Business leaders see corruption increasing
Thai business operators believe that the corruption problem still persists under the interim government that replaced the overthrown Thaksin Shinawatra administration, a poll revealed yesterday.
ABAC Social Innovation of Business and Marketing, a research unit of Assumption University, asked business people and business owners for their views about good governance under previous elected governments and the sufficiency economy philosophy being promoted by the current government.
Almost 85 per cent of respondents said they expected elected governments to have transparent administration, yet only 28.3 per cent said they found past elected administrations to have transparency.
Alleged rampant corruption under the Thaksin government was one of the main reasons cited by the military for staging the coup on September 19 last year. The junta subsequently set up the Assets Examination Committee (AEC) to scrutinise controversial schemes and alleged abuse of power by the previous government.
The poll asked about corruption among different levels of officials under the current government and found that about 70 per cent of those surveyed believed that corruption continued among local officials. Almost 65 per cent of respondents said it still existed among lower-ranking officials, while 55.7 per cent said there was still corruption among top-ranking officials. However, only 13.8 per cent said they believed there was corruption among the leading figures in the interim administration.
Asked whether they thought corruption would increase under the current government, more than 66 per cent of respondents said it would increase among local officials, while 10.5 per cent said it would decrease. More than 54 per cent of respondents said they believed corruption would increase among lower-ranking officials and 35.7 per cent said it would increase among top-ranking officials
Only 11.3 per cent of those surveyed said corruption would decline among lower-ranking officials, while 22.6 per cent expected to see a drop among top-ranking officials.
Asked whether they thought corruption by politicians would increase after the next general election or not, almost 37 per cent of respondents said it would increase and only 8.2 per cent expected it to decrease.
Asked about state officials, about 35 per cent of respondents said they believed the corruption would increase at the local level after the election, while 31.7 per cent expected an increase in the lower ranks. About 23 per cent of respondents believed it would increase among top-ranking officials.
More than 72 per cent of the business operators surveyed said they found corruption by authorities a "usual occurrence" and a part of life in running their businesses.
The poll was conducted on 1,639 business operators in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces from January 1-28.