It was a late Friday afternoon, the sky pouring forth rain like a waterfall, and thus perfect for indoor activity involving mental exertion. So saying, a colleague and I attended the “Singha Khao D-Day” special lecture by Mr. Pongdhet Sriwachirapradit, at the very new and flashy lecture hall in the Faculty of Political Science at Chiang Mai University. The theme of the talk revolved around the hot topic of eGovernance. Mr. Pongdhet gave a very interesting history of governance, and went on to paint a picture of how it could look like going into the future. The main message is that online technology will inevitably change the way governments operate in the present, and indubitably make administrative processes more efficient, to the benefit of the people.
A few interesting examples of eGovernance in operation that came up, include: the government of Japan now accepts Bitcoin payments for electricity and water bills; Estonia is leading the world in the adoption and implementation of the eGovernance system (i.e. only 3 legal contracts require a human being: marriage, divorce, and selling a house); and internet access is considered in some countries to be a fundamental right.
On a last note, I would like to thank Dr. Oraorn Poocharoen, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at CMU for making this event happen and for inviting us to attend.