The junta’s “election” stitch up II

27 12 2017

The “election” stitch-up continues and has gathered pace as The Dictator and his junta have handed out tons of what it calls “gifts” to the people-cum-voters.

The Bangkok Post reports that the policy corruption populism “gifts” include:

The Commerce Ministry joining with malls and manufacturers in cutting product prices by as much as 80% to 4 January, including consumer products, consumables, electrical appliances and gift hampers. The cost seems to be about 10 billion baht.

The Energy Ministry and PTT Plc will hand out half a kilogramme of rice to motorists who fill up at 1,500 PTT gas stations nationwide from 1 January for as long as stocks last. nationwide from Jan 1 until supply lasts. PTT is expected to buy rice locally.

The Agriculture Ministry is selling cheap pork, chicken, eggs and vegetables as well as plants and seeds.

The state’s GH Bank will “give a 1,000-baht cash rebate to good customers who owe not more than 1 million baht and repay their debts on time over the past 48 months.” An estimated 165,000 customers will benefit costing up to 165 million baht.

The state’s Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will “give a cashback equivalent to 30% of the interest paid in 2018 to some 2.3 million small debtors with outstanding debts of less than 300,000 baht each.” In addition, “[r]egistered low-income earners may also borrow up to 2 million baht from state banks at low interest rates to buy houses.” The low-rate loans are set to cost 30 billion baht. Government officials can also get cheap loans.

Another Bangkok Post story of the big giveaways links them to an “election.” Campaigning in Phitsanulok and Sukhothai, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said he’d consider local development programs and would  prioritize infrastructure projects in the north “covering not only air but also land infrastructure, water management, tourism promotion and value addition to farm products.”

In all the junta’s “cabinet meeting approved 85 projects or activities as ‘New Year presents’ for the people, including tax breaks for tourism spending in 55 provinces nationwide next year, low-interest loans for low-income people in the South and technology training programmes for the elderly and the disabled.”

An op-ed refers to a list of gifts ranging from “a 5% income tax cut for small- and medium-sized enterprises and handouts to 850,000 rubber farmers of 1,000 baht per rai in 2014, to freezing the cooking gas price, cutting rental fees for farmers who lease state land, and providing tax breaks for shoppers and holiday makers in 2015, and the re-emergence of the tax deduction scheme and one-time cash handouts worth 12.8 billion baht to low-income people…”.

It continues:

welfare cards for the poor which cost at least 40 billion baht a year, the government has introduced tax deductions on expenditure for local tourism in second-tier tourist destination provinces, expanded the Pracharath broadband internet network to cover 24,700 villages nationwide, and launched multi-billion-baht development projects.

While it might be good for the poor to get support from the state, we can only ponder the hypocrisy of a regime and its curiously silent anti-democrat supporters who went berserk just a few short years ago, railing against vote-buying through populism and policy corruption.

But hypocrisy has been a defining characteristic of the junta and its anti-democrat fans. It’s all about extending military oppression and repression via a rigged “election” or other means.



3 responses

29 12 2017
Updated: Prem votes for Prayuth | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Prayuth is reported to have “responded by indicating he has a list of populist policy plans up his sleeve including some aimed at improving stagnating wage levels.” More plans and more giveaways? […]

29 12 2017
Updated:Prem votes for Prayuth | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Prayuth is reported to have “responded by indicating he has a list of populist policy plans up his sleeve including some aimed at improving stagnating wage levels.” More plans and more giveaways? […]

2 01 2018

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