Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

and now one year on......

not quite sure what I can or what I want to say.....but I think he would appreciate to know that he is thought of....also now. Since I was very young....less than 10years old, friends have always asked me why or how is it I never talk about my Dad.
Interestingly, coincidental or not, it was only for that couple of days one year ago that I was starting to talk to 2 friends in Malaysia. now Im not sure what I want to say will just leave it here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Exactly 4 months later....our beloved Julie

Four months earlier...on June brother calls late morning...which is nothing uncommon since we sometime talk more than once a day. Yet this call was different, when I heard his voice I knew something was was our Julie....she wasnt doing well at all. My brother starts to cry as he tells me that we might have to consider the difficult decision....he hangs up crying......I start to cry.....5 minutes later...he calls back.....and Julie is gone. in her very sweet nature...she didnt even leave us with having to make that difficult decision. some of you know that Julie is our dog....but what many dont know is that she has been with us for 20 years and a bit. She is literally family......eventhough I have a somewhat confusing relationship with her. well thats cos as a very young girl, and being the youngest in the family, when you have a new puppy you automatically become the sis. BUT when the pup is your brother's lil you then become an aunt? it was a non-issue when I was still in my teen, but as the years passed the question came up every now and stand is.....I remain big sis.......and then certain point....she became older than any of us anyhow :)

one thing thats definitely not confusing is this..... she is the love of my life......and it was with her that I discovered the meaning of true love :)

you will always be in our thoughts.........the most cheekily sneaky, sweet cute beloved Julie

Monday, October 16, 2006

To thine ownself be true......

so in my true chocaholic spirit, Ive been snacking on this jar of nutella since morning. not that I need an excuse, but well since I started my work day since 7am this morning, the extra energy is justified :)
although I must admit I was reading this book last night (a thai book) the title translates to ..the magic power in of those books/manual that gives you the background to nutritional value of food substances. read and flipped through a number of pages, all sorts of things are touched on...vitamin E, C, fibre, calcium..whats good whats bad and the such
no mention of chocolates anywhere....hmmm..but mind you..this is a thai book written by a thai pharmacist. in general thais are not all that fond of chocolates, and is definitely not part of the normal diet for the bigger population. the book takes up substances that majority consume on a daily basis.
BUT ....
there is of course this site that you all should read........

definitely works for me when it comes to depression. looking for healthy blood flow and maintaining your blood pressure? chocolates may also be the answer...

want a smile? take a break...have a kitkat...or a kinder buono...or I still have half a jar of Nutella sitting in front of me :)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Interim Constitution Oct 06

So on October 1st the coup-makers announced the Interim Prime Minister, a retired General. They also annonced an Interim Constitution, a lengthy document in thai. I will try to find some short summary in english later on. but some of the points I will highlight here now.....

Leaders of coup becomes National Security Council
They select member of committee that will draft the more permanent constitution!
Prohibit political parties from taking part, or from having any activity
Ban on gathering of more than 5 people
Restriction on press freedom, with an order to media to report "constructively"
The Prime Minister will answer to a National Assembly, comprising citizens chosen by the National Security Council (leaders of the coup)
The power to National Security Council (leaders of the coup) to join and Chair meeting with the Cabinet, for matters concerning national peace and security, BUT there is a phrase added in at the end saying, "and any other matter". This in effect means pretty much anything, and of course as the Chair of the meeting they have the right to veto any decision made by Cabinet.

there was a debate about it on one TV programme the other day, and one side was arguing that the although the clause was there, it isnt necessary that they will exercise that right. On the other side, one of the arguing academic said....yes I trust the integrity of Gen. Surayud, but it is still alarming to see this clause included in the Constitution. It basically says, at least on paper and can be invoked, that the coup leaders retain the power over the new Cabinet.

All we can do is wait and see where all this takes us.........


Taxi driver says bricks are too small for a tank

On September 30, a taxi driver Nuamthong Praiwan, decided to ram his cab into a tanked parked near the Royal Plaza (Sanam Luang) in Bangkok. He said he risked death to tell the world that he and many other Thais do not support the coup.

And since he took such a huge risk to his personal safety, the least I could do is help him get his message out. As I recall he is already quite an old man, close to 60 if not older. He had to pay Baht 30,000 to repair his taxi (thats roughly EUR600 or USD 750), not including his medical bill. (He was in hospital with 3 broken ribs). He also face charges of reckless driving, damaging private and state property.

Despite all that, he says he would do it again, his point being he feels the coup has brought disgrace to Thailand, and has brought the country to a stand-still. According to him....even with the civilian government installed, the military is still at the helm, so it is hard to predict where that will take the country. He cited the example of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her fight for democracy for Burma.

Pretty impressive and courageous guy. My brother and I talked about it, and decided we will contribute towards his medical bill, coupled with a bouquet of flowers.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Endorsing and Encouraging

I am no expert on the english language, but if I had to guess I would say the 2 are quite different. It is one thing to endorse an act AFTER it has taken place, and yes that may imply agreeing with it. But the political situation in Thailand and the division of powers are not as simple as what the media sometime tend to present. The King is loved and respected, yet he exercise also certain restraint on himself in terms of when he chooses to use the power that this love and respect begets.

On the other hand, there is encouraging, which to me usually would happen before and during the act takes place.

What the local media repeatedly talks about is the fact that the King gave his endorsement to the Military rule, and sure enough the international media has picked up on that and sends out that same message to the world.

What I dont understand is how can the media forget the fact that it was the King himself who asked that Thailand's Constitutional Court re-look at the April 2 Elections, which they did, and had declared it void. As a result the Elections Commissions was sacked and sentenced to jail for misconduct! Since then a new Commission have been selected and only recently appointed, about 2 weeks before the coup took place.

A clear message from the King that he would like to see things rectified, through legal democratic process! This obviously shows that the only thing he encouraged was the use of democratic process to end Thailand's political impasse at that time. That is the first thing I would like to highlight.

There was still a case under process on the allegations against Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai political party for misconduct during the same April 2 Elections.

So whats my point? Many people have over the last week or so asked me the question whether if the military did not interfere with the coup, would Thailand's judiciary and democratic system be strong enough to correct itself.
I cannot say that the process will be fool-proof, but what system in the world can claim that. However, in my limited knowledge of the law and such, I personally feel that in the past few months since the start of 2006 the people's voices have in fact become stronger! The media, although seen as under pressure from government, were able to report also about the negative aspects or alleged abuse of power by the government. Does that not spell some form of strengthening of the democratic process?

And yes then I get asked about how people in power take advantage of loopholes in the Constitution and the law. To me, democracy is a continuous process of work-in-progress, it does not end at a point where a certain Constitution is produced and that is the be-all perfect answer to everything. There will always be loopholes as things change, society change, problems change. What needs to be done is an update/improvement rather than throw things away and always start from scratch. The 1997 Constitution in Thailand is referred to as the first true People's Constitution, as it was drafted with input from various sectors. Flaws there may be, but totally useless to the extent that needs to be thrown away?
That is a question I would leave for all of us to think about......


Monday, October 02, 2006

Bangkok's new airport

so yes I arrived back at the new airport on its first day of operation...28th Sept 06.
things worked well...atleast for me it did. the plane might have taxied for a bit longer than it normally does, the bus that picked us up seemed to zigzag its way around a bit, there was a bit longer queue at immigration, but my bag arrived quick enough, another long queue at the cab stand, but there were enough of in general things worked, and yes there were a few glitches as you might have read in papers and saw on TV. but hey, they way I see it, considering the size of operation, it turned out pretty well