Nepotism in Bangkok

11 04 2020

As we mentioned in a previous post, authoritarianism seems to be spreading faster than the virus. The latest diktat issued in Bangkok bans alcohol sales for 10 days.

On this, the Bangkok Post’s Ploenpote Atthakor says:

I, like many other people, am baffled about the latest move: How it can help the country, Bangkok in particular, fight the disease? Unfortunately, no one can explain this to me sensibly or rationally.

But the thing that caught PPT’s attention was that Capt Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, spokesman of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), announced the ban at the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The spokesman, Capt Pongsakorn just happens to be the son of junta-appointed governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang.

It might be just another example of the nepotism that is so common in Thailand’s junta a post-junta regimes, but there should be questions asked. Or is nepotism now normalized?





Confusion, king and royalist “advice”

22 03 2020

While there’s plenty of confusion over the virus, some of it in the Thai government is truly bizarre.

The Bangkok Post reports on Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat’s initial response to Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang’s order for a “soft shutdown” in the city was unforgivable. She “warned the public to be aware of ‘fake news’ and to ‘only believe in information released by the government and government agencies’.”

As the Post observes, “she doubted the order’s authenticity, which also means she didn’t have the faintest idea that malls were indeed being closed at the governor’s order…”.

Making things worse, “the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) revised the order and issued another one just a few hours later.”

Such confusion sends people into panics.

Not confused are those in the regime responsible for “protecting” the king. He’s been getting plenty of criticism and his people are worried about the extent of abuse, So, as Andrew MacGregor Marshall reports, they are threatening lese majeste charges.

And, then, there’s the balmy royalists like TV “personality” Patcharasri “Kalamare” Benjamas who went bonkers on her “fan page”:

This isn’t the first crisis our nation has faced, is it – we’ve been through the floods, the Tom Yum Kung crisis, the burning of our city (red shirts) …this isn’t the first time, there’s no need to panic. We’ve made it through it all….

Her “advice”?

Thailand is such a sacred nation. You should know how many Bodhisattvas we have, we have the king, we have angels and sacred beings protecting us…very tightly! Just think of him.

His silentness will do the job. Maybe she means the dead one, which is the usual royalist bull buffalo manure.





Rampant re-feudalization

22 01 2020

The effort to re-feudalize contemporary Thailand has been gathering pace since the 2014 military coup and since King Vajiralongkorn ceremonially took the throne.

The most recent effort to move backwards “students at public schools operated by the City Hall must line up and sing the Royal Anthem in unison every morning per order from [junta-appointed] Bangkok Governor [Pol Gen] Aswin Kwanmuang.”

Indoctrinating the young (from Chiang Rai Times)

Aswin claimed his royalist imposition was because “he wanted to promote loyalty to the monarchy…. Singing the Royal Anthem is just an idea to promote … love and faith in the nation, religions, and the monarch, who are the crucial foundations of Thainess…”.

The report claims that “Thai schools typically require students to sing the National Anthem every morning,” which is well known, and adds that the Royal Anthem “… is played less frequently. In many schools, the Royal Anthem is sung only once a week, at the end of class on Friday.” Even that is a relatively recent royalist innovation.

Aswin now demands that the royal anthem must be sung after the national anthem every day.

The royal anthem was the national anthem until the 1932 revolution. So Gen Aswin’s order is yet another rolling back of 1932.

One of the military junta’s first steps after the coup was to tighten the thought control in schools. That involved both militarism and monarchism.





Updated: Is it still Prayuth?

7 02 2019

The rumor doing the rounds in Bangkok is that The Dictator will not line up with Palang Pracharath tomorrow. PPT has no real clue why this rumor has become so strong. Could it be true? Let’s see tomorrow.

What is clear is that the maneuvering for Palang Pracharath continues and that the junta’s people are moving into the devil party.

Khaosod reports that anti-democrat and military government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta has resigned to be a candidate for the junta’s party; he was already a member. He should have resigned weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that Buddhipongse has been nominated despite having been charged with insurrection for his role in the People’s Democratic Reform Committee in 2013-14. The charges were brought by the Department of Special Investigation. Another nominated devil party candidate is the PDRC’s Nataphol Teepsuwan, a former Democrat Party MP for Bangkok, faces the same charges.

And, the continuing imbalance in favor of Palang Pracharath continues unabated. The Bangkok Post reports that the junta appointed governor of Bangkok, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang is seeking to regulate every single election poster in the city, sending out dozens of staff to inspect the posters.

Expect parties other than the junta’s party to be in trouble and see posters scrapped.

Update: The rumors seem to have been scotched, at least by the devil party: “Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), formed to extend the regime’s power by democratic means, will announce on Friday it has one candidate for prime minister – Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.” Other rumors are that Thai Raksa Chart will announce a “surprise” candidate for PM. Let’s see tomorrow.





Campaigning not oppressing

5 10 2018

Prior to campaigning internationally and building his profile as a “real leader,” The Dictator has been campaigning in Bangkok.

Honing his populist skills, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha took the subway and a passenger boat on the Phadung Krungkasem Canal. His minders giggled and explained this was so The Dictator could “get first-hand experience of commuting in the capital.” It was really for the former Army boss and coup leader to be seen as a “politician” with the people rather than a thug repressing and oppressing them.

Declaring “he was not campaigning for votes but had to meet Bangkokians after seeing people in other provinces,” The Dictator campaigned at Lumpini Park (we’ll skip the hia references), Hua Lamphong railway station and several other places, playing at being the people’s politician.

The Dictator was joined by Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat and Bangkok’s junta-appointed governor Pol Gen Aswin Khwanmuang.

He made sure to order various things be done.

He did not sit down in shopping centers or markets to recruit members for his party as he maintains the fiction that he’s not the unofficial boss of the Palang Pracharath Party.