It is lucky that Thailand realizes the value of “Value Diversity” but risks remain.
I am a Human Capital economist so I realize the value of investment in people. Thailand has not done well on this because there are a lot of problems as follows.
One is the newborn children quality. Women get pregnant when they are not mature. It is dramatic because there are lower birth rate and pooper quality of new born children.
Well-educated women are strength of Thai labor market but get married at older age. Some of them do not get married. Therefore, there are fewer quality newborn children. People quality has gap. That means the low birth rate and poor quality of children. Families are weak.
However, Thailand is lucky to have immigrants to lessen labor shortage. We do not discriminate foreign labors. We are different from Trump. He promotes racial discrimination to please his political supporter.
Thais’ solution should be the role model for the world to apply. In the early age, the Chinese escaped from poverty and economic problems to work in Thailand. Then, they could get along well with Thais. They well synergized Thai farmers’ society and business. Chinese play major roles and gain acceptance from Thais. We do not see Thais complain at Chinese. There is no racial discrimination. Later, Thailand has a shortage of million workers. We can attract labors from neighboring countries like Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. We must not forget the Vietnamese who come to work in the northeastern province like Nakhon Phanom. Several of them are rich. I call these as “Value Diversity” factors.
Good living together is an example of “Value Diversity”. We must be careful. We must set a good foreign labor policy. Despite understanding and harmony, we must be careful in the long term. Thais must learn from the foreign labors’ poverty and diligence. For example, the Burmese labors are hardworking and good money savers. Some are richer than Thais. Thais never hate them.
When we compare Thailand to more developed country like the U.S., it gains a lot of advantage from the immigrants in the past. However, Trump’s policy propagates hatred. He honors only the white American as the most privilege class.
It is funny that the Americans face dilemmas. The black succeed in sports like American football or basketball. People enjoy and love these sports due to Value Diversity. These sports also generate income for the white business owners. In fact, Americans still practice racial discrimination. Americans are not sincere to understand Value Diversity.
Even though Value Diversity benefits Thailand, there will be 2 cautions in the future.
First, what will be the immigrant worker policies? There should be Master’s Degree and Ph.D. scholarships for people from CLMV countries. After graduation, they should be encouraged to work in Thailand. The immigrant workers should be implanted to understand cultural diversity. This must include the African scholarship students.
I saw UTK taking students from several countries to study in the Master’s and Ph.D. programs. I have opportunity to be chairman of dissertation advisory board for Chinese, Indonesian and African students. This university’s activity is led by Dr. Sakthip Krairerk, the Chairman of University Council Board and Dr. Prattana Srisuk, the Director of International College. This well creates Value Diversity.
I greatly admire this. Moreover, the Ph.D. program is going to start. I was invited to be the Chairman. I hope that the Master’s and Ph.D.’s dissertations will be about international cooperation. UTK has management system which promotes works to continuously move forward with quality. I am proud to work with this project. In this case, Value Diversity supports the project to work well.
I am worried about the Value Diversity risks between the new and old generation people. The new generation people do not study history and heritage. They look at their mobile phones and technology. They ignore cultural and historical factors. One day, conflict will happen. Value Diversity for Thai society is to support people of all generations to live peacefully together. Young people can still contribute to the society. People from 50-70 years of age have experience or wisdom. They should work together. If they have conflicts, there will be problems. One example is that the new generation people do not know and understand the national history. This reflects from Future Forward Party’s landslide votes.
Prof. Dr. Chira Hongladarom