Many strange things happen under the military dictatorship. But the reporting of the outcome of the Office of the Auditor-General’s “investigation” of Corruption Park, involving Deputy Defense Minister General Udomdej Sitabutr, takes the cake.
This report states that the Auditor-General “has found no corruption in the Rajabhakti Park project…”. Who is the source of this information? The Auditor-General? No. The spokesperson for this is none other than General Udomdej, chair of the Rajabhakti Park Foundation, and one of those at the very center of the investigation!
General Udomdej declared: “Senior officials of the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) have wrapped up the investigation and concluded that all procedures had been followed correctly…”.
We don’t doubt that this would be the result because the junta and Udomdej have worked exceptionally hard to clear his name and to distance Udomdej from allegations of links to others who were accused of lese majeste.
Udomdej ticked off his own work, adding that an “investigation” by his buddies at the Royal Thai Army and the Defense Ministry had “also confirmed there had been no irregularties in the scheme and all activities had met the criteria stipulated by the Prime Minister’s Office…”.
Only the politically-pliable National Anti-Corruption Commission is still examining the project. No one should expect any surprises there.
Udomdej says he wants the investigations to finish so that he can have his pet project move on to build yet another “museum and an exhibition centre … [on] contributions of all former Thai kings…”. Monarchy museums seem to be the only kind of museum developed in Thailand these days.