Abhisit blames officials for corruption

18 10 2009

In the Bangkok Post (19 October 2009: “PM promises headhunt for bent officials”) Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has stated that corruption in the Thai khemkaeng (Strengthening Thailand) stimulus scheme will be rooted out. He says that the “heads of any government agencies linked to corruption” will be held responsible.

With “procurement contracts … signed and the budget … disburse[d]” the premier is fretting about the Public Health Ministry’s 86 billion baht purchase of medical supplies and the stain this is leaving as corruption appears to have been rampant. But the “prime minister gave assurances that efforts to tackle corruption have always been a government priority.” He says that his Democrat Party-led government is “serious about fighting corruption.”

Why should anyone believe him?

He has been slow in responding to each major allegation and is very reticent to even acknowledge claims regarding the Education ministry. Abhisit seems to have covered up the corruption in the Office for Sufficiency Economy Community Projects. There a Democrat minister was running the show. At the MOPH there is also a Democrat minister. They haven’t suffered and Abhisit wants to blame officials rather than his own ministers. The MOPH investigations have been tainted by the appointment of pro-Democrat Party investigators.

Investigating corruption while protecting Democrat Party ministers is hardly likely to build confidence. Blaming officials while sparing ministers is simply partisan. As we have said for several weeks now, in the end, this is political dynamite set to be ignited.


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