For a country with a semi-democracy, semi-feudal political system, the end of the present reign puts everything in uncertainty…As democratic institutions are undermined and all political powers are dependent on the monarchy, the future of the whole country sadly hinges on this transition.

– Professor Thongchai Winichakul quoted in Grant Peck, “Thai king’s illness leaves countrymen anxious”, The Associated Press, 19 October 2009.