New year barbs I

1 01 2015

Songkran Grachangnetara writes an op-ed every so often for the Bangkok Post, and he’s been getting more interesting of late. A couple of days ago he had some festive “wishes” for “a few people and institutions to give them a much needed gift and wish them luck for the approaching new year.”

His first wish was to “one of the most embarrassing organisations in Thailand” – and there is a long list –  the “Election Commission (EC), headed by Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, which recently said his agency would file a lawsuit against those deemed accountable for the 3.8 billion baht cost of the voided election of Feb 2, 2014.” Songkran gets right to the point:

This is a lawsuit so absurd it is making Thailand a laughing stock. My gift to Mr Somchai this New Year is a mirror. The EC’s behaviour during the February elections was nothing short of disgraceful, because although 23 million Thais, including myself, went to cast a ballot that day, numerous EC officials in certain southern constituencies didn’t even bother to turn up and man the voting booths as duty dictates. So if Mr Somchai is looking for someone to sue for damages, I suggest he look in the mirror and start with himself and the organisation he claims to lead.

The second wish is to the National Anti-Corruption Commission. He says:

… I’m buying all of them an i-watch — because they don’t seem to be able to tell time. Yes, I realise they have done an excellent job by putting the rice pledging investigation of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on “easy pass” towards a guilty verdict by the courts, but why the Democrat Party’s own rice scheme was put on the backburner for a few years (until the acquittal just over a week ago) has yet to be made clear to the public.

Moreover, in April 2013 the NACC took over a case from the DSI, launching a graft probe into the police stations fiasco, involving then deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban and several high-ranking police officers. But after setting up panels and nearly two years of investigations, a case has yet to be filed for this scandalous and wasteful scheme.

The third wish is to the police. He points out the obvious, saying: “… [the p]olice have consistently acted against the public interest and shown themselves to be a serious menace to civilised society.” Oddly, though, Songkran seems to think that there is a crackdown on police corruption under the junta, missing the fact that there’s a reorganization of corruption under the junta, extending to the palace.

He also gets mixed up on  PM’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul, but we’ll leave that to get to Panadda’s buddies in the Democrat Party, who also get a festive greeting from Songkran. Despite the military dictatorship seeking to “change our electoral system, the constitution, taxation and education — to mention just a few things,” the Democrat Party “remains totally untouched and completely unfazed.” He goes on:

Despite consistently losing general elections to Thaksin Shinawatra-backed parties in recent times, the Democrat Party, it seems, thinks the most effective strategy for winning the next general poll is to run with the same tired leader, keep the same rigid party structure and regurgitate the same old strategies.

Then he gets off track, burbling about “good people” in the party, even mentioning the reprehensible Korn Chatikavanij and babbling about the “good name” of the king. Oh well, four out of six is not too bad under the military dictatorship.


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4 01 2015
New year barbs III | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] well as barbs to the military dictatorship in the media (here and here), red shirts have also sent some new year jabs Thaksin Shinawatra’s […]

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[…] that long ago, one commentator described the Election Commission (EC) as “one of the most embarrassing organisations in […]

7 03 2016
Managing “debate” on the draft charter | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] that long ago, one commentator described the Election Commission (EC) as “one of the most embarrassing organisations in […]