Why is New Mandala Critical of Thais?

It’s a pity the Thai bashers who frequent the forums get a wide audience. Most expats and visitors here aren’t so negative. The silent majority.

A night view of Sydney Harbour and Opera House
A night view of Sydney Harbour and Opera House (credit Uplash)

A very radical Australian site is getting a poor reputation for unbalanced reporting. No one has a problem with academics holding deeply-held views. It can be healthy provided that contrasting opinions are allowed. Unhappily, that is not true of New Mandala. They seize every opportunity to denigrate and belittle Thais and Thailand.

I can only speculate on the reasons.

Is it a syndrome-like attitude where grumpy old men find fault wherever they look? Have they had bad experiences of being cheated or defrauded by Thais. Perhaps on land deals, where they were misled into believing property could be held in their name?

Or is it basically the fact that they are unable to convince the Thai that western values may not always be appropriate in Thai culture.

They question a lack of free speech in Thailand while not allowing its readers to air views other than their own on their web pages. Occasionally they will allow a poster to give an opposing opinion but it is always followed by vitriolic remarks and flames and the poster is voted down within seconds.

Coups and Democracy in Thailand

They do not accept, for example, that Thais have a different definition of coups and democracy. They can’t see another country’s points of view.

Their extreme radicalism and biased comments are not helpful. In the same way that Islamic terrorist groups claim fundamentalist ideas when they don’t represent the majority of Muslims, New Mandala gives the wrong impression of how most foreigners think.

Freedom of Speech. (credit Medium.com)
(credit Medium.com)

These forums are still worth a look though if only to get contrarian views.

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