Sunday, January 05, 2014

Much Ado About Singha Beer

Happily ordered Singha beer (pronounced as สิงห์, 'sing' one word, and not Sing-ha) at lunch at another awesome casual local joint far out in the suburbs. Grimaced when the friends shrieked NO. Erm too late. The server already brought a big bottle and uncapped it.

Hey, I'm a tourist. Don't want to be involved in Thai politics! Keep forgetting that in solidarity with the friends, I'm not supposed to order Singha. Zzzzz. Chang or Beer Lao is okay.

What's the political significance of Singha beer that's produced by Boon Rawd Brewery? Chitpas Bhirombhakdi, the poster girl and core anti-government protest leader, is also the still-heiress of the Bhirombhakdi family who owns Boon Rawd Brewery. Chitpas is determined to make politics a career in the Democrat Party, and made many politically-charged statements about democracy that caused resentment among the people, especially with her latest statement which generalized that rural areas in Thailand lack true understanding of democracy. Imagine that outcry. The family is concerned about her political activism and has publicly made her change her surname to avoid hurting the family's business interests. (More information here, here and here.)

The current Thai government has been dissolved and the general elections are going to be held a year earlier, next month on 2 February. It will be most interesting to observers. It should mark a significant milestone in Thailand's government and put its political system through another rigorous test. However. It's Thai politics. Not something I want to comment on or profess to understand. The friends do, certainly. It's their home. They have a stake in it. I leave it to you to decide why we're not drinking Singha for some time.

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