Helping themselves

7 05 2020

In another of the uncritical reports vigorously polishing the posteriors of the filthy rich, it is reported that the Chirathivat family’s Central Group, best known for its hotels and retail stores, is reported to have “ approved 2.3 billion baht to boost the sustainable grass-roots economy…”.

There’s a bit of a theme going on among the rich, seeing a win-win in cheering the monarchy, royal projects, sufficiency economy and the like while portraying a concern for farmers.

But in this, at least based on the reporting, it seems Central is helping itself as well, allocating “1.5 billion baht to buy products directly from growers and community enterprises, including farm produce and SME products, for sale in stores …”. Cheeky accounting here because we aren’t told how much it already buys in this way. At the same time, two-thirds of its “giving” is shoveling goods into its stores for sale, presumably at a profit.

Of course, Central trumpets this as “support [for] 25,000 farmer households in 42 provinces.”

They say that their “contribution” is a response to the letter from Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chano-cha.

Meanwhile, the rich seem to be finding ways to make the poor feel even more insignificant and unimportant. According to one report, the well-heeled can get gourmet take-out delivered by a butler in a black sedan.

As the report observes, “the super-rich have not forgone luxury during a pandemic which has locked the country down, crushed the economy and left millions unemployed.” It continues:

Thailand is one of the most unequal nations in the world and the chasm between rich and poor is widening as the coronavirus eviscerates jobs, leaving 22 million registering for a government cash hand-out.

Hundreds line up daily for food donations across Bangkok, a grim sign of an economic contraction forecast at more than 6% this year — the worst since the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

It concludes:

For rich Bangkokians the pandemic has brought the inconvenience of restricted movement — with an overnight curfew still in place despite some businesses reopening — but no end to the lifestyle of plenty.

Perhaps the claim of allocating millions to Gen Prayuth’s recovery (non)plan is a kind of insurance in case the poor, unemployed lower classes get uppity.

 


Actions

Information

One response

29 06 2020
The tycoons and the regime | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] company, military and regime goes, but CP has done pretty darn well, soaking up state funds and helping itself. And there’s probably much more to […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.