A small tornado bursts through the door of the meeting room. And stops dead in its tracks. ‘Where is everyone?’ ‘Sir?’ ‘Why is there no one here? There’s supposed to be a meeting.’ ‘Quite so, sir.’ ‘I rushed like mad to get here on time and look, by my watch I am in fact a bit late.’ ‘Late, sir? But the meeting isn’t scheduled to start for another quarter of an hour.’ ‘What are you talking about? Look here, my watch says I’m ten min- Oh. Two hours and ten minutes late.’
The Supreme Court has sentenced a former Commerce Minister in the Yingluck government to 42 years in prison for corruption over rice export deals. On 25 August 2017, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Boonsong Teriyapirom, a Commerce Minister in the Yingluck administration, to 42 years in prison while Poom Sarapol, his former deputy, received 36 years.
Social media has exploded in indignation over news that a naval college field trip to Japan was marked more by onsen springs and skiing than training and development. The corruption watchdog group Watchdog ACT has revealed details of a trip to Japan taken by a class of the Royal Thai Naval Command and Staff College which was sanctioned by the Naval Education Department. A significant portion of the itinerary appears to bear no relevance to the trip’s formal purpose of ‘observing work’.
A former member of the parliament (MP) from the Democrat Party says that more than half of Thailand’s military conscripts end up as servants for high-ranking military officers. On 4 April 2017, Wilat Chantarapitak, a former Democrat Party MP and former advisor to a parliamentary anti-corruption committee, told the media that the military conscription system in Thailand is in crisis.
The recent announcement that the Ministry of Commerce is pursuing 20 billion baht in allegedly ‘fake’ rice deals in terms of compensation from six senior individuals, namely former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom; his former deputy Poom Sarapol; Manas Soyploy, a former director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade; his former deputy Tikamporn Natvorathat; and Akrapong Theepvajara, ex-director of the Foreign Rice Trading Office, makes one wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes.
A global report has ranked Thailand’s perceived level of corruption at 101st out of 176 countries, due to its undemocratic political climate and pervasive corruption. Though the junta has set the elimination of corruption as a policy priority, Thailand’s ranking has slipped down Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 from joint 76th in 2015 to joint 101st. Its score also dropped from 38 out of 100, to 35.
The Royal Thai Police have announced that as many as 200 people might be arrested for cheating in the highly competitive police recruitment examination. On 18 January 2017, Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner, announced that as many as 200 people could face arrest warrants over the recent police entrance exam scandal. The scam-ridden exam where 85,989 applicants were competing for 5,000 lance corporal positions was held at the Bang Na and Hua Mark campuses of Ramkhamhaeng University on 4 December 2016.
The revised Computer Crime Act has introduced the novel offence of ‘distorted information’. Once the Act comes into force, any information which is transmitted online, like these articles, and which is deliberately false, can serve as the basis for a criminal prosecution.
Thailand’s Office of the Auditor General has announced that they will distribute ‘magical scarves’ which will help safeguard public money in the fight against corruption. The Office of the Auditor General of Thailand on Tuesday, 5 July 2016, announced that they are preparing to distribute Pha Yan, scarves imprinted with magical symbols, for people who are trying to combat corruption,
Maybe the military government is getting a bad rap over the alleged corruption concerning Rajaphakti Park. I know one of their stated excuses for overturning the constitution and ousting a democratic government was the elimination of corruption, but it would be unreasonable to expect any government to be 100% spotless.