Junta-style business (as usual) V

10 05 2020

There is much that is “usual” about the junta/post-junta military-backed regime. Several reports over the past few days point to this.

The first report we read that caused us to think twice was at The Nation. During the period of Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s emergency decree, it is announced that “[c]ompany owners are prohibited from shutting down their business …[and] staff are banned from going on strike…”. This announcement is from the Ministry of Labor. The announcement added that “those owners who had closed their business before the announcement was published, [had] to reopen their business. Likewise, employees who had struck work previously were ordered to return to work.”

We had not heard of workers striking in this period; maybe we missed it. We have heard of workers losing jobs as businesses go under for lack of customers, and there may be scams associated with this – not paying workers their legal entitlements – but is does seem like the horse is out of the field and bolted over the hill before the Ministry decided to order the unenforceable (for owners).

Corruption continues to be ignored. A report in the Bangkok Post tells of a former Garuda CEO in Indonesia who has received an 8-year sentence and a fine of $1.4 million from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) “over payments from a businessman via a third party for the procurement by Garuda of Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and Airbus A320 and A330 planes.” We doubt this could ever happen in Thailand. As the report notes:

In 2017 Rolls-Royce agreed to pay authorities more than US$800 million to settle charges after an investigation by the US Justice Department and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into alleged bribery of officials in six countries in schemes that lasted more than a decade.

Those countries included Thailand, where some $18.8 million paid by Rolls-Royce to “regional intermediaries” ended up in the pockets of “agents of the State of Thailand and employees of Thai Airways”, the SFO said at the time.

It is added that the National Anti-Counter Corruption Commission “is still investigating the allegations.” It would be a laugh to see a list of alleged crimes the NACC “is still investigating.” That agency is run by junta cronies and pigs will fly before it does any serious investigations.

For the optimists, a reaction to the regime was (again) provided by students. The Thai Enquirer reports that the “Student Union of Thailand submitted an open letter on Thursday to the Ministry of Finance demanding a universal aid program to help Thais afflicted by the coronavirus outbreak.” The associated student unions “demanded assistance to all Thais, 18 years and over, to receive aid of at least 3,000 baht per month for three months.” Activist Parit Chiwaak declared: “The people that pay tax to this country are the owners of this country, we all should receive aid.”


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5 04 2021
Judges and Toyota | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] guess the next question is whether this case will go the way of the Rolls Royce corruption when some $18.8 million was alleged to have been paid by Rolls-Royce to “regional […]

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