Power & Privilege: General Prayut can do no wrong

When new ministers take office, when they leave office, and one year after they leave office, the ministers must declare their assets in the interests of transparency.

It’s a checks and balances system on corruption by monitoring if they have become “unusually wealthy” (“รวยผิดปกติ”) throughout their tenure.

At least, that’s the theory.

After all, we understand well, a ministerial job is financially lucrative, and corruption is rampant when there are no checks and balances.

In practice, however, legislation passed by the junta-appointed senators allows for leeway. If you take office within a month after leaving it, which applies to returning ministers after an election, then asset declaration isn’t required.

But as an honest and honorable soldier, General Prayut Chan-o-cha declared his asset to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in 2019 anyway.

After all, he bills himself as incorruptible, and his supporters champion him as such.

On 6 April, the news media platform The Matter published a story.

The MATTER requested the NACC for information on General Prayut’s asset. It received the reply that there is no law allowing for information sharing. Also, the asset is considered private and confidential and, therefore, cannot be shared.

The Matter sarcastically wrote: “Although we can sort of guess the answer, we wanted to prove a point.”

That point is pure and simple: Corruption doesn’t exist if the people are duct-taped and blindfolded, wearing earplugs.

Move along. Nothing to see, hear or discuss.

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