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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

PTT delisting unlikely to cause panic on the stock market

Re: "SET braces for a shock", News December 13.

Published on December 14, 2007



Your headline news on the impact of PTT's delisting took me by surprise. It was doubly so when your sources of information came from leading brokerage companies.

First, it would not cost the government Bt1 trillion to buy back the shares because half of the PTT shares are already owned by the government. So it would cost Bt500 billion, which is a large sum, but affordable.

Second, the report said that the SET Composite Index would fall by almost half from 830 to 400-500. Whoever gave that information to your reporters should be excluded from the financial community for life because it was irresponsible and unlikely.

Although Bt1 trillion out of total capitalisation in the SET of Bt6 trillion is a lot, it is disproportionate to state that the fall would be almost half. Granted, psychologically, in the short term, the fall would be great if PTT is delisted. However it is unlikely to fall by 50 per cent.

In reality, there is no possibility of PTT disappearing from the board immediately despite the court's order because PTT has first to be suspended from trade and its latest value (on Thursday Dec 13) would still remain until delisting procedures could be completed, which could take years and not months. Delisting procedures involve complicated issues like due diligence over the fair value to pay back to PTT shareholders. This unprecedented case could take months if the newly elected government sanctions the delisting. Or it could take ages if the government is indecisive and leaves it to the wind.  So, delisting is definitely bad by all accounts, but not as bad as the media has portrayed.

Songdej Praditsmanont

Bangkok

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Give teenagers a sex-education reality check

Re: "Teens done a disservice by misguided sex education", Letters, December 8.

The thoughts expressed regarding adolescents and sex education by John Shepherd, as valid as they may be, I find still preach to the mindset of the Western choir. His discussion regarding sex education is more of the same that contributes, as he so aptly points out, to an issue that has been already nicely jumbled by opinions and mind games. Far from furthering a debate, I'm strongly asserting that it is better to stick with facts rather than values, platitudes and ideas when it comes to education about HIV/Aids.

In my experience a line is drawn and this is best done when the issue of HIV/Aids awareness and prevention is presented in context within a school's health curriculum.

The wonders of the human body, its marvellous orderliness and interdependence of organs, muscles and systems, and especially our immune system, is fascinating. The HIV virus with its stealthy attack on our immune system is a mystery one can only hold in awe. But it is one that can be explained, and in doing so relevant knowledge about its dangers, how it is acquired, the modes of prevention and the debunking of false myths that often arise, are able to be presented as something constructive for students.

Knowledge, as we know, does not immediately turn into wisdom, especially where adolescents are concerned, but a factual approach does give them something real and physical to chew on rather than the mixed messages Shepherd proclaims students so frequently receive from the sex education model. 

If it is still permissible, an afternoon spent with the staff, patients and exhibits at the temple/hospice for Aids patients in their final stage located in Lop Buri would provide an experience that I assure would give any visitor an enduring impression and greater awareness of HIV/Aids and prevention. And that is what the Health Ministry is seeking for Thai youths - awareness that leaves a lasting impression. Where do we go from here? A trip to Lop Buri could be a start.

Mr Bill

Bangkok

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Visas: an unnecessary money-making scam

All nations have the right to prohibit entry to undesirables, also the legal means to expel any foreigners to whom they take a dislike for any reason. So, simply: why visas?

It seems to me that provided the incoming foreigner can provide credible information about where they can be found - or simply be required to sign on at the nearest police station every 90 days or whatever, all the expensive, painful and stressful visa systems of this planet can be scrapped.If any nation dislikes this idea, then surely they must admit that the whole thing is merely a money-making charade, no?

David Hardcastle

Chiang Mai

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More important things in Thai life to worry about

The election is coming up, the economy is going down, natural disasters are devastating the world and The Nation has Richard Sproat and James Groveway dominating the letters column, griping about the speed of their Internet connection .... as they what? Look for the soccer and lotto results? As if we Thais didn't have enough to put up with from the frothings at the mouth of our politicians. (Oh, excuse us our clumsy sentence construction, you native-English-speakers out there. Our educational standard is certainly showing. Must remember to complain to the next government about that!)

Patrons of cheap Internet cafes, as Sproat and Groveway obviously are, should know better that if 50,000 expats use the CAT LAN connection at the same time at the same cafe, obviously it slows down the speed. But what do they expect at Bt500 per month.

And for Sproat's edification, CAT, which stands for the Communications Authority of Thailand, actually was the Post and Telegraph Department of the then Communications Ministry, formed more than a century ago to handle, obviously, the mail, as well as operating and controlling air space for radio broadcasts.

The TOT, or the Telephone Organisation of Thailand, has handled only domestic telephone consumption. International calls, then as now, have always had to go through the CAT for the reason that it controls air space ... CAT and TOT, therefore, have always been inseparable. As to which would like which piece of the cake is merely a family matter.

When Thailand launched its first satellite communications 40 years ago, it was the Post and Telegraph Department that was responsible for the planning and setting up of the first satellite station in Sattahip, facilitating faster and more effective communications in this region even before some European countries had colour televisions. The Post and Telegraph became independent of the Communications Ministry and a new enterprise was created out of it - the Communications Authority of Thailand. That was two or more decades ago, when many government organisations that were able to earn money to support themselves gained autonomy and came to be called state enterprises.

We could continue at length on the history of Thailand's state enterprises and their comparative efficiencies when put alongside many Western state enterprises, several of which have been - shamefully to our mind - outsourced to organisations in thriving third-world countries.

But we will not. We will instead nod wisely at the news that, in Khon Kaen alone, there are over 100 cases of divorce between Thai women and their Western husbands, all within a few months. We hope the more urbanised women and office girls of Bangkok would take heed. 

Sunida

Bangkok

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If Thaksin wants unity, he should stay away

Re: "Thaksin's 'national unity' plan bitterly ironic", Opinion, December 12.

Thaksin trumpeting the idea of a national unity government is laughable. The former PM only has to keep his word to stay away from politics. "Enough is enough" was what he said for the whole world to hear. In breaking this promise, Thaksin has confessed he has been lying to us all. One wonders why Thaksin should ask all the Thai people to consider his appeal for a national unity government when he alone can bring about unity by keeping his own word.

Chavalit Van

Chiang Mai

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