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Twin evils are battling to bring down Thailand

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EDITORIAL
Twin evils are battling to bring down Thailand

The Nation

The "tyranny" of a parliamentary majority is being used to defend a culture of corruption and political impunity

BANGKOK: -- The terms "corruption", "tyranny of the majority" and "parliamentary dictatorship" are being heard with increasing frequency. But unlike elsewhere, the so-called tyranny of the majority in Thailand is not being used to persecute ethnic, racial or religious minorities. Instead it supports corrupt politicians.

Corruption and arrogant majority rule have pushed the Kingdom into a new round of political conflict. Widespread public outrage at a government-backed bill for a blanket amnesty for political crimes caused the Senate to unanimously reject it and forced the ruling coalition to publicly promise not to seek its reaffirmation. Anti-government protesters and the opposition blamed a "tyranny of the majority" in the House of Representatives for passing a bill they say is aimed at absolving exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of corruption.

Concerns are now being raised among social critics of all political hues that the twin evils of corruption and tyranny of the majority could lead to chaos and disaster for Thailand. Former prime minister Anand Panyarachun has spoken on the growing problem of corruption. The issue is no longer about occasional bribes or "tea money", but large-scale conspiracies involving networks of people that include politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, the mass media and other organisations.

Anand warned that if the culture of corruption is allowed to continue unchecked, the country could be heading for disaster.

Veteran journalist Somkiat Onwimon laments on Facebook that the problem of corruption has grown steadily worse since Thaksin came to power more than a decade ago.

Former Senate speaker and legal expert Meechai Ruchuphan, on his website, said corruption is rife because of widespread indifference to the problem and the many beneficiaries who are reluctant to tackle it.

He said any government that relied only on majority rule was bound to fail eventually, since it would lose the trust of the people and be voted out.

Announcing the Constitutional Court's ruling last week against the government-backed bill for an all-elected Senate, Judge Supot Kaimook said the rights of the minority were being trampled. "Thailand's democratic system allows the majority to set the standard. But once it uses its power arbitrarily and suppresses the minority without listening to reason, the majority lose its legitimacy," he said.

The system could no longer be called "democratic" when the majority acted this way, added Supot. "It results in the tyranny of the majority." The judge's rebuke echoed widespread frustration at the government's seeming disregard for the democratic process.

A majority in Parliament should not be wielded to defend a corrupt administration or a wider culture of graft, or to ensure political impunity. No nation can ever completely stamp out corruption, but Thailand could at least prevent large-scale conspiracies that drain the public purse and do serious damage to the country.

The existing check-and-balance system - though it is not among the most stringent in the world - should be allowed to function normally. Agencies that are part of that system, such as the Constitutional Court, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, should be able to do their work without pressure or threats. Any attempt to weaken the mechanism of scrutiny must be condemned.

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-- The Nation 2013-11-28

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Politicialns are corrupt the world over....why do you think they want to get elected....power brings money....money brings power....greed and corruption follow.

That is why someone who wants a position of power should never get it....it should be given to one who will do a good job...then get time off for good behaviour after doing a good job and be released from the responsibility.

The only post on here with any 'likes' and I don't even understand it.

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Veteran journalist Somkiat Onwimon laments on Facebook that the problem of corruption has grown steadily worse since Thaksin came to power more than a decade ago.

One wonders if tthere are any regrets in the PTP camp. Does it ever cross any of their minds that maybe it wasn't a good idea to ram a bill through the house in the middle of the night, that granted amnesty for criminals of every stripe, or are they thinking that all they have to do is wait a bit and do it all over again?

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"Anand warned that if the culture of corruption is allowed to continue unchecked, the country could be heading for disaster."

This is exactly why 50% of the govt must be "SELECTED" and 50% elected.

cheque = bank balance.

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Politicialns are corrupt the world over....why do you think they want to get elected....power brings money....money brings power....greed and corruption follow.

That is why someone who wants a position of power should never get it....it should be given to one who will do a good job...then get time off for good behaviour after doing a good job and be released from the responsibility.

 

The only post on here with any 'likes' and I don't even understand it.

 

As a non native English speaker i think he is talking about appointed leaders not elected that want the job as they often want the job for personal gain.

Sent from my iPad using ThaiVisa app

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Veteran journalist Somkiat Onwimon laments on Facebook that the problem of corruption has grown steadily worse since Thaksin came to power more than a decade ago.

One wonders if tthere are any regrets in the PTP camp. Does it ever cross any of their minds that maybe it wasn't a good idea to ram a bill through the house in the middle of the night, that granted amnesty for criminals of every stripe, or are they thinking that all they have to do is wait a bit and do it all over again?

160 some odd days to go i think . . .

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I love the bland, unsupported assertions like "corruption has got steadily worse since Thaksin...".

It was bad before, it was bad during, it carried on as if nothing had changed during the Dems' period at the helm, it's bad now, and it will be bad for the foreseeable future. Until the voters understand that a deep-rooted culture of nepotism and corruption is at fault - practised by pretty much anyone in a position of power - and not by a few headline-grabbing individuals, nothing will ever change. People are just so naive, and easily manipulated. And not just the Thais, going by the polemics on this forum.

At least during Mark's time, corruption was steady, and did not worsen.

Edited by Spare
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Large scale corruption would not be viable unless there are mega plans afoot.

Yes Thailand needs to be up a gear to meet the needs of the AEC but the awarded contracts

to a certain extent are downright fishy with Shinawatra agencies.

Foreign investment seems to be heavily Chinese for they are desparate to get their goods exported

However no individual or party have been transparent with the contracts and it looks like populist polices

are played with one hand while the other is involved in underhand practices which are being noticed

and undermining the Country's economic growth.

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