Daily Archives: May 17, 2007

In A General’s Opinion (1968)

(The following extract is taken from the above book)

One of my fave hobbies when I get into Bangkok is to search around for golden-oldie books which are hard to come buy on the shelves of DK or Asia books. A few months back, I came across this one published in America 39 years ago. A sordid first-hand account into Bangkok’s raunchy night-life. The book was supposedly written by a reporter called Andrew Harris but according to a very reliable source, it is a pseudonym for another well-known Asian based author.

Anyway, at the end of the book is an ‘actual’ dialogue. It is between a Farang reporter and Gen Prapas about the current Farang/girls/bars/massage scene. If you don’t know, Gen Prapas goes down in modern Thai history as one of the ‘strongest’ soldiers that has ever led the country. A close colleague of former dictator FM Thanom, he was at the time of this book the Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister. What he says in this interview gives an idea to the mentality of the folk back then in regards to Farangs and Thai women and ‘hooligansim’ etc etc… Have a read and enjoy…..

Reporter: It has often be said that the number of bars and massage parlours contribute to juvenile delinquency. What do you think, sir?
Gen. Prapas: That’s not true. We need more of this kind of service.
Reporter: As matters are, already you see one of these places everywhere you turn.
Gen. Prapas: That’s an exaggeration.
Reporter: We have also heard that it’s detrimental to the economy and making everyone a spendthrift.
Gen Prapas: That’s not right. These places are good for the country economically. Bars nightclubs and massage parlours are for Farangs who can afford such services. You can avoid being a spendthrift by avoiding such places, like I do.
Reporter: I don’t go because they are so expensive.
Gen Prapas: Bluff it, just tell them that you are broke.

The reporter next asks the general about half Thai/Farang kids.

Reporter: Have you heard that there are fair-haired children who have been on sale in Nakhorn Ratchasima – Korat (locality of a large US air-base) at about two hundred to three hundred baht?
Gen Prapas: Never heard such a thing. If anybody bought one, bring it here (Ministry of Interior) so we can bring legal action. There should be no problem with these children, whatever the colour of their hair.
Reporter: Why?
Gen Prapas: Because they are by-products

The reporter next asks the intelligent general about Farangs marrying Thai girls!

Reporter; Do you think marriages between Thai girls and Farang should be registered in embassies?
Gen Prapas: There is no need to register in the embassy. It is far easier to go to the district office and register by paying a fee. But this is a minor matter. I have not heard of many cases. Many of the couples find an easier way out, or so I have been told by an American friend. They go to hotels or motels and when the Farang is asleep the girls swipes him clean, pants and all.

The reporter next asks the ever-wise general about highly suspect claims of rape.

Reporter: Acts of rape seem to be on the increase in hotels, especially at the Vieng Nuea Hotel. Why is that hotel still open?
Gen Prapas: Don’t blame the hotels, because it is their way of earning a living. It is my thought that if a girl goes with a man to a hotel then she ought to know what will happen to her.
Reporter: Did you not used to go there yourself?
Gen Prapas: Never, it is not necessary for me to go there.
Reporter: What have you instructed about handling hooliganism?
Gen Prapas: I have instructed the police that if there are cases of rape reported, they should not always charge the suspected person as a hooligan. Thorough investigation should be made of the suspect – of his behaviour, of his occupation, of his living conditions and whether he was previously charged with criminal acts. Cases of hooliganism have caused much trouble for decent men who only want to seek happiness and their own pleasure.