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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Witsanu explained the numbers in Thailand, noting that some things are difficult but must maintain

On 30 May 2022, at 1.30 pm, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Wisanu Krea-ngam was interviewed at Government House and spoke about a campaign launched by Change.org. It’s about requiring Arabic numerals instead of Thai numerals in official documents. Mr Wisanu said they had seen the news but not the details; the statement called for Arabic numerals in official documents, which Mr Wisanu agreed to a certain extent, as generic numerals were sometimes required on documents. Still, Thai numbers are necessary for Thai printed materials such as textbooks and official books. Any country can use its official language, but internationalization must be accommodated when publishing globally.

The reporter asked about documents that government agencies sometimes issue using Thai numbers, making it difficult to scan documents into computers. Mr Winsanu said he had to comply even with the difficulties because we have to keep what is unique to Thailand. As for whether the matter needs to be clarified, he said agencies such as the Office of the Royal Thai Academy, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture have already done so.

As for some calling for the abolition of the Buddhist Year (BE), Mr Winsanu said he had noticed it, but we had to stick to our principles.

When asked if there are people in society arguing about these matters, are they afraid that the debate will escalate? Mr Wisanu said that when we admit to the Thai system, we choose the Thai language, but when we go international, we have to align with it, which is normal.

Kris Lam
Author: Kris Lam


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