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Phuket Opinion: A non-uniform way to fight corruption

PHUKET: It is clear that since taking control of the country on May 22, 2014, the military government is taking action to clean up what many see as a corrupt country. However the main point of focus seems to be political graft.

opinion, police, corruption, military, politics,

The Phuket News

Sunday 18 September 2016, 08:00AM

PM Prayut on Sept 11, a day that marked national anti-corruption day, announced that Thailand will be free of corruption in 20 years. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot
PM Prayut on Sept 11, a day that marked national anti-corruption day, announced that Thailand will be free of corruption in 20 years. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

Ms Yingluck and her government’s alleged corruption in the rice-pledging scheme are still going through the court process in a bid to recoup the money the government lost.

More recently, Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra was suspended without pay until further notice after allegations of corruption in office. This order was signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he invoked Section 44 of the interim charter to deal with the matter.

Even more recently, PM Prayut last Sunday (Sept 11), a day that marked national anti-corruption day, announced that Thailand will be free of corruption in 20 years.

It cannot be disputed that PM Prayut and his team are seen to be doing their utmost to clean up corruption when it comes to politics, but there is one area where it is known that corruption exists that is steadfastly ignored.

It would be of greater benefit to the public, and any ruling government, if the Royal Thai Police were seen to be clean of corruption.

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It is likely that nearly all residents in Thailand, albeit that not all of them are aware of it, know of someone who has made some kind of payment to avoid being criminally charged with an act of unlawfulness, whether that be within the Royal Thai Police or even the Immigration Bureau.

But these departments appear to be off the radar as far as the war on corruption goes.

Examples of corruption shown to those in attendance at last Sunday’s ceremony included the above mentioned rice-pledging scheme and a B4.3-billion case of value-added tax fraud.

But there was not one mention of corruption being involved in any criminal case despite many believing that in some cases, such as the Red Bull heir killing an off-duty policeman while driving his Ferrari, corruption was involved.

During the said ceremony, the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand called on Thais to be “active citizens” in curbing graft. But if they want that to happen, surely transparency in cases where the public believe corruption has played a role should be explained and relevant departments should be “active citizens” in proving that it has not.



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Joe12 | 18 September 2016 - 22:08:47

Granted there is a high perception of perceived corruption throughout the country. One only has to look Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index which in which Thailand sores 38 out of 100 in the index. 

Perhaps people take for granted that there will be some localised and minor corruption in their day-to-day dealings with government officials. It seems that people’s behaviour is not greatly affected by the existence of “grease money” practices. However, "grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society" (

Although petty public corruption cannot be ignored, the ruling elite considers focusing on corruption at the highest level of Government or "grand corruption", gains more "mileage" and has a greater negative impact on say, payments to evade criminal prosecution, than corruption by minor officials.

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Nasa12 | 18 September 2016 - 13:41:48

"Even more recently, PM Prayut last Sunday (Sept 11), a day that marked national anti-corruption day, announced that Thailand will be free of corruption in 20 years" So PM tell every Government and Municipal employees att it's okay with Corruption in 20 years more then it's over. This be funny 20 Years in Thailand.

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Kurt | 18 September 2016 - 11:19:07

I agree, on a island as Phuket, a non corrupt RTP force is a basic need. 
Less police corruption, than hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, etc, can pay higher salaries to thai staff.
To lift Phuket to 2017 with 'hub thinking', the start should be that government 'law & order' (RTP) is not corrupt.
They have to be the correct back bone example in a local island society. ( same as on Singapore island)
Make Phuket RTP corruption free a 'Phuket hub', with effective law enforcement.

What are normal thai people thinking/feeling when they see/experience thai bars/disco's open far after official thai closing time? Till 4, 5 AM in the morning?
Keeping them out of their needed night rest, with all the illegal disco/bar noise around them.
Just at 500 meters distance of a police station! Well?
When they go to the police station to complain, they are adviced not to complain. Get it?

"To clean the floor, you have to repair the leaking taps first". A great 'hub'.

Are there more countries with a anti corruption day, just not Thailand only?

May we have doubts about expecting that Thailand could be corruption free in 20 years time?
Remember the recent corruption survey questioning at thai universities.
The outcome: Thai Uni students think that a 'bit' corruption is acceptable.

The ...'bit'.., was not explained.
These now students in 20 years time will run Thailand a 'bit', in government positions , in parliament, etc.
What non corruption to expect with the way they think and feel?
Is corruption in Thailand genetic?

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