Our heading is drawn from a story at NBC News, where the whole quote is:
“As long as you are rich and powerful, you can get away with everything,” said 40-year-old Ubonwan Weeyanond. “I don’t believe in Thai justice, it’s only a privilege for the rich, not for poor people.”
Another interviewee stated: “Do they think people are stupid?” Of course, this statement refers to the case of Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, drove his Ferrari, allegedly at a speed of 200 kph, into a policeman, killed him and fled the scene, with his family attempting to arrange a police cover up. That approach is pretty much par for the course amongst Thailand’s rich and famous.
The NBC story makes a point PPT made a couple of days ago:
The issue of “double standards” for the wealthy and privileged is highly politically charged in Thailand. Many Thais argue that the courts sell justice to the highest bidder, and the tattered reputation of Thailand’s judiciary has sunk even lower in recent years due to several clumsy political interventions by the courts.
There are now literally hundreds of media reports on this story, yet again displaying the failures of the justice system and, indeed, its politicization.
Update: The Bangkok Post states that “Vorayuth will face an additional charge of drunk driving…” in addition to “charges of failing to stop after an accident and reckless driving causing death.” Are such charges sufficient? It is also reported that “Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said on Thursday he had ordered the dismissal from the force of Pol Lt-Col Pannapon Nammuang, an inspector at Thong Lor police station…. He said Pol Lt-Col Pannapon first arrested a scapegoat, Suwes Hom-ubon, in an attempt to protect Mr Vorayuth. Mr Suwes is Mr Vorayuth’s aide and chauffeur.” The bent copper can appeal against the decision based on the decision that “Pannapon acted illegally in trying to place blame on an innocent person to protect an offender.”
Another Post article states that the speed “… was likely to have been driving at more than 100 kilometres per hour before the fatal crash on Monday…”.