Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth’s “Workout Wednesday”, which is mandatory for all Government Employees, has claimed its first victim. Twenty minutes into a soccer game the director of one of Bangkok’s central district fainted, and died a few hours later.
Private Tye had previously warned about the dangers of strenuous physical exercise in Bangkok’s highly polluted air.
Historically right-wing government’s have been keen on “Strength through Joy” (Kraft durch Freude) physical fitness programs. It seems that the current one in Thailand is no exception.
The story from Khaosod:
BANGKOK — The director of one of Bangkok’s central districts died Thursday morning after fainting during a soccer game he organized for the military regime’s Workout Wednesdays fitness policy.
Phra Nakhon Director Pramern Grairot fainted 20 minutes into a soccer game with other district officials at 2pm on Wednesday. He was taken to Vajira Hospital and died Thursday morning. He was 57.
“Pramern was a civil servant who did his duties to the fullest. Even with his important rank he worked till late without tiring,” Deputy Bangkok Gov. Jakkapan Piwngarm said this morning at City Hall. “Losing him is a great loss to city government, and we will never forget him.”
Civil servants in Pramern’s office said ever since Gen. Prayuth’s mandate for government workers to workout on Wednesdays started in November, Pramern had led them in exercises and sports such as soccer, badminton and aerobics without any apparent sign of illness.
Prayuth initiated the policy to improve the health and vitality of the bureaucracy. Critics have said it limits citizens’ access to services on hump day.
After Pramern was hospitalized, government spokesman Sansern Keawkamnerd said Gen. Prayuth had expressed his concern with a vase of flowers.
Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang said this morning at Vajira Hospital that civil servants should get an annual health check, and that medical staff would advise on the best workout methods for Workout Wednesdays.
“Everyone should know their own health and the limits of how much they can exercise,” Aswin said. “Gen. Prayuth’s mandate of exercising to strengthen bodies doesn’t determine how much exercise should be done, because everyone should look at their own capabilities.”
Pramern was set to retire in 2020. Before working in Phra Nakhon district administration, he was a tourism developer in the Culture, Sport and Tourism Department of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
His fellow bureaucrats said Pramern was known for going out into the field and conversing with market hawkers for the purpose of relocating them.
Is this a map Transparency International’s Index of world corruption or is it a map of Governments contributing funds to this NGO? There is very little difference between the two.
Government bodies that contribute funds to Transparency International are from:
USA (score 74 out of 100)
UK (score 81)
Australia (score 79)
New Zealand (score 90)
The Netherlands (83)
Bhutan (65) apart from Singapore the only good score in the whole of continental Asia.
The anomaly is Malaysia which contributed but got a score of only 49. They should ask for their money back. Iceland, Chile, Uruguay, Botswana, UAE, Singapore and Japan are the only countries that got a good score without, appearing to be, coughing up a penny.
Source: Transparency International Website:
Transparency International is a Non Government Organisation. It is not an official organisation, it is not part of the UN or any University. Anybody can start an NGO, all you need is a bank account and a web page. The main claim to fame of Transparency International is their Corruption Perceptions Index which comes with a lovely down-loadable graphic of the world. The latest map has spread through the web, on to newspapers and into television news. Lots of people are discussing the relative rankings of countries but nobody seems to ask where the data comes from or how it is compiled. The exception is Thailand, where the data has been disputed.
According to Wikipedia Transparency International is not as squeaky clean or as Transparent as it pretends to be:
Non-support of Edward Snowden
At its annual meeting in November 2013 in Berlin, Transparency International's national chapters from Germany and Ireland proposed a resolution calling for the "end of the prosecution of Edward J. Snowden... He should be recognized as a whistleblower for his help to reveal the over-reaching and unlawful surveillance by secret services... He symbolizes the courage of numerous other whistleblowers around the world."
The final resolution that was passed by the plenary excluded any reference to Snowden, and excluded a call for “comprehensive protection on whistleblowers from all forms of retaliation.” The original resolution presented by the German and Irish chapters was weakened following the intervention of Transparency International's American chapter, TI-USA. “The whistleblower resolution was watered down by the US delegation,” a TI insider was quoted in an article published by the Huffington Post. “TI USA is very corporate oriented, very inside the Beltway oriented.”
Five months earlier, in June 2013, representatives from Transparency International declined Snowden's request to meet with him at the Moscow airport. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch met with Snowden to support his asylum request, but Transparency International refused.
Funding from Siemens
In January 2015 it was reported that Transparency International (TI) accepted $3 million from the German engineering multinational Siemens, which in 2008 paid one of the largest corporate corruption fines in history – $1.6 billion – for bribing government officials in numerous countries.
Transparency International applied for and received the money from Siemens, even though TI's due diligence procedures prohibit the organization from accepting money from corporations that want to "greenwash" their reputations by making donations to TI. "If any corporate donor is accused of having been involved in corruption, the donor can expect no protection from TI," the procedures state.
Transparency International received the money from the Siemens Integrity Initiative about a year after the Initiative hired former TI staffer Jana Mittermaier, raising questions of a "revolving door" that has benefited both the organization and the company.
Several of TI's national chapters also have accepted money from Siemens: $660,000 for TI USA, $600,000 for TI Italy, $450,000 for TI Bulgaria, and $230,000 for TI Mexico – each for a period of three years.
"This really shows that Transparency International is not as pure as people think," a TI insider told Corporate Crime Reporter.
Transparency International Managing Director Cobus de Swardt said, “We did not file an application to Siemens, we applied to the Siemens Integrity Initiative. There’s a difference. We have not applied to Siemens.” However, according to Siemens, the money for these grants is "provided by Siemens.”
In April 2015 TI defended the decision by its American chapter, TI-USA, to give Hillary Clinton its Integrity Award in 2012. TI's statement followed a report by National Public Radio that Bill and Chelsea Clinton were not factual regarding the transparency of the Clinton Foundation.
Due to a "lack of confidence," TI's chapter in Croatia was disaccredited by the organization's Board of Directors in November 2015. The previous year, several leaders of the Croatia chapter challenged the legality of the chapter president's election. The president was accused of falsifying records, conflicts of interest, and arbitrarily expelling 10 chapter members who opposed the hiring of staff against the organization's rules. The Croatian government eventually revoked the president's appointment.
In January 2016 a dispute arose regarding TI's chapter in New Zealand. The Governance Director in TI's Berlin headquarters sought to block an ethics complaint filed against the chapter's Board Chair by preventing the complaint from being heard by the Berlin office. The Governance Director also submitted an affidavit challenging a New Zealand court's jurisdiction to hear the case.
In August 2015 former TI staffer Anna Buzzoni went public regarding retaliation she and her colleagues faced after reporting to managers questionable financial dealings at TI's Water Integrity Network. Two of Buzzoni's project responsibilities were suspended and she was transferred against her will. She left TI shortly before internal whistleblower guidelines were adopted in June 2014.
He complains that index is corrupted by “Varieties of Democracy” data from Gothenberg University. Is the index a measure of Democracy or Corruption? he asks.
Commissioner Sansern has a point. Democracy and corruption are quite different things and if the people at Transparency International and Gothenberg do not know this, they are either incredibly stupid or they are trying to conflate the notions of corruption and democracy. If the latter, it would seem that they are being less than honest, indeed a bit corrupt.
Transparency International has produced an nice map of the world which has spread through the Internet and News Media. Most people seem to think that this shows how corrupt each nation is, based on hard data. It isn’t. Its called “Corruption Perceptions Index 2016”. In other words its a measure of the “perception” of corruption not corruption itself.
It is impossible to measure corruption itself because, if it is successful, nobody knows about it. Suppose you tried to use hard data, such as the number of convictions for bribery. In highly corrupt States you will find that everybody is on the take, the politicians, the judges, the police and the Corporations. Therefore, you will find few convictions for bribery in these States. Bribery convictions are only significant in states that are half honest, such as South Korea.
So, what to do if your Nation State ranked badly on the Index? Obviously there is no point in reforming the police or the legal system because the index measures “perceptions” not actual corruption. So, what you need to do is change people’s perception, in other words, hire a good public relations firm. Alternatively, you could send funds to Transparency International because almost all the Governments that supply them with funds get a good ranking on the index.
The Story from Khaosod (27 Jan):
BANGKOK — The government’s top corruption fighter Friday rejected Thailand’s fall to 101st place in a world ranking of corruption by a German anti-corruption nonprofit.
The head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission said Thailand’s sharp drop to 101 from 76 in Transparency International’s annual ranking of perceived levels of corruption was “unfair” because it factored in the nation’s departure from democracy.
“I want to ask them their reason for including this information about ‘Varieties of Democracy’ for the 2016 ranking. Is it fair to Thailand or not?” said Sansern Poljiak, commission secretary-general. “If they didn’t factor in this information, we wouldn’t have fallen so far.”
For its analysis, the Berlin-based NGO factored in data from political science research at the University of Gothenburg and Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame. The Varieties of Democracy project measured different aspects of democracies for a more complete picture of corruption, according to a University of Gothenburg paper.
The additional measures were included in a year the organization said it was concerned about the “connection between corruption and inequality” and rise of populism. Transparency International brought in Varieties of Democracy as a data source in addition to their other sources such as World Economic Forum and World Justice Project.
Sansern said that data’s inclusion was “unanticipated.”
Released Wednesday, the report found corruption on the rise throughout the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, where Cambodia and Thailand are named among declines in the Asia-Pacific region. The report calls out Thailand for “(g)overnment repression, lack of independent oversight, and the deterioration of rights.”
Thailand fell 25 places to rank 101 out of 176, tying the nation with Gabon, Niger, Peru, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago.
Transparency International is a Berlin-based nonprofit founded in 1993 to combat corruption worldwide through research and reports such as the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Bangkok was brought to a virtual standstill when enormous numbers of Thai women came out in protest against Trump. Thai police stayed well away because many of the women had beards and the rest appeared to be very tall and white making the mob a truly terrifying sight. Ninety people, out of Bangkok’s 8 million, joined the event.
The demonstration started at Roadhouse BBQ which provides Hot Baths for ten cents and screenings of football matches.
When the news reached the White House, the effect was devastating. A White House spokesperson said that he doubted that they could carry on after this. It was reported that Trump was in a deep depression and contemplating his resignation.
However, worse news was soon to follow. In the provincial capital of Chiang Mai, 35 women protested Trump’s inauguration by having a picnic in the park.
The events prompted huge coverage in the Thai press.
The story from Khaosod (23 Jan):
Chiang Mai and Bangkok Show Solidarity With Women’s March
BANGKOK — Activists in Thailand who joined global protests against U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend said Monday they hope more such events follow in the future.
Since the junta’s ban on political protests means street demonstrations like the ones in Washington D.C. and other major cities across the world were not possible, activists in Chiang Mai held a picnic in a park Saturday where they advocated for the advancement of women around the world and in solidarity with American women threatened by a new administration.
“We also hope this gathering could be a starting point for more of this kind in the future,” organizer Molly Ferra said in a message. “That will allow us to engage across interests and identities, better inform ourselves, and create collective action points for constructive and meaningful forms of resistance.”
About 35 people including men, women and children, showed up for the picnic, Ferra said. She said the event was set up by a team of women from different countries including the United States, Thailand, Myanmar, Fiji and India.
Another Women’s March event at a restaurant in Bangkok drew dozens of participants.
Nima Chandler, an American citizen, said she and her friends decided to set up the event to show support for those marching in the United States and other countries after seeing no plans to do so in Bangkok.
“We were very surprised and pleased with the turnout, as we only had it on Facebook for a few days,” she said in a message. About 90 people joined the event, she said, including expats and tourists.
The events coincided with Women’s March demonstrations in cities around the world, in which millions took to the streets in support of women’s rights in response to the election of Trump, who took the oath of office on Friday.
Trump, who once boasted of sexually assaulting a woman and was accused by a dozen of similar conduct, has remarked that women should be punished for having abortions and other comments worrying to advocates of reproductive rights. There are also reports that his administration may move to defund Planned Parenthood and bar foreign aid from assisting abortions or family planning.
Another picnic organizer, Emily Hong, said she and fellow activists were demoralized by Trump’s electoral victory. Saturday’s event, she said, served a rallying point for opposition.
“Many of us have been in denial and despair since the election of Donald Trump,” Hong, a U.S. national, said in a message. “But participating in the global women’s march, in our own way, felt like an important step to begin resisting Trump’s agenda, and the combination of patriarchy and authoritarianism that he represents.”
The military government formally congratulated Trump on his inauguration on Sunday. Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha sent a message to the American president expressing his wish to work with Trump for closer bilateral relations and the “prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region,” according to a government spokesman.
The British Foreign Minister has been admitted to a hospital in Burma’s capital. He was suffering from the delusion that he was about to be mobbed by 100,000 women mistaking him for Trump. Despite photographic evidence of a deranged Boris being taken to the facility by military police, a British Government spokesperson, speaking to Private Tye, has denied the report.
The Government says that Boris was not delusional at all. They point out that the mob of 100,000 angry women (many with beards) was something any sane person should be scared of. They point out that Boris and Trump have the same barber, they are both overweight and that both are in the habit of saying incredibly stupid things for no apparent reason. A recent survey has shown that nine out of ten British women can not tell the difference between Trump and Johnson. They also pointed out that many of the marchers thought they were marching against Brexit.
Another prevalent belief, amongst the marchers, is that Boris intends to build a wall between Britain and France by bricking up the channel tunnel. The spokesmen said that this was ridiculous because Boris enjoys frogs legs and snails very much.
The real purpose of the Burmese visit was to discuss trade. After Brexit, Burma will, most likely, be Britain’s leading trade partner. In fact it could be Britain’s only trade partner, so trade is very important. The problem is that there are 2,700,000 Muslims living in Britain while Burma is in the process of committing genocide against its own Rohingya Muslim minority. So poor old Boris has the job of securing a nice trade deal with Sukee (the Burmese leader) and at the same time convince British Muslins that he is trying to persuade Sukee to stop the genocide.
So the furry creature is out of the bag. It is not a mob of anti-Trump women that he is afraid of, but a mob of one million Muslim women pissed off because he has done nothing to help the Rohingya.
From Frontier Myanmar (Facebook page 22 Jan):
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Yangon General Hospital on Saturday January 21 as part of a two-day trip to Myanmar.
Mr Johnson had earlier met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi where the pair discussed economic reforms, trade and human rights, including Rakhine State.
From Eleven (whatever that is) 21 Jan:
Suu Kyi [pronounced "Sukee" ed.] hosts dinner with Boris Johnson
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi hosted an honorary dinner for a British delegation led by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at her residence on January 20, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting, they discussed boosting cooperation in bilateral relations, education, health care and economic sectors. Their discussions also focused on the peace process and democratisation efforts, said the ministry.
Other ministers and British Ambassador Andrew Patrick also joined the state dinner.
The British foreign secretary also met the military-appointed Minister of Home Affairs, Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe, and the new national security adviser, Thaung Tun, according to the ministry.
Johnson will meet the Rakhine State Advisory Commission and other NGOs in Yangon and visit Shwedagon Pagoda and Yangon General Hospital during his three-day tour.
It is the most significant UK visit since then prime minister David Cameron's trip in 2012.
Johnson said: “Myanmar’s transition to democracy is not yet complete but it is worth reflecting on just how far Myanmar has come since Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party took office just nine months ago. Launching a major new peace initiative, establishing a commission led by Kofi Annan to resolve tensions in Rakhine and releasing more than 300 political prisoners are positive steps. It is clear that many challenges remain and full reform will take time.
"The UK, as a longstanding and long-term friend to Myanmar, will continue to offer its fullest support. I look forward to seeing Burma continue to develop into a country where there is peace and prosperity for all its people,” in a statement released by the British Foreign Office.
According to General Prayuth “Thai could supersede English as the dominant world language”. This shock announcement came during his Children’s Day address to Thailand’s youth.
This is a strange thing to say considering that English has 942 million speakers and Thai has only 60 million speakers. In addition Thai has its own unique alphabet whereas English shares the Roman alphabet along with most European languages. Thai ranks in the top ten of languages that are the most difficult to learn and its only spoken in Thailand.
It is impossible to imagine that 900 million of the world’s non-Thai population would volunteer to learn Thai. So, what is behind these remarks, is it just a senior moment of dementia, or is there something more sinister at work?
Private Tye has been hearing disturbing reports of Prayuth clones turning up all over Thailand. It is possible that Prayuth is building an army of more than a billion clones. Science fiction writers have been expecting this for years. It nearly happened in 2010 when Milla Jovovich along with thousands of her clones attempted to take over the world and make Ukrainian the dominant language. Fortunately the world was saved from this resident evil by the Umbrella Corporation.
For most people a world dominated by Milla Jovovich clones is not such a bad idea, but billions of Prayuth clones is truly horrifying.
The story from Khaosod English (12 Jan)
BANGKOK — Thai could supersede English as the dominant world language – at least in the opinion of junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha.
After awarding trophies to youths Thursday at the Government House, Prayuth gave an address encouraging children to embrace their language, which he assured could one day become the world’s common language.
“The most commonly used language today is of course English. If it was Thai, we’d be a great power already. Is there a chance? Yes. If you do what I say, one day Thai will be the world’s lingua franca,” Prayuth said.
He added that although Thai is relatively difficult to learn, more people are learning the language.
“[Thai] has 44 characters … we have tones and more vowels than English. One word has many meanings.
This is the pride Thais have built,” he explained.
Suu Kyi has been a Burmese MP since July 2012 and the de facto Prime Minister since April 2016.
Rohingya have been fleeing Burma in their thousands since June 2012. The only thing she has said about the Rohingya in that time is that they do not exist.
Don “Corleone” Pramudwinai, Thailand’s Foreign Minister, suggested that she make the Rohingya an offer they can not refuse, but should take her time about it. In the interim, he offered Thailand’s continuing support provided trade and investment continued to make the crony capitalists in both countries even richer.
Suu Kyi is sometimes known as “Suckee” for her habit of sucking up to internationally famous political leaders. For at least a decade it has been impossible to call yourself a neo-liberal politician without having a selfie taken with Suckee. She has won numerous prestigious awards including the International Florists Association award for the politician with the most flowers in their hair, and the Nobel Prize for Genocide. With this sort of international support she has plenty of time to come up with the final solution of the Rohingya problem.
Like Kofi Annan, Private Tye has long been an admirer of the Asian Angel of democracy:
her love of the common people, her defense of a free press and journalists, her compassion for minorities her inspiration to the dispossessed her example to Thailand.
The story from the Bangkok Post (6 Jan):
Thailand's Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai, has spoken for the first time in defence of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is increasingly being accused worldwide of ignoring the plight of her country's Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Mr Don said he believes her civilian government is not ignoring the persecution of the Rohingya, but needs time to make the problems "right"
Mr Don, who in December attended a special meeting in Yangon with nine other foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to discuss the problem, said Ms Suu Kyi has shown her willingness to tackle the Rohingya issue with caution."The government of Myanmar is concerned [about the Rohingya problems], but has to be careful," Mr Don told the Bangkok Post.
Ms Suu Kyi, who is also the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party leader, told the meeting she is working on the "sensitive" issue, he said.
The main food of the estuarine crocodile is fish and amphibians. Therefore, when Benetulier le Fou fell in the water while trying to take a selfie next to a fully grown crocodile, it is quite possible that the innocent animal thought she was a frog jumping into the water. The incident occurred on a trail in Thailand’s Khao Yai National park.
Crocodiles are very lazy and do not need to eat very often. They will lie still in the water for weeks waiting for a cordon bleu meal of frogs legs to, virtually, jump into their mouth. When a French female jumps in the water next to one, it is reflexive to take a bite. After all, nobody, neither Park Officials or Crocs, would expect a homo sapiens to go right next to a fully grown crocodilian in order to take a stupid picture. So, instead of a selfie, Madame le Fou got a snap on the leg.
Frogs legs are a common item in Thai restaurants which explains why there are so many French tourists. Obviously, more needs to be done to protect them. We can not expect French tourists to know that huge crocodiles are dangerous. Also the warning signs on the Khao Yai trail are printed only in Thai and English, not French.
The Story from Khaosod (1 Jan):
PRACHINBURI — A French woman was bitten by a crocodile Sunday afternoon while hiking at Khao Yai National Park.
Benetulier Lesuffleur, 46, was traveling with her husband along Haew Suwat Waterfall – Pha Kluay Mai trail when they spotted a crocodile sunbathing in a pond and attempted to take a picture with it.
The couple crouched near the reptile to take a selfie before the wife fell over, which startled the crocodile, resulting in it biting into her right thigh.
Lesuffleur was sent to a hospital in Prachinburi province and is now safe.
According to the national park chief Kanchit Srinoppawan, the tourists went off trail and ignored a sign warning about crocodiles.
Natdanai Ivanovich Kongdee of Soi Sarm, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg was apprehended during a raid by Thai police on a house in Bangkok. According to the Washington Pest, the Police not only found a “computer” but a plate of Beef Stroganoff and a bowl of Borscht in the refrigerator. They also found a red shirt that looked a lot like a Russian kaftan.
Ivanovich and his comrades had hacked the power distribution system of EGAT (the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand). However, EGAT officials were completely unaware of this fact until they read the Washington Pest. An spokesperson said that EGAT would be increasing security at its power plants. Chain link fences will be made higher to prevent doped-up Russian hacker athletes from pole vaulting into power plant compounds.
Thai Police said that Ivanovich had avoided detection for a long time because he spoke fluent Thai and had disguised himself as an East Asian geek.
The story from Forbes (1 Jan):
"Fake News" And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid
On Friday the Washington Post sparked a wave of fear when it ran the breathless headline “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say.” The lead sentence offered “A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials” and continued “While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.”
Yet, it turns out this narrative was false and as the chronology below will show, illustrates how effectively false and misleading news can ricochet through the global news echo chamber through the pages of top tier newspapers that fail to properly verify their facts.
The story from Khaosod (28 Dec):
A hacker has been detained for allegedly launching attacks against government websites in response to the passage of the Criminal Crimes Act amendment.
On 28 December 2016, the Criminal Court of Justice granted police officers custody over Natdanai Khongdi, age 19, a suspect in the attacks on government websites that came after amendments to the controversial Computer Crimes Act, reported Khaosod.
The case’s police investigators asked the court to reject any bail in advance, reasoning that the investigation has not yet finished and the suspect might disrupt the investigation. Natdanai will be detained for 12 days under the first custody term.
Nutdanai was arrested on 20 December in his house in Bangkok. Police also confiscated a shotgun, computers, a cyber security textbook and two grams of marijuana from his house.
He was accused of weapon possession, drug possession and of violating the Computer Crimes Act. Police have pressed 23 charges against him in total.
Apart from Natdanai, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the Police Commissioner-General of Thailand, has claimed that the police and the military have arrested another eight suspects involved in the recent cyber attacks
After the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved the amendment to the controversial Computer Crimes Act on 16 December, various government websites have been shut down by cyber-attacks. The amendment will provide the state with heightened online surveillance and censorship powers.
The attacked websites include those belonging to the Police Region 1 Training Centre, the Thai Government, the Royal Gazette, the Ministry of Defense and the Royal Thai Navy.
Despite the recent arrests, Thailand Internet Firewall, one of the groups that claimed responsibility for the attacks, has continued to declare cyber warfare against the junta on its Facebook page.
The National Anti-corruption Commission does not do much except give an award for transparency, but this year there was no award because all the nominees were too corrupt. Government Departments, State Enterprises and private businesses were all eligible.
Private Tye wonders why. After all, it is just like any other award. If you wanted the award all you would have to do is slip a few thousand baht under the table to the judges and committee members.
The inescapable conclusion is that nobody wants the award. Which is, we suppose, not that surprising. In a country where every organization is corrupt, having a reputation for honesty would be very bad for business. It would be like a US Congressman having a reputation for always telling the truth, nobody would want to have any dealings with him.
This is all very silly. The Commission should stick to its main job of whitewashing. When some Government Department is accused of blatant corruption, the Commission investigates and (surprise, surprise) inevitably finds that there was no corruption.
The story from Prachatai (27 Dec):
No winners for national transparency award, nominees too corrupt
Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission has refused to award its annual transparency award, saying none of the nominated organisations satisfied its criteria for good governance.
While 11 organisations were highly commended, no organisations received the rating of ‘excellent’ required to win the award, according to the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s (NAC) website.
This is the first year no organisation has won the award, which is in its sixth year. Organisations eligible for the award ranged from government departments, state enterprises and private businesses that were established no less than five years ago.
According to Mana Nimitmongkhon, the secretary of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, there were no winners in 2016 because the NAC enforced its criteria for good governance more strictly.
During its selection process this year, the NAC verified the documents provided by applicants to the award. In previous years, it largely accepted the documents provided by applicants, allowing for doctored reporting.