The Bangkok Post had an interesting story on the military dictatorship’s failed migrant labor “policy.” Interesting, not so much for The Dictator’s lame excuse that the new, ill-considered and damaging law was to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Thailand is serious about human trafficking, but for a couple of embedded links.
Before that, however, we should recall that the junta has a poor history on migrant workers. Soon after its illegal military coup in 2014, it issued Order No. 59/2557 and Order No. 60/2557, dated 11 June 2014, regarding the administration of migrant workers.
At the time, the official attacks on migrants that resulted saw hundreds of thousands heading for the borders or being arrested and thrown across borders. PPT then stated:
Military dictatorships are notorious for the impunity they enjoy and the excesses this permits. After all, no laws except their laws, no constitution, no “independent” agencies or media, and no opposition. Thailand’s current junta is no different from the variously nasty, savage and corrupt juntas of the past.
It seems the junta learned nothing from that early policy shambles. A junta spokesperson was cited at the time:
This spokesperson mumbled something about migrants fleeing and being trucked and dumped at the border “that because of the rumours,” and saying that “some businesses were concerned and sent the foreign workers back home.” This is the usual horse manure that flows from those with no law to control and guide them, and has been Army-speak for decades. She makes it even worse when she says “the harvest season had also begun, prompting some to return home to help their families.” Clearly the dictatorship’s spokesperson believes she speaks to a nation of morons.
The junta still thinks that and has essentially done the same thing three years later.
But back to the links in the Post story. The first of the links is to a story on 4 July on the business reaction to the “new” migrant worker policy. While some businesses worried, the report stated that ” leading Thai companies say they have seen no effects from the new foreign labour law.”
The second link is to a story “[b]usiness leaders on Tuesday hailed the government’s decision to invoke the powerful Section 44 of the interim charter to delay enforcement of the new controversial labour regulation law…”.
That’s the political point. Under a military dictatorship, capitalists suck up to the regime and praise almost everything it does, even when a flawed policy is implemented one day and withdrawn the next. They have to be careful if they criticize the dictatorship for fear that their huge profits may be targeted by the military thugs. Praise is preferred.