Foreign land ownership isn’t an unique concern in Thailand. Throughout the Ayutthaya duration in between 1351-1767 ADVERTISEMENT, a handful of immigrants who were considered to have actually made important contributions to the kingdom were granted big plots of land– amongst whom were Constantine Phaulkon, a Greek traveler who ended up being a counsellor to King Narai and got the worthy title of Chao Phraya, and the Japanese samurai Yamada Nagamasa, who likewise got the title of Phraya.

In spite of the historic precedents and the immediate requirement to bring in foreign skill and financial investment, every effort by any administration, no matter their political positioning, has actually been warded off over issues about “selling” the nation to immigrants.

The federal government’s newest relocation is the most recent evidence. Recently, it was required to end on a proposition which would see a choose group of immigrants who satisfies particular net worth, financial investment and visa requirements permitted to acquire approximately one rai of land in Bangkok, Pattaya, and other town locations.

While the opposition to the strategy is mainly sustained by xenophobia and issues about unlawful land grabs, the federal government is really to blame, as the proposition itself was half-baked and unclear at finest.

The proposition to enable particular immigrants to own up to one rai of land for domestic functions was meant to bring in extremely experienced specialists and/or high net-worth people to remain long term in Thailand and ideally hand down their abilities and/or invest throughout their remain in the nation.

Regrettably, the federal government appears to have actually refrained from doing its research effectively. Rather of offering the policy as a perk to draw foreign skills to live and level up Thailand’s competitiveness, like when it comes to our neighbouring nations such as Malaysia and Singapore, the federal government pitched this policy as a financial stimulus to benefit the drooping property sector and generate income from immigrants.

Under such thinking, it was not a surprise that lots of people wound up fearing the proposition would cause land grabs by rich immigrants.

About 80% of the nation’s land is managed by simply 20% of the country’s population. As an outcome, countless native people are consistently eliminated of their houses, sometimes by tasks which have foreign celebrations as their recipients.

Such expulsions are evidence that immigrants can purchase land plots through proxies under existing guidelines, a recognized concern that the present and previous administrations have actually never ever dealt with. Political leaders have actually turned a deaf ear to academics and specialists on utilizing high land tax rates to prevent land grabs by rich people. Police have actually likewise done extremely little to deal with proxies who purchase land for immigrants.

In regards to safeguards, the federal government likewise stopped working to define the locations in towns where immigrants can own land. In the face of such extensive resistance, it was not a surprise that Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda didn’t think twice to back-pedal on the proposition.

The next huge concern is: What will the federal government do to bring in the immigrants the nation requires?

Nations in the area that wish to bring in foreign skill have actually currently developed steps. We can just hope that the next federal government and political leaders will handle this matter effectively. It requires to be clear and make sure all safeguards remain in location to avoid land grabs.

Anything less than that would see xenophobia and sensationalism destroy any strategy to bring in the ideal type of immigrants the kingdom requires.


Bangkok Post editorial column

These editorials represent Bangkok Post ideas about present problems and circumstances.

Email: anchaleek@bangkokpost.co.th

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