That quote is from British human rights activist Andy Hall who has recently fled Thailand. He did so, he says, because “he feared for his safety amid legal problems and harassment…”.
In a regime of repression under the military regime, Hall’s travails might be seen as just more of the same. However, this particular bit of harassment is not by the usual suspects. Rather, it is elements of the business elite that is responsible for harassment termed “irrational, vindictive and aggressive.”
Hall refers to the Natural Fruit Company, a pineapple producer. He says “it’s rare to have a company that is so irrational and so vindictive.” With due respect to Hall and his troubles over a long period, we think he’s wrong.
Many of Thailand’s business people regularly engage in actions that are vindictive and aggressive. They behave like gangsters when they are not hiring them. Often the gangsters are hired from the military and police. They act with impunity and use their wealth to ensure that justice is not for them. They invented double standards.
Rural landowners know that they are in danger when a tycoon takes a liking to their land. Union organizers have been harassed for decades. Many have been murdered.
Primitive accumulation in Thailand is still practiced and is barbarous, vicious accumulation.
Military, monarchy and local and national tycoons work together to maintain their ownership and control of Thailand. Their system is indeed corrupt and they act as a mafia.
Update: Readers will find the excellent Bangkok Post special report by Nanchanok Wongsamuth.It tells of new action against Hall by “Thammakaset Farm, a former Betagro poultry supplier, [that] had launched further legal action against him for criminal defamation and computer crimes.” The impression created is of a conspiracy among business tycoons to harass Hall.