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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

A Primer of Thai Business Law

As aliens in a strange land, many of us can run foul of the law, and just as it does in the West, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Any foreigners who stay here for any length of time are also in the situation of needing guidance over purchasing contracts, sales contracts, leases and loans, labor laws, and mortgages.
This book, a Primer of Thai Business Law (ISBN 978-974-16-8821-0) and written by David Tan promises on the front cover to explain Thai business laws in a simple and concise way, make complex legal principles easy to understand and give solutions to legal issues in our businesses. It almost sounds too good to be true.
David Tan graduated with an MBA from Australia and Bachelor of Law (Hons) from the University of Buckingham and has worked as a counselor in Thailand since 1997, working at two Thai Law firms before joining the Asian University in Jomtien where he lectures on Business Law, Labor Relations and Information Technology Law. With that CV he sounds as if he is just the man to lead us through the Thai Business Law maze.
The book begins with recommended reading of the first three chapters to get a good understanding of important words and jargon. Author Tan admits they may be boring, but advises patience. I did as he suggested, and they certainly are boring, but required reading if you want to fully understand the subsequent chapters.
Author Tan admits that law subjects are not considered pleasant reading, and says that he has tried to write each chapter in simple English language, easy to understand legal principles and with a minimum of legal jargon and statutory quotations.
At B. 450 it isn’t going to break the bank to get some sort of insight into the entangled maze called Thai business laws, and by necessity has to be in Thai language. Author Tan has certainly helped demystify the situation, but how much you learn from this, and how to apply all this new-found knowledge is up to you, as they say in this country. His research into the complex subject is also up to the minute, or up to July 1, 2008, though being a lawyer he also says the contents do not constitute legal advice or representation!
At the end of the chapters, there are questions posed which relate to the subject matter of the chapter just read. A standard concept for teaching students, but this is where the book falls down. There are no answers at the back, just a brief sentence saying “Kindly note that suggested answers to the review questions of each chapter will be made available from April 2009 onwards”!
I am sorry, David Tan, but this is like the sketch done by the late Tony Hancock where he finds the last page of the whodunit he is reading is missing and goes mad trying to find a complete copy, and finally finds the author died before writing the final page. Author Tan, please start inserting the answers as a loose sheet in all books - now!