Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

The "Fun Police" in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the "Fun Police". What are we talking about here? Well honestly, this video is going to be slightly more for lack of a better term, lighthearted than my usual videos but I have had a couple of people talk to me about the recently announced closures of entertainment establishments, pubs and bars and let's just say that most of the feedback that I have received on this overall notion has not been particularly positive.

I will also say, full disclosure here, me personally, candidly here in the firm and for myself and my family on a personal level, Songkran is a pretty big holiday for us because it is a prolonged holiday that we are able to take some real time off and spend some time with our families. It is not just a three day weekend or a day that pops up in the middle of the week, it is a major holiday and aside really from the holidays in December which some of those can even be truncated depending on the year, we may not see some of the Western holidays, at least in my family be celebrated because you know work just may not permit it. With Songkran, we always know that week may not be totally off, we certainly have to deal with certain correspondence even if we are closed, but for the most part it is pretty off week for us. I have to say I was pretty down in the mouth when I heard that these restrictions were going to be put on immediately before this holiday. It wasn't good news to me. Now do I want to spend the entirety of this holiday in a bar? No, but that is not the point. It is more the point of a lot of people are off, they want to have a good time and here this thing came along and it is going to be a pretty subdued holiday at best; let's put it that way, which brings us to the title of this video. I am not trying to be snarky or sarcastic with this but the content in some of the publications that we have been reading on this topic, there was really no other real label. I was sitting in here with a client and I was reading the print edition and this client was sitting here and we were talking about it. One of the Thai Attorneys was in the office and when we read the excerpt I will get to in a minute, one of the Thai Attorneys and every once in a while, obviously a lot of our Thai Legal staff is not native fluent in English and so every once in a while though they will say something in English they just hits the situation, seems to hit it right on the head; it is sort of on the nose in a humor sense. The gal in our office was listening to us and we were sitting there talking about this and I was reading through this excerpt and she said "well it just sounds like it is the "fun police" and we will get to that in a minute. Yeah, if you look at it from a certain angle it could be viewed that way. 

So in a recent article from the Bangkok Post print edition, and this is Saturday April 10, 2021, we were actually doing some stuff in the office here earlier this morning, the article is titled: Bars, Pubs Closed for a Fortnight, and this is the specific excerpt that when I read it I was just like, that's a weird way to put that. Then when my colleague overheard it, she said "wow, like the fun police." Quoting directly: "Law enforcement officers are also allowed to investigate disease control measures in at risk businesses and can warn the operators and get their acts together if they wanted to stay open. Officers can also propose that the CCSA closes them he said." 'He' being Dr. Taweesilp who is the current spokesperson for the CCSA. So, it was just like "wow really? So law enforcement is just going to run around and like my colleague says, just kind of the "fun police" "Get your act together" or something like this. Again understanding, this is all stemming from the response to this COVID situation and I understand policymakers take that seriously. As we have noted in other videos, maybe I will go ahead and expand on it here, I have got a lot of clients that I am not sure are going to survive this one. They are in the food and beverage business and in a couple of cases they are really restaurants which for now at least have the latitude to be open but they had the unfortunate geography of being near "entertainment zones" and they were told by relevant authorities that they had to close.

So my point is I am looking at this from the economic side of things where it begs the question "Is anything going to be in the entertainment zone, in the entertainment sector in 2 weeks?" Because this is the third time. We go back into June, July when there was just a full-on lockdown. Months went by with very little economic activity then when things really were just starting to turn around, we got to International New Year and they were shut down again. At just the moment where you would see a spike in revenue for these entertainment businesses, bars even restaurants which are being adversely impacted by this latest round of lockdown, it begs the question "are they going to come back?" and I don't know if they will. Then now on top of it you have got this for lack of a better term, "fun police" walking around, wanting everybody to get their act together or be closed, I mean that is just a recipe for in my opinion, some real problems. How can you really run a business that way if you have got all kinds of for lack of a better term, "nanny-minders" running around nitpicking everything you are doing in your business, then on top of it being constantly afraid that they are just going to shut you down completely; almost out of the blue.

So the thing to take away from this video, this is an opinion, it is one of my few op-ed videos. I probably won't do many of these. I try not to inject my own opinion but the situation is pretty dire. I understand the Government's position that public health is an issue that they need to be serious about, but at the same time there are economic implications to this and there are people out there whose jobs and livelihoods depend on the entertainment sector.