Will it make any difference this time?

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In a short poem, Fan Yew Teng wonders whether the election last December in Thailand will make any difference to the lives of ordinary Thais.

Here I am in this sprawling metropolis
Almost stranded in the gigantic daily jam
of cars, taxis, buses, lorries and motorbikes
Mingling with the hopes, frustrations and impatience
Of strutting Khuns and prettified Khunyings
Self-important tycoons, potentates, generals, politicos
Amid skytrains and skyscrapers and high aspirations
Desperately wishing to be like New York.

Without time to stand and stare
And to ask the correct questions –
All chasing the Bitch-Goddess of Success.
Ah, well, all so dizzy, so choked by dust and bad air
And yet another election, yet another elation
Of Parliament’s members in frantic horse-trading.
Who can be sure it’s not a circus again
With tom yam goong and Mai Pen Rai?

Will it make any difference this time?
Pray mail me an answer well before the next coup
While I follow the trail of blood and mayhem
In the “Far South” which Justice has deserted hitherto.

Fan Yew Teng
Bangkok

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