Friday, December 11, 2009

For all your Cultural Monitoring needs

Call 1765. In Thailand that's the number to dial if you see or hear anything that might be deemed inappropriate -- beauty queens in non-Thai costume, nipple slips, offensive love songs or a film -- anything you think hinders social development, the Nation and "fine Thai culture".

The phone number comes at the end of an apology letter from Mr. Samphan Ruksa, a staff member in the Culture Ministry's Cultural Monitoring Office. Samphan took it upon himself to start discussion threads at and other forums, seeking feedback about the Cultural Monitoring Office's activities.

Seems his superiors, among them his boss Ladda Tansupachai, didn't like what people had to say.

So Samphan asked that all the forum posts be deleted and he's issued the apology, which is posted at and has been translated.

Out of this dust-up, a Facebook group, We're Sick of Ministry of Culture in Thailand, has formed. At last count it had 238 fans -- all of whom are now surely being closely watched.

The Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee has more about this on his blog.

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