Thailand Only: Another embarrassment for the kingdom

Following the 1991 military coup, Narong Wongwan became the military’s candidate for prime ministership in the 1992 election. It turned out he was blacklisted by the US for drug trafficking. Narong vowed to fight on, but in the end, he bowed out.

Perhaps back then, there was some sense of shame and decency, no matter how little. Perhaps there were some checks and balances, no matter how little. But one thing is for sure, today in Thailand, there is no shame or decency, no matter how little.

In regards to yesterday’s Consitution Court verdict in favor of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thammnat Promow’s drug trafficking past and prison sentence in Australia, General Prawit Wongsuwan said:

“It’s the court’s business, not the government’s.”

In theory, this is true. However, one would be galactically naive to think the court acts without direction from the Prayut Regime. That aside, the verdict might not be the government’s business, but Deputy Minister Thammanat is.

After all, he’s a government minister and a government MP, making him General Prayut’s business. As well, he’s a Palang Pracharat politician. General Prawit is the party leader. Therefore he’s General Prawit’s business.

Apparently, the political party and the government that lay claim to the description “good people” is “sabaai sabaai, mai pen rai” with Thailand’s latest international embarrassment.

The words “shame, shame, shame” don’t even describe collective nausea experienced from northernmost Chiang Rai to southernmost Su-ngai Kolok. Except for Payao Province, that’s Thammanat’s home base.

But this isn’t about ethics, decency, integrity, or justice. It is about power.

On 11 July 2019, Deputy Minister Thammanat said, “I am the blood vessel that feeds the heart of the government. I hold the secrets. I negotiate the deals. If you can take me down, that means the government would go down.”

On that day, he spoke the truth, and the truth goes even much deeper than what he said.

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