Expanding monarchism

17 04 2019

While most people were on holiday, the king has been at “work.” Khaosod reports that a new was enacted, ordered by the king, “requiring civil servants to follow a strict code of conduct…”.

The law’s “preamble says King Vajiralongkorn enacted the law with advice from the interim parliament after he issued a royal decree calling for legislation to govern ethical standards.”

The “Ethics Standard Act places nearly every state agency under a review committee headed by the prime minister.” That committee must ensure that “officials behave in accordance with the principles set by the law.”

The law requires all civil servants adhere to these new “ethical standards”:

  • Commitment to the nation, religion, monarchy and democratic regime with the King as head of state
  • Honesty, good spirits and responsibility to duties
  • Courage to decide and act on what is righteous
  • An ability to prioritize the greater good over personal interests
  • Dedication to the success of one’s works
  • Fair and impartial performance of duties
  • Preservation of the bureaucracy’s good image

The law “covers all ministries, departments, local administrations and state enterprises. Exceptions include the parliament’s office, the courts and agencies that operate independently of the government.”

The law also requires that a 12-person committee, chaired by the incumbent prime minister, must “review state agencies for compliance…”.

The law includes no statement regarding penalties that might apply for non-compliance.

One imagines that prime ministers have little to do other than serve the king. The requirements, if seriously implemented, will require huge additional workloads.

The newspaper observes that this is yet another step by the king “to encourage order and respect for royal traditions among civil servants and the armed forces.” The aim seems to be to bring those arms of government under the monarch.

Of course, his father also rambled about such matters, but we can’t recall a law. Rather there was a reliance on moral imperatives. Without the same personal respect, Vajiralongkorn seems keen to rely on rather more blunt measures. In his lifetime, he’s not been a beacon of ethical behavior.



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