Corrupt justices, corrupt regime

6 04 2021

Yesterday, PPT posted on a possible corruption case involving “current and former Thailand Supreme Court judges, as well as to the country’s top finance and justice officials…”.

Such a bombshell has received muffled attention and another cover-up might be expected. Even so, as the Bangkok Post reports, the Courts of Justice have felt compelled to provide a comment, although it is of the usual slippery variety, telling the taxpaying public that “they will take action against any judges found to have taken bribes linked to a tax dispute involving a Thai subsidiary of automaker Toyota.”

Well, maybe, for the claims are dismissed: “the office said claims without grounds that judges involved with bribery often happen during legal disputes.” Such claims were described as “bogus.” In other words, like Mafia dons they say “forget about it.”

Helpfully, Suriyan Hongvilai, spokesman of the Office of the Judiciary, “explains” that:

… the case in the focus involves a tax dispute worth about 10 billion baht between Toyota Motor Thailand Co (TMT) and tax authorities over the imports of parts for Prius cars.

He said the Supreme Court’s decision to review the dispute was announced on March 29 and the case is now pending hearings and has yet to be finalised.

He urged the public to investigate and not to rush to conclusions when bribery allegations against judges emerge.

“The Supreme Court has yet to hear and rule on the case. It just agreed to hear it and the granting of the request is line with laws which allow the Supreme Court to hear the case when it sees fit,” he said.

So, the Supreme Court decided to “review the dispute” and announced this on 29 March, the very day that Law 360 published the story “Toyota Probed Possible Bribes To Top Thai Judges.” That was just 10 days after the first media report of the Toyota case. How convenient.

The clarification is in response to foreign media reports.

Thailand’s Mafia dons also appear in a separate Bangkok Post report.

Palang Pracharath Party leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has thrown his and his party’s “support behind former national police chief [Gen] Chakthip Chaijinda for the upcoming Bangkok governor election…”. The junta appointed the sitting governor, also a former top cop, and Gen Prawit expects to be able to maintain that control.

To get the job done, Gen Prawit has reportedly assigned Mafia boss, convicted heroin trafficker, and moneybags, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thammanat Prompao to arrange the election for the party.

That’s a neat idea: a former felon will assist a former top cop. Cops are used to dealing with “dark influences” in Thailand, often working in partnership for mutual wealth creation.

One of the outcomes of coup and military dictatorship has been the alliance of the twin evils of dark influences and dark power.

Royal clothing advice

10 06 2011

Just in case readers missed it, and PPT can’t find it electronically – in the continuing silliness about what constitutes “Thai tradition,” the Bangkok Post (print edition, 8 June 2011, p. 4) has a short note that is, well, bizarre.

As the balmy Ministry of Culture worries about topless dancers and religious tattoos on the “wrong” bodies, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has come up with a screwy order for its officials. The Post reports that “officials will wear Thai-style outfits made of Thai cloth at least once a week…”. Indeed, Cabinet, filled with men and a couple of women all suited up, has “acknowledged” the Ministry’s “campaign to promote traditional Thai-style outfits among civil servants.”

One imagines shirtless men sitting and laying about on the floor, chewing betel, while clothed only in a loin cloth/pha nung or maybe some Chinese trousers. After all, that was “traditional” for some time for kha ratchakan, many of who conducted official business in their own homes.

But we imagine what is meant is the very non-traditional/recently invented tradition displayed at this Wikipedia page. Readers will notice that this page is all about royally-endorsed fashion. And sure enough, the Post story confirms that the Ministry has taken this fully-clothed plunge because “the Queen has said ‘Foreigners have asked why Thai men love to wear suits, not the Thai-styled long sleeve shirt with five buttons. That kind of shirt is nice and suits the Thai climate’.”

It seems the queen is pining for the days when the ever-reliable Prem Tinsulanonda made his fashion statement in this kind of dress. As the Wikipedia page says, the “suea phraratchathan (เสื้อพระราชทาน, lit. royally bestowed shirt) … was designed to serve as a national costume by royal tailors … for King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1979, and was subsequently given to General Prem Tinsulanonda, then the Minister of Defence, to promote and wear in public.”

PPT reckons that this trend, even if symbolic of the great pressure for the ever greater promotion of the royals and their every utterance, no matter how trite, is unlikely to take off.


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