The personal and the political

5 05 2018

A report at the Bangkok Post on Vorakorn Chatikavanij’s son and Korn Chatikavanij’s stepson states that he was charged with possession of cocaine.

Korn is a former Democrat Party minister and Vorakorn has been a yellow-shirted warrior. Korn is spectacularly wealthy. When great wealth meets the judiciary the result is usually in favor of the affluent.

Vorakorn and Korn

Cocaine is a Category 2 drug under Thai law. Changes to laws in 2016 means that Category 2 substances can mean the the offender faces six months to 10 years imprisonment and fines of 10,000 to 5 million baht. The changes also provided judges with more discretion.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Friday seemed to use truckloads of “discretion” when it released Panthit Mahapaurya “on bail of 10,000 baht in his cocaine possession case, and ordered him to report to a drug rehabilitation facility on June 21.”

The court “did not set any special conditions.” It ordered Panthit “to report at the end of the fourth detention period at 8.30am on June 21 to a psychosocial service centre of the courts to begin a drug rehabilitation programme.”

Sure, rehab might be sensible and this is bail and not sentencing, but we expect that this case will simply go away as the courts yet again make decisions on the “great and the good” using “principles” other than those in the law.

Cocaine is a rich person’s drug in Thailand and the rich enjoy it with relative impunity – think of the Red Bull scion Vorayuth Yoovidhya who was rumored to have been doing a bit of sniffing prior to his murderous drive home.

As in everything legal in Thailand, the rich get special treatment and the poor get arrested, jailed, beaten and shot. Double standards are the only standards for the judiciary.

Too many red shirts, too much turmoil and barbarism

13 12 2010

A couple of weeks ago PPT posted on Vorakorn Chatikavanij, the hi-so wife of Finance Minister Korn. At that time, the post was about a letter she’d written to the Bangkok Post, complaining about red shirt types taking her words and using them to describe her attitude. In recent days, The Nation has another story on Vorakorn, headlining her as a “Woman of Substance.” It is a wonderful article not least for the way it exposes her attitudes even more than in the first interview mentioned in our earlier post.

Vorakorn is said to be a “[k]een social network user …[who] speaks her mind about what democracy really means.” She is, it seems, “a popular Facebook user and one who doesn’t hesitate to her share political opinions.” Some might ask, so what? Well, The Nation says she “acts as assistant to her husband…”.

Vorakorn’s initiatives on Facebook are to sign up political friends, and she has some 3,000 of them. She only accepts “friends” on Facebook “when she’s sure the person does not have psychological problems or a tendency towards violent behaviour.” And she explains: “I ‘unfriended’ a friend of 40 years on Facebook as lots of her friends are red shirts who post extremely harsh criticisms of the government. I’d rather not see their posts…”. That’s an interesting commentary on 40 years of friendship!

Vorakorn “began to post political opinions and open her page to a broader circle of friends in April, at the height of the political crisis.” She explains that the red shirt “rally in the Rajprasong area affected people greatly. People could not hang out so they spent more time on Facebook.” We mentioned that particular complaint about the rally some time ago. Long-time readers will recall the spoof on hi-so attitudes like this (left).

Korn and Vorakorn were not, however, fooled by the nasty red shirt supporters: “Some posted complaints as to why the government did not act against the protesters. I passed the complaints on to Korn. But we realised that these were part of a plan to provoke and force the government to take action so they could accuse the government of using violence…”. Of course, the government used extreme violence several times, killing and injuring thousands.

Changing topics, Vorakorn makes a rather extraordinary statement: “This year’s political turmoil made her decide to send Karn and Kraisiri, her children born to Korn, to study in the UK.” She adds: “I don’t want my kids to grow up seeing barbaric acts.” This elite regularly sends their kids to England. Think of Korn himself and his mate Abhisit Vejjajiva. That’s simply about being part of the royalist elite. This statement says more, suggesting that the elite that wants so badly to control the country as a virtual fiefdom is annoyed that they have to be barbaric to keep it theirs!

What’s the greatest advantage of being a “minister’s wife”? Of course, what else can it be: “having the chance for a Royal Audience with His Majesty the King at prominent events.” Whoopee!

The royalist elite is, we think, living in a strange world. They control by any means necessary but are disconnected from the people they exploit and repress.

All in the family

20 11 2010

In case readers miss it, in the Postbag section of the Bangkok Post, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij’s wife Vorakorn defends herself and her interview with Matichon earlier in the week.

For details of the Matichon interview, see Bangkok Pundit’s post here. Apparently, Vorakorn was apprised of a comment about her statement on the “problem of democracy”  at Robert Amsterdam’s Thai-language site. Vorakorn seems miffed and writes to the Bangkok Post:

Mr Amsterdam, in reference to the article ”Is democracy a problem?”, posted on your website and Twitter, I wish to respond as follows.

First of all, I assume you know what freedom of speech is. What I said in the interview (with Matichon newspaper, Nov 12) is an opinion that many others share. I am a housewife who sees the flaws in my country’s democratic system. Notwithstanding that, I am a law-abiding citizen who complies with her democratic duty of voting at every election, local or national.

Anyone who calls himself a democrat would also acknowledge my democratic right to criticise democracy in my own peaceful way. In fact, if democracy can’t be criticised, then surely it wouldn’t be democracy at all.

Now, let me share my perspective: You, Mr Amsterdam, are now serving a former leader whose political party was disbanded for election fraud and who himself was convicted of corruption whilst in office. Like me, he chose to criticise society; but unlike me, he chose the route of violence by supporting an uprising that led to many deaths and the burning of private and public properties. All the while he says he ”loves democracy”. I understand that your paid duty is to whitewash your employer, but I am confident that the whole world sees him for who he really is.

One problem with the response is that she believes that she needs to respond to Amsterdam when all his site has done is translate the original Bangkok Pundit post. See Bangkok Pundit on this.

A second problem is that she seems to think that pointing out here views on democracy is somehow challenging her right to speak on democracy. In fact, there was no such attempt by either Bangkok Pundit or Amsterdam. Like others associated with the current government, she seems to confuse legitimate commentary with some kind of political attack. Maybe all critical commentary needs to be banned for these privileged members of the elite to feel comfortable. Of course, Amsterdam is banned from Thailand already and the elite has worked hard to chase out others they see as “oppositional.”

A third issue is that she is justifying a comment where she questioned the efficacy of democracy for Thailand. In her misdirected attack on (the messenger) Robert Amsterdam, Vorakorn conflates democracy with voting – isn’t that what urbanites like her accused “ignorant” villagers of doing when they supported Thaksin Shinawatra?

Finally, she accuses Amsterdam of working for a former leader who supported violence “by supporting an uprising that led to many deaths and the burning of private and public properties.” Wasn’t it her husband’s government that sent the military in with weapons and free fire zones?