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Hanging cables, Bill Gates, and a veritable jungle of wires in Thong Lor, Bangkok

Bill Gates caused outrage when he posted a picture of hanging cables and accused Thai people of illegally tapping into the electricity supply.

The billionaire Microsoft founder used the image – a common sight in Thailand – to highlight his campaign for clean energy.

But the picture – which has since been deleted from his blog – upset Thais who pointed out that the cables are for for telephones and cable TV.

Bill Gates' post on his blog in which he claimed these hanging cables in Thailand were being used to steal electricity

Bill Gates’ post on his blog in which he claimed these hanging cables in Thailand were being used to steal electricity

Anyone who’s ever been to Thailand will have seen these cables everywhere. It’s highly unlikely that an entire country is stealing their electricity.

The power companies would notice pretty quickly, and simply wouldn’t stand for this.

It’s just a surprise that Thais haven’t got a little more worked up about the utter mess of the cables. They’re an eyesore and a health and safety nightmare.

As this picture I took in June in Thong Lor, Bangkok, shows…

A mass of hanging cables near Thng Lor station in Bangkok

A mass of hanging cables near Thng Lor station in Bangkok

This kind of thing is pretty normal for Thai people – they just walk around the cables.

It would never happen in the West – somebody would be too worried about getting sued to leave such a mess on the pavement.

That’s one of the things I’ve always liked about Thailand though. It hasn’t been overtaken by the health and safety compensation claims culture.

But still, this kind of thing really should be sorted out.

So it’s good to read that the Thai government is taking measures to put the cables underground.

With so many tourists visiting Thailand,┬áthe chances of somebody having an accident caused by the cables increases. They’re always something to look out for, especially when they’re strewn across the pavement.

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