from the branch managers of
three other leading banks that they were “considering” implementing
this policy also, permission for which was granted by the Central Bank of
Thailand to all local banks some three months ago. (But as they hadn’t
yet done so when I wrote my letter - and indeed, still haven’t as yet -
I was reluctant to name them: mustn’t upset the phuyai...)
While it is true that passbook savings at all banks
automatically receive interest due (typically twice a year at the end of
June and December as I stated), fixed term deposits at, again, TFB, are
credited on the contracted maturity date, but do not roll over
automatically unless you go into the bank on that date and inform the
staff you wish; a) to update your term deposit, and; b) renew it - as I
discovered from personal experience, sir, when I erroneously assumed this
would happen automatically to my own fixed-term account at TFB. In the
interim, the term deposit earns only passbook savings rates.
In view of Mr. Smith having mentioned maintaining an
account at Krung Thai Bank, it will be interesting to see what policy
changes will occur at that institution next month when a new board is
appointed to replace the 9 out of 10 Directors (including the Chairman)
who were allowed to resign on August 24th as a result of the damning
report on that bank’s “interesting” past lending practices and
management methods. Perhaps in light of the ir enormous and potentially
crippling Non-Performing Loans, that bank cannot yet afford to risk
chasing away foreigners’ deposits...
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Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek.
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