Harsher still on lese majeste

16 12 2014

The Dictator is reported at Prachatai as ordering the “Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) to deploy harsher measures on lese majeste websites.”

Self-appointed prime minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha wants MICT to be even more vigilant in monitoring websites and social media “that might affect public morale…”. He wants this regime in place in part for his own political reasons and in part because he wants to dampen criticism as the crown prince moves to prepare for succession. As PPT has noted previously, many of the current lese majeste cases are about a palace cleanout by the prince.

We are watching to see when Prem Tinsulanonda gets some marching orders, the Privy Council is cleaned and/or the Crown Property Bureau get some attention.





Updated: More divorce news

15 12 2014

With the Thai stock market plummeting for a time today and the prince making a concerted effort to clear the decks and with lese majeste charges being thrown about like never before, as PPT noted yesterday, we have the impression that there is an underlying cause yet to be revealed. In the meantime, more palace news.

First, the Bangkok Post reports that the “Crown Property Bureau has acted upon a request to allocate funds to Than Phuying* Srirasm Suwadee, formerly princess Srirasm, as desired by … Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn…”. [*Other newspapers say that this title has not been awarded.]

Interestingly, it was Finance Minister Sommai Phasee, who chairs the CPB, who made the announcement rather than Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, its Director-General.

Sommai stated that the CPB “had complied with the request from the Crown Prince for money to be provided to Than Phuying Srirasm for living expenses and to care for her family.” No amount was stated.

It is added that a “press release also urged the media not to publish inappropriate news about the former royal.”

Khaosod reported that the “palace did not identify the reason for Srirasmi’s decision to shed her royal status,” and added that the “Royal Household Bureau has not addressed the status of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and Srirasmi’s 9-year-old son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti.”

Another Bangkok Post report states that 202 “police officers promoted by disgraced former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan [one of Srirasmi’s relatives] are expected to be transferred to remote posts outside the mainstream in a massive reshuffle at the CIB.”

Update: Perhaps connected with “unfounded rumors,” the Royal Household Bureau has announced that the king “has been cured of an intestinal infection…”. His condition is said to be “improving.”





King is 5.4 million times wealthier than his average “subject”

5 11 2014

That’s part of the headline in a profusely illustrated story in Britain’s Mirror Online.

The story doesn’t appear to display all of its content, and much that is missing seems to be about the Thai king. However, the graphs are powerful. Here’s one:

King's wealthThe complaint PPT has about the story is that the data under-estimate the wealth of the royal house and monarchy in Thailand. The data presented essentially draws on calculations made in 2005.

That’s a decade ago, and despite the ongoing political crisis, the wealth of all Thailand’s big Sino-Thai tycoons increased remarkably while the baht strengthened against the dollar. Based on a quick scan of the main companies owned by the Crown Property Bureau and listed at the stock exchange, we’d estimate that their value has more than doubled in the period.

The biggest tycoon and capitalist conglomerate in the country is, we’d suggest, far wealthier than the story suggests.





Sufficiency and corruption

12 10 2014

Readers may not have noticed that on of The Dictator’s younger brothers is said to work at the Crown Property Bureau. Readers might also have missed noticing that the Prime Minister’s Office deputy spokesperson is the now promoted Major-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd. The latter was the spokesman for the murderous Thai Army who went about fabricating and concocting information throughout the life of the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations.

We mention these two links because it was Sansern who was reported at the Nation as announcing that General Prayuth Chan-ocha will be at the Crown Property Bureau to “discuss strategies to promote development based on the King’s sufficiency philosophy … – with 18,594 villages targeted for various activities.” That’s apparently about a quarter of Thailand’s villages.

The “meeting would be held in accordance with government’s policy to implement sufficiency measures up until 2017.” Yes, the sufficiency economy is back for the poor because the military dictatorship believes that the “promotion of a sufficiency economy went hand in hand with the inculcation of moral ethics.”

Of course, the military junta believes that villagers need morals and ethics because they vote for populist politicians. The military and police brass now inhabiting the higher (appointed) positions don’t need morals or sufficiency because they are corruptly rich and prefer a coup to an election.

Sansern said that villages near the hugely expensive royal projects would be “targeted.” This royalist nonsense is being recycled by yet another military government because of the belief that it is a rhetorical device that demands loyalty to the monarchy and the royalist regime. In other words, it is a political project.

Because of this, Sansern said the sufficiency economy will be forced on “the education sector, in business administration, public relations and the security sector.” Sufficient funds for this sufficiency project are 8.7 billion baht. No doubt some of those unusually wealthy generals, admirals and air chief marshals will get their hands into this pot as well.





Protecting the corrupt

11 10 2014

nla-asset-declarations_Page_1The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the world’s most multi-talented prime minister, junta head and would-be king, has allowed his political hubris to cloud his magnificence. In the face of the following data, The Dictator has demanded “fairness” for these officials who appear “unusually wealthy.”

One of our readers put together a spreadsheet from the data provided officially of the assets for the military and police members of the puppet National Legislative Assembly. Click on the images to get a larger version.

With so much data and put together quickly, the reader warns there might errors, but the pattern is clear.

Having served as one of the air force’s top brass, you will only have accumulated an average declared assets of about 57 million baht. nla-asset-declarations_Page_2

If a general in the armed forces, your assets average about 78 million baht.

If you managed to become an admiral in the navy, you sail away with average assets of about 109 million baht.

The top money secretes to the top police. We acknowledge that there are a couple of low ranks listed, who probably report a rank having departed the cops early, but even so, the average for the top brass in the police is a whopping 258 million baht.

We notice that the new top cop, the reprehensible and seemingly incompetent Somyos Pumpanmuang has amassed declared assets of almost 375 million baht. We have previously noted this cop’s connections with shady business groups that use men-in-black to harass villagers. Maybe that’s how he acquired so much land.

nla-asset-declarations_Page_3PPT would have thought that the release of such data would be both profoundly disturbing and cause for investigation. We also thought that The Dictator might have wanted to shut up on this, being both embarrassed by the wealth of men who have had relatively low incomes and shame-faced about his younger brother’s declared assets of almost 80 million baht.

General Preecha’s wealth was tricky to calculate, and was revised up to about 90 million baht by Bangkok Pundit in a post about errors in calculation. Maybe his younger brother, who is declared to be located in the Crown Property Bureau, should have assisted him with a 50 baht calculator.

At the Bangkok Post, the Assistant army chief Preecha “defended his declaration of wealth … saying everything can be explained.” One of the “explanations” was that he was being singled out. He said that “people only focused on his wealth because he is the younger brother of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.” Well, yes, but that doesn’t explain anything.

Another “explanation” is that he ” included accounts of the 3rd Army that he held when he served as its commander.” He doesn’t say which accounts or why he declared assets that weren’t his. He does say that “those accounts [were] worth a total 46.9 million baht.”

General Preecha said “he has revealed all of his accounts and this might have caused some people to misunderstand the value of his assets.” Let’s get this right…. Is he saying he should have concealed some of his his assets so that people would have “understood” the value of his assets as lower than they actually are?

Then there is the fact that his wife apparently has no jewelry. Most other declarations include gold and jewelry, but not Preecha’s. And what about the condo unit in Chaing Mai that is valued at 150,000 baht. Can that be correct? Is it one of the bargains of the decade?

But back to The Dictator.

The Bangkok Post reports that Prayuth warned critics”not to jump to the wrong conclusions about rich officials…”. He’s right. It just might be that all of the police generals have won the lottery.

And, as he says, the “wealth of civil servants — including military officers — should not be judged based simply on salary as some could have assets inherited by their families or those of their spouses…”. We agree that some will be in this category, but really, does Prayuth think that anyone is going to believe him? Is he protecting his brother? Is he delusional? Or is he just drunk with power?





Winners

24 09 2014

Winners in the economic stakes usually also win in political world. Nowhere is this clearer than in Thailand, where the country’s economic and political power is monopolized by the ruling elite.

The extent of the elite’s economic control is set out in a report at The Nation. Almost a quarter of Thais in 2012 – almost 16 million people – were classified by the National Economics and Social Development Board as living in poverty. More than 8 million people were regarded as being so poor that they had “insufficient food and necessities.”moneybags

At the top end, 0.1 per cent was “so rich they own nearly half (46.5 per cent) of the country’s total assets…”.

The top 20 per cent, possessed 326 times more land than the poor.  According to the report, the “rich own nearly 80 per cent of the land obtainable via ownership documents, while the bottom 20 per cent of owners have only 0.3 per cent of available land.”

The bottom 10 per cent earn just 1.6 per cent of income.

PPT calculates that the Crown Property Bureau’s assets in 2012 were more than 12 million times greater than per capita GDP in constant 200 prices. We know comparing assets with income is a bit screwy, but just imagine how many times more income the CPB generates each year. How much greater would it be if compared with the meager incomes of the poor?





Rose on the republic

3 09 2014

PPT received the following communication from Rose Amornpat. It is a post that recently appeared at her Facebook page. We reproduce it in full:

Thai royals have always and surreptitiously declared that all the money and assets at the Crown Property Bureau (CPB) belong to the Thai people. But from my research, the CPB never share their wealth to the Thai people in anyway shape or form during the past decades either in terms of dividend contributions to the nation’s general fund or sharing in the cost of any projects for the benefit of the Thai people.

Thai king is ranked the number one richest monarch in the world and is worth US $40 Billion Dollars from the Forbes magazine

So let it be known to the world that all the stocks in SET belonging to the CPB are in fact belong to the Thai people.

All the real estate, personal properties, cash and shares in all the foreign exchanges and open or secret bank accounts in Switzerland, the UK, the USA , the EU and in Singapore that are allegedly belong to the CPB are in fact belong to the Thai people.

All the stocks and bonds in the Kempinski Hotel, various insurance companies and retail chain stores in the USA and the EU all belong to the Thai people.

All the interest in the Siam Park in Spain also belong to the Thai people.

This is for the record and urgent notice to all the relevant parties outside of Thailand! The interest in the stocks and bonds including cash and properties allegedly belong to the Crown Property Bureau are in fact belong to the Thai people.

When Thailand becomes a Republic, you then should know where such assets and interest should go to.

Thank you.

-Chatwadee Rose Amornpat

ถึงบุคคล สถาบันการ การเงินและการธนาคารที่เกี่ยวข้องกับสำนักงานทรัพย์สินส่วนพระมหากษัตริย์:

พระราชวงศ์ไทยบอกว่าเงินทั้งหมดและทรัพย์สินที่สำนักทรัพย์สินพระมหากษัตริย์ Crown Property Bureau (CPB) เป็นของคนไทย แต่จากการวิจัยของฉัน CPB ไม่เคยแบ่งปันความมั่งคั่งของพวกเขากับคนไทยในช่วงทศวรรษที่ผ่านมาทั้งในแง่ของการมีส่วนร่วมเงินปันผลให้แก่กองทุนรวมทั่วไปของประเทศหรือแบ่งปันในค่าใช้จ่ายของโครงการใด ๆ เพื่อประโยชน์ของคนไทย .

พระมหากษัตริย์ไทยเป็นพระมหากษัตริย์ที่ร่ำรวยที่สุดในโลกและมีมูลค่า US $ 40 พันล้านดอลลาร์จากนิตยสาร Forbes

เพื่อให้มันเป็นที่รู้จักไปทั่วโลกว่าหุ้นทั้งหมดในตลาดหลักทรัพย์ที่เป็นของ CPB ในความเป็นจริงเป็นของคนไทย

อสังหาริมทรัพย์ทั้งหมด สมบัติส่วนบุคคลเงินสดและหุ้นในต่างประเทศและเปิดหรือความลับบัญชีธนาคารในสวิส, สหราชอาณาจักรสหรัฐอเมริกาสหภาพยุโรปและในสิงคโปร์ที่มีถูกกล่าวหาว่าเป็นของ CPB ในความเป็นจริงเป็นของ คน ไทย

หุ้นและพันธบัตรทั้งหมดใน Kempinski Hotel, บริษัท ประกันภัยต่างๆและร้านค้าปลีกในประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกาและสหภาพยุโรปทั้งหมดเป็นของคนไทย

Stocks ในสวนสยาม (Siam Park) ในประเทศสเปนเป็นของคนไทย

นี้สำหรับการบันทึกและแจ้งให้ทราบอย่างเร่งด่วนไปยังทุกฝ่ายที่เกี่ยวข้องต่างประเทศ! หุ้นและพันธบัตรรวมถึงเงินสดและสมบัติที่ถูกกล่าวหาว่าเป็นของสำนักงานทรัพย์สินส่วนพระมหากษัตริย์ในความเป็นจริงเป็นของคนไทย

เมื่อประเทศไทยกลายเป็นสาธารณรัฐแล้ว คุณควรทราบว่าทรัพย์สินดังกล่าวควรจะตกไปเป็นของใคร

ขอบคุณ

-Chatwadee Rose Amornpat








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