Then for Gov Chockchai to appoint those very officials accused of being involved in corruption to investigate themselves just further insults the intelligence of Phuket residents.
However, that insult has been slightly lessened – not with regards to Gov Chockchai mind you – with the most recent announcement that National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Secretary-General Sansern Poljeak ordering the NACC Phuket office to investigate alleged corruption on the island.
It may come as some surprise to Gov Chockchai, but certainly not for those who have been living on the island for any length of time, that yes Governor Chockchai, there is indeed corrupt officials under your watch.
Sadly the corruption has been there under many of the previous governors’ watches, as well.
To come right out and say it now, this writer has been involved in one aspect of corruption, and yes he did know it from the very off, and the very tourist police who gave this writer the option of either paying an 90-day overstay with or without a receipt to immigration officials – B2,000 or B1,000 respectively – knew full well about it, too.
Yes, Governor Chockchai, corruption is rampant on Phuket, or as a previous writer described it, “rotten to the core”.
Asking Phuket officials whether they have accepted payments or been involved in corruption is likely to be met with a single word answer, “No”.
But how about asking the average Joe, say like a Bangla Rd bar owner, whether he has ever made a payment to officials for their bar to stay open a wee bit longer than the law stipulates and you might well get a different reply.
Yes it is fantastic news that the NACC has now been asked to investigate those corruption allegations. However, for that to mean anything then the investigation must be transparent and involve all levels of power with the ranks.
Officials’ bank accounts should be checked, their assets should be checked, if it has to be then their families accounts and assets should also be checked. If this does not happen, then the investigation is just adding insult to injury.