“You Ask, “Why not seek help from your connected billionaire father?”
I spent most of my young adult years in the states and when I returned, I found that it was connection that counted the most in Thailand. So I went to work for the Bangkok Post, reasoning that after a few years there, I would get to know a lot of people. I got addicted to journalism as a result, as you might have guessed.
But I was also told when I came back that everyone in Thailand needs political protection. Because that is how one remains safe and free, in a tribe like Thailand that in ancient times, would still be eating human beings for dinner. Thailand is still very much a developing country with weak institutions and laws that makes society civilized. It is still very much “Survival of the Fittest” in Thailand.
I was lucky to have a father who deep down loved me a great deal but has always had difficulties with me because of my independence and desire to guard my privacy. That and because I also care about him too much to want to bother him, resulted in me leaving him out of much of what I do and did.
Pookie, for example, asked me in panic, why not call my father for help with the ICT Ministry? I did a self search for the answer and the closest I could explain to you is that one day, I went to see my father, and he had a very sad long face. He is a very strong person physically, doing hundreds of meters of swimming everyday for the past 30-40 years, everyday.
So to see him haggard and tired was a real shocker but there he was complaining to me that everything was falling apart for him and he didn’t understand why he wasn’t going crazy.
Without going into details his family, including me, has caused my father lots and lots of grief over the years. There were crises on crisis all the time. He joked one day to me, that many of his friends come to him for advice with their family problems and when he looked at his family, he could not understand why anyone would come to him for family advice.
So I have a definite feeling, ingrained through the years, not to bother him with anything, but to solve my problems myself. If he insists on offering me help I accept, but I will not initiate and ask for it.
Could I have sought his protection and got it? The answer is obviously “yes.” But apart from giving him worries and concern, it also would mean I had to give up my independence and freedom and do as he says. Both concepts were off my radar screen.