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Letter to the editor from worried UK Ex-Pat in Thailand

Dear Editor,                                     I’m worried.

I worried, I came here 15 years ago to spend my remaining days in a bit of warm sunshine. Away from the UK’s terrible weather, a never ending number of flashing speed cameras on every road, an army of jobsworth traffic and litter wardens applying the rules to the letter. Six different waste bins where my local council fine me if I mix my waste or if I put the bins out at the wrong time, then dumps everything in the same land infill. Surveillance facial recognition CCTV cameras on every street corner, GCHQ monitoring my emails and eves dropping all my telephone calls and a government who refuses to listen to it’s voters.

I’m worried, this corrupt Kingdom in an effort to unite a divided people recently held free elections to establish a democratic government which few understand and then end up with the same General wielding a big stick.

I’m worried, despite the same general crowing about his achievements heading a military junta over the past 5 years. When just about everything wrong with this country still thrives unabated. ie, the most dangerous roads on the planet, corruption from the top down and everywhere, endemic drunk driving, under age drivers, license less and uninsured drivers, the same old jetski scams against tourist, the dreaded out of control taxi drivers and a completely inept police force who unashamedly and openly take bribes.

I’m worried, government sources forecast a 9% increase in tourism for the rest of this year when I see the bars, restaurants and hotels empty and deserted in the main holiday destination, Phuket, Pattaya, Chang Mai and Koh Samui, all claiming they are actually between 40% and 80% down on business.

I’m worried, the mountain of motorcycle mufflers that must exist somewhere must eventually collapse and cause injury. 

I’m worried, the laid back life style so envied by all who visit these shores suddenly find the rules by which they live here are relentlessly being tightened to a point many feel no longer welcome.

I’m worried, expat Embassy’s no longer provide a simply service of an affidavit stating retirement income, for visa extension applications.

I’m worried, as a result any Immigration official now has access to private banking deposits and withdrawals and then store this information insecurely as hard copy for all to see.

I’m worried, the non-immigration O retirement extension to stay visa is no longer available at some Thai Embassy’s in foreign countries, making renewal unnecessarily inconvenient, difficult and worrying for older long stay expats.

I’m worried, holders of a non-immigrant O-A visa suddenly find they need mandatory health care insurance to remain here.

I’m worried, we are now one step away from mandatory health care insurance for all alien, foreigners and farangs which the vast majority simply have no chance of obtaining.

I’m worried, that the overvalued BHT makes my once mighty Pound look more in common with the Ounce.

I’m worried, after 5 long years the two Burmese scapegoats still languish on death row whilst the real killer of Koh Tao roams free to kill again. Their guilty verdict is at the very least unsafe!!

I’m worried, the “land of smiles” is rapidly becoming the “land of viles”

A cynical and worried expat!!

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