- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
A mirror of the West? perish the thought!
Follow the leader
Explanations about Star World and A1 Channels
A mirror of the West?
perish the thought!
Dear Pattaya Mail
The Anti Federalist Eagle who thinks he has a solution for Thailand’s
attitude towards international affiliations is being far too naive. That’s
the problem with most of the USA’s foreign policy. They should stop thinking
the rest of the world won’t pay a price for doing things their own way.
In the UK I thought we learned that lesson a long time ago. Perhaps we have
not, but we should... Chill out Eagle use your ‘tools’.
And as for the comment on education: The US of A has never really been on
top of that. It has about 250 million people and 100 million of them don’t
get the same quality of education they could get in Thailand - where the
students respect the teachers and the society they live in.
Most of the USA is driven by religious bigotry or economic inequality, or
both. Yes it’s rich overall but it doesn’t provide a model for any nation to
follow. Every time I go there I think it will be OK when its finished...
same as Thailand.
Thais will continue to develop in their own way and at their own speed. The
problems are difficult but in the end Thai and Buddhist values will produce
a society much better than we may expect. We don’t want to turn them into a
mirror of the West.
I am an avid supporter of the USA - in the UK we owe that country a great
debt. But it is not always right.
Follow the leader
Further to Robert Patnicroft’s letter (Pattaya Mail Fri., July 7) referring
to the recent statement by Chamlong Sukprom, President of Pattaya Transport
Co-operative, in which he states that tourists are charged more on Baht
buses because their currency’s are more valuable. I too was left gasping in
amazement (not disbelief - see Pattaya bureaucracy). It seems incredible,
especially following the constant public debate on such an emotive issue,
that the top guy could have such an obviously biased and unbalanced view.
Are baht bus drivers to be individually responsible for summarily deciding
which farang, whether he be Asian, European, African, or Arab, has a more
valuable currency? Would they take into account those on a hard earned trip
of a lifetime ... the elderly, the low waged, large families (several kids),
etc. etc? Perhaps he thinks tourists (foreigners) should also pay more in
Thai restaurants and cinemas - as well as tourist attractions.
However, come to think about it, perhaps we shouldn’t be so harsh in our
criticism of Mr Sukprom. You may recall a quote from PM Thaksin during the
early part of his first term in office, in which he stated that it was the
duty/responsibility of all Thais to take as much as they could (money) from
all foreign visitors.
I also recall Thai Airlines offering cheap flights to the north during the
rainy season for Thai citizens - only. So considering all this, Mr Sukprom
is only following the advice of Mr Thaksin and taking his lead from big
Like so many other visitors I experience depression in Pattaya. It usually
occurs on my second or third day when I finally realize that I have to go
back home. I have experienced many feelings in Pattaya but I have never
experienced the level of anger and disdain that “Charm-Analyst” feels for
the Baht buses.
It was nice that “Charm” was kind enough to write my name correctly. It
would have been nicer if he/she had read my letter a little more carefully.
Just the idea of someone defending the Baht buses so enraged them over their
morning coffee, (or is it tea?) that they quickly fired off a letter to
respond to the charm I see in all things Thai.
The Baht buses, Tuk-Tuks, air con meter taxis are all charming to me and
believe me I don’t charm easily. I don’t know what you problem is “Charm”
but if you are living in Pattaya then why don’t you get a car or a scooter
or some other mode of transportation and quit your complaining.
I wrote that people who move to Pattaya should then do their best to make it
like home. I didn’t compare it as you stated in your letter. That is a far
reached comparison that I would never make. If you are going to complain
then get your facts straight and have the courage to sign your own name
Why all the anger towards the Baht buses anyway? Did you have to pay an
extra 50 Baht one time? Have you seen the drivers of the “cheap Japanese
pick-ups”? Driving with their wives and kids in the cab beside them. What
kind of money do you think they are making? They like all the other drivers
and workers and vendors are doing their best to make a living. We should be
grateful for the small amount that we pay them for their services.
Dear Pattaya Mail
It has long been my belief that the way to counter the ever-increasing
congestion within the City centre is to introduce a charge for non-residents
to bring their vehicles into the area bounded by North and South Roads,
Beach Road and Sukhumvit Highway. A permit costing 500 baht per week would
probably do the trick.
In London the introduction of a fee to enter the City has resulted in
freeing the roads, lowering pollution and reducing accidents. Incidentally,
I heartily agree with a previous writer who requested Soi Diana to be made
one-way. If ever a soi needed to be one-way it is that one! Even pedestrians
are log-jammed at times!
Dear Pattaya Mail
What has happened to Starworld?
After a few minutes of fruitless searching on my TV - I find its gone,
disappeared, without trace?
Sophon Cable has kept me amused for the length of time I have been living in
this city but I was shocked to find last Friday that they have taken
Starworld off the air along with A1, (without any warning). Apart from the
Beeb and Eurosport they were the most watched channels in my house. I have
to say a lot of my friends watch this station as well, as they have had
classic English shows on it like “Little Britain” and “Coupling”, not to
Are Sophon going to replace it with something similar? Or are we English
‘farangs’ just going to have to watch even more movies with dodgy
soundtracks? This must be the most important news to hit Pattaya since the
‘new’ bus service.
Yours - Clive (see below)
Star World and A1 Channels
In answer to Sophon Cable TV and Communications Pattaya subscribers’
enquiries about the disappearance of Star World Channel and A1 Channel from
the schedules, the company wishes to provide the following explanation:
The content provider of Star World and A1 sells the channels and with that
the copyrights to televise in the localities where the cable TV companies
broadcast, in this case Sophon TV in Pattaya and other cable TV stations in
other areas. Only 43 local cable TV companies televised said channels and in
actual fact only 79 cable TV companies are actually registered with the Thai
Public Relations Department, while 400 are registered with the Cable TV
Association of Thailand and this does not include the more than 300
unregistered cable TV companies.
The above issues have caused the content provider of Star World and A1 to be
unable to increase viewer statistics and market figures and in some cases
the numbers have fallen for the simple reason that some parts of Thailand do
not have a foreign resident community and the programs are not popular with
the cable TV subscribers in those areas. Therefore, Sophon Cable TV
management has had no other choice but to lessen the expense of buying from
the content provider of Star World and A1.
As an example of the reasoning, Kamphaeng Phech, Pichit, Singburi, Angthong
etc cannot compare with the likes of Pattaya, Had Yai or Chiang Mai.
Business is business and the content provider has to earn as much as
possible to distribute its content and help with the survival of the
To this end it is forced to look to new major buyers with the buying power
and with the market to sell the content to the local cable TV companies.
This buying power creates a monopoly and everyone knows which cable TV
company has such buying power, as there is only one in Thailand that is able
to reach all markets throughout the country.
Therefore, Sophon Cable TV Pattaya and other local cable TV providers are
all suffering the same problem of being monopolized from access to good
programming, as we do not have the buying power. To put it simply if you
want the content you have to pay as much as the big players. If a cable TV
company has to pay 10 million baht a month for copyrights for Star World and
A1, Sophon Cable TV has to pay the same sum, which is impossible when it
only charges 350-400 baht for its service. Subscribers who wish to view Star
World and A1 will have to subscribe to other cable TV companies and will
also be paying much higher subscriptions than they currently pay for Sophon
Cable TV in Pattaya. In fact the monthly subscription fees could be as much
as what is paid to Sophon Cable TV over a six month period. However, Sophon
Cable TV in future will have to consider the programs it broadcasts in order
to gain the greatest benefit for its subscribers.
Attasit Chuo Chu-chart (General Manager - Sophon Cable TV)
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