I repeat my too frequent apology for not keeping my blog up to date yet again, but this time I have a great excuse... I was busy planning for a workshop in Bangkok with a staff member being away 3rd week of November, then, I WAS IN BANGKOK LAST WEEK. On Wednesday 26 Nov, I was one of the travellers stranded when the international airport was closed!
Fortunately, I'm employed by a great Oil & Gas co. which formed crisis team focussed on getting the 50+ non-Thai employees that were there on workshops or business visits back home. The Thai team (thanks Khun Ath, Chalee, Thanes, et al) pilled us all on a train on the afternoon of Thursday 27 Nov that arrived safely in Butterworth in the afternoon of the next day.
The experience confirmed 2 things for me:
- The international media does over-dramatise events somewhat. I ran up a stiff handphone bill over 48 hours as I needed to re-assure my family of my safety due to the nonesensical reporting of chaos in Bangkok. Much of Bangkok, and indeed Thailand, was actually unaffected. I even had freinds disappearing to the entertainment districts at all hours with no reports of danger or change in 'scenery'.
- The ISA is a useful tool to avoid percisely such nonsense (protestors closing down country and region's airport hub) from damaging a country's interests. Many Malaysians that were with me pinned for the ISA! Indeed, in Malaysia, the ISA would have been employed even such nonsense could begin. Interestingly also, no one among us raised a voice in protest of this view of the ISA in Bangkok last week. Maybe they were being polite?