Monarchy, “ancient traditions” and neo-feudal property relations

5 11 2018

One of the things PPT repeatedly pointed out following succession was the attention the king gave to clawing back what he believes to belong to the monarchy and, specifically, the king.

Since accession, King Vajiralongkorn has overseen a rapid unwinding of arrangements regarding the relationship between crown and state that were put in place after the 1932 Revolution. These arrangements were to establish a separation of state and crown, not least in terms of the state’s funds and the those of the crown and the monarch.

The military junta agreed that the king could have total and personal control of the Crown Property Bureau, making that Bureau’s assets his personal property.

Before he came to the throne, it has been widely assumed that Vajiralongkorn was little more than a dumb hedonist. However, the efforts he has made to challenge decades-old arrangements that have long annoyed the royal family suggest that he has imbibed the anti-1932 bile that has circulated in the family. He’s showing that he follows a line of royal relatives who plotted and schemed against the People’s Party and its legacy.

The most recent change to these arrangements, reported at Khaosod, should send shivers through all property owners and businesses.

Yet another revision to the law governing the king’s assets has been promulgated.

The amended Crown Property Act “redefines the king’s possessions to include what the monarchy had accumulated under ‘ancient royal traditions.’ King Vajiralongkorn has the final say over what is included in the category.”

Further, the arbiter of disputes over, say, a plot of land, is none other than the king himself: “Any dispute over what assets are considered Crown Property under the royal ancient traditions must be referred to His Majesty’s judgment…”.

Presumably this means that, if he wants your land or other assets, the king can simply take them.

Some of this has been seen already (see here, here and here), but this retrograde law makes everyone vulnerable.

Feudalism is being restored in 21st century Thailand.


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7 01 2019
More changes at the CPB | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] CPB shares became the king’s, large tracts of urban land being taken by the CPB, and the king becoming the final arbiter in disputes over what is considered royal […]

7 01 2019
More changes at the CPB | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] CPB shares became the king’s, large tracts of urban land being taken by the CPB, and the king becoming the final arbiter in disputes over what is considered royal […]

28 01 2019
All the king’s servants III | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] made to the Crown Property Bureau and the new powers the king has over property can also be recalled as providing the king with immense economic […]

28 01 2019
All the king’s servants III | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] made to the Crown Property Bureau and the new powers the king has over property can also be recalled as providing the king with immense economic […]

10 10 2019
1931 moves closer | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] land that he reckons belongs to his royal family and that was “lost” after 1932. New laws in 2018 gave the king enormous power to grab […]