10 weaknesses of Thai people

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By Vikrom Kromadit http://board.postjung.com/486306.html

Translated by Mia Rongsiaw Lemoign


It may not be a good beginning of the Tiger Year for Thailand when the President of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO, Bangkok) mentioned that Thailand might no longer offer interesting investment opportunities to Japanese investors. This reminds us of the remarks that Vikrom Kromadit, the godfather of Amata City Company Limited, has made about “10 weaknesses” of Thai people as follows:

1.  Thai people have a very low sense of duty, especially duty towards society. They do for their own benefits. This later results in many kinds of business – political, government service, and education – and keeps holding back the country.

2.  Thailand is falling behind in education. Thai people are only proficient in their own language; this deprives them of opportunity to put up a fight against other countries. Moreover, we are obviously shy and lack self-confidence. It is the reason why we are lagging behind other nations. Thus, the well-off usually send their kids to study abroad for better opportunities.

3.  More than 70 percent of Thai people do not have the foresight. They work on a daily basis and solve unpredictable problems day after day. Very few perform their work systematically and set definite goals.

4. Their job responsibilities are not seriously taken into account; they are good at window dressing or do things because of their being considerate. This is different from Japanese or European people who strictly place importance on a contract or an agreement as it means long-term credibility. At present, Thai people’s credibility regarding this aspect is constantly decreasing.

5.  Development is not completely decentralized. Sixty to seventy percent of the population in remote areas are lacking in opportunities to better the quality of life of themselves as well as the community, which needs to be promoted by the government.

6. Thai law enforcement is not strong and continuous. Authorities are prevented from taking action as it involves their friends. Unlike in developed countries, prosecution against those who has authority as well as their supporters will be conducted negligently to save face, based on none of the standards. This is one of the drawbacks that Thai justice process needs to improve.

7.  Being jealous, Thailand is not quite a gentlemanly society. Thai people are as cunning as a fox. Regardless of their background, they admire those who have the power and the money. Moreover, those who do not want to pay off their debts will turn to the powerful people in order to get by. Gumming up the works, they are even worse than the terrorists. Hence, good people are afraid that getting involved could be injurious to them.

8. NGOs are always resistant and some groups are engrossed with benefits. There are a few good NGOs but they are quite rare in Thailand. Therefore, we have been losing a huge number of opportunities because of the obstinate resistance without reasoning things out.

9.  Thailand is not yet ready for the world stage. We lack skills and good teamwork in building credibility in the international trade. Accordingly, we are easily beaten by a small country like Singapore.

10. Thai children are raised in a wrong way. They are short of patience and immunity to mental illnesses. They are fragile because their parents unusually wrap them up in cotton wool and do not teach them to depend on themselves. It is different from the developed countries where people are keen to depend on themselves and find themselves. Moreover, they are taught to have responsibility towards the society.

26 thoughts on “10 weaknesses of Thai people

  1. learn2speakthai says:

    Whaow, there is some true flaws that I observed, but the charge is ferocious!
    It would be great to balance this article with another one about the strengths and qualities of Thai people.
    They have a lot too :-)

    • Yes I would like to see what She or You would put as Ten strengths of the Thai people. I love the Thai culture. As far as I am concerned, One of the weakness’s is that far Too people live in poverty. I feel there is not enough done to raise the standard of living for most Thai’s. On the other side of the coin, I love the fact that the Thai Culture is very strong on Family’s care for each other. Can’t wait to come back :-)

  2. An interesting article, while these points could be seen as flaws, in some cases I think there are also strengths. So many other countries are on the world stage and are they really any better off, Thailand has retained so much of its own culture, traditions and history which other countries seem to have lost/forgotten. The first thing I read on Buddhism talks about the fact that being materialistic does not bring personal happiness, yet so many other cultures are constantly struggling in their own personal lives due to the desire to constantly put themselves further and further in debt due to always placing more importance on gaining material items for temporary happiness. Whereas I have seen many Thai people who put all their resources into family and friends and supporting each other which in turn in my opinion creates a much higher possibility of gaining personal happiness. The comment on Thai children : there is one in particular that has a place in my heart and she is very smart, has loyalty to the right people, is giving, caring and a much better person than so many in my own country (Australia). I think many people here could learn a lot from the Thai people; are the Thai people behind the rest of the world or has the rest of the world forgotten which values are truly important when it comes to personal happiness and that of your own family?

        • In my humble opinion, for unfortunately I´ve been in Thailand for few days , the most important thing is spirituality. I felt a big sense of duty and respect towards Buddhism. I remember Thai people making merits, giving food to the monks with such devotion, and it still gives me goosebumps. I didn´t even dare to take photos, felt it was disrespectful. The same love and respect I felt toward family and the king, and this trinity I think is an important strength of Thais.
          As the president of my country says “Poor people are those who always want more and more ” ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20334136 )

    • Kirk,
      Thank you for your input, I’m totally agreed with you on that!
      When it comes to “what is a true happiness” it’s all depend on what one needs in life. Thai simple life style which the value based on family, it’s indeed a great strength of Thai people and I’m one of many who are proud of that.
      The author of this article I translated should also write about 10 strength of Thai people as well, don’t you think? if not, I will write about it and I will be sure to add your suggestion.

    • Hi Kirk, It’s not very often I agree with an Auzy ( LOL ) but I couldn’t agree more with you comment. There is a saying ” The poorest people are the ones who always want more & more”. As far as I have seen, Most Thai’s put Family & Buddha before materialistic wealth.

  3. Mia,
    chai, I totally agree. So far the author has only focused on the negative not the positive; whereas thai people are from what I have seen from my previous trips very positive people even when things are tough. Therefore it would only be fair to focus on both sides, and only then can the reader make a fair evaluation of the topic. Too many people now days are so focused on the negative that they forget to see all the positive things that life has to offer. At a time when there was not too much happiness in my life, Thailand showed me that there is still a positive side to people that is worth taking note of. Although I see some negative things with some thai people I also understand that sometimes it is a matter of survival, and many ferung take advantage of the thai way of life and therefore some require a defense mechanism in order to maintain their own survival and wellbeing.

  4. Keith Williams says:

    Some interesting observations there. But of course, the list is a very generalised stereotype and as such has many oversimplifications and many features that could equally be applied to most other countries. How do you determine what are the characteristics of any country, culture or group of people? Compare the spirituality of say Wat Phra Kaew with the hedonism of some of the less salubrious haunts. Points 1,6 and 7 are certainly noticeable throughout many parts of the world. The whole system of capitalism upon which the global economy depends is based upon the principles of self-interest criticised in these points. We regularly see, in the press here, complaints about this or that aspect of education falling behind the rest of the world. The English tourist is often stereotyped as one who has zero competence in any other language – point 2 above – but I have yet to visit anywhere in Thailand where it is impossible to get by with only English. As for point 10 please see this quote:-
    “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
    That was written by Socrates 2500 years ago. T’was ever thus.
    We can only form opinions of people based upon our own experiences. Mine have, to date, in Thailand, been more than 90% very very positive, but varying so widely that I would hesitate to make any wide generalisations and certainly not a list of faults or problems. But then I am biased because I love the country 555

  5. In Canada we have all the material wealth any human could possibly need. But it is rare to find one person truly happy here as the average Thai is. My fiancee Supaporn wants to live here but I am so jealous of her and her family and will move to Thailand for a higher quality of life. Materialistic capitalists call me crazy.

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  8. Every one of the points listed by the President of JETRO are valid. It would be better for Thai’s to take them to heart and work on them rather than reject them out of hand. I first arrived in Thailand in 1965 so I think with 50 years of experience I am qualified to speak on this. With the new ASEAN agreement going into effect these weak points will be clearly evident in a very short time rather than resort to anger. I too am a Buddhist but can anyone honestly say that they are happy with the way Buddhism is going here? Monks who drink, have expensive cars, invite women into their kuttis on the temple grounds etc. Thailand has an education system that relies on rote learning rather than teaching students how to think. As a result newly graduated Engineers have very little value and must be taught all over again. Come on people get real and admit the faults and start the long process of correcting them or Thailand will be left in the dust

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  10. Absolutely, 100% true. The weakest, most shameless, selfish people I have ever encountered in the world, and I have visited many places and lived long-term in a handful. So dishonest and incapable of understanding what kind of consequences their actions will have.

  11. I have only been to BKK so this is probably not a fair assessment but coming from a laid back country like Canada, I feel that many Thai elites are not interested in growing the economy in a way that benefits everyone, especially those at the bottom rungs of society who need help the most.
    I also think the culture of “saving face” is a bit extreme and that it might actually foster corruption since lying to save face is acceptable. There are parallels with developed countries like Japan which also value “saving face” but their version is more extreme in that they are willing to “hara-kiri” (disembowel themselves) if caught in a situation that causes them to lose face with roots in the honor code of samurai culture. But there are exceptions to the rule, ie. Japanese who take advantage of this honor code and make terrible judgment errors like those associated with TEPCO and how they did not build proper protection for the reactors in Fukushima.
    Anyways, it is not just a Thai problem as the US becomes more and more unequal in terms of wealth distribution and opportunities. So as much as we all want to live in equality paradises like Scandinavia, it is sad to see so many poor people in the streets here with disfiguring injuries.
    It is understandable that with very little social security, most Thais are only interested in looking after their families and themselves. However, I don’t think I will stay very long because I feel too awkward walking around as a “privileged” person where as back home I am just average and don’t feel like I need to watch what I say etc just for the sake of “saving face” for myself or others.

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