Browsing through the Corporate Governance section of the website of Italian-Thai Development Plc, I came across the following fine words in Clause 6 of the section on “The Company’s Treatment of Stakeholders”.
“The company shall not take any action which would damage the general public, natural resources and the environment.”
Given the recent news that the president of the company, Premchai Karnasuta, was arrested in a wildlife conservation area in close proximity to hunting rifles, ammunition and carcasses of animals killed by gunfire, including one perilously endangered species, the public needs to urgently review the sincerity of the company’s policies.
While Mr Premchai’s visit to the national park was clearly a personal matter that did not directly involve his company, a company president is tasked with ensuring that the company’s admirable policy towards natural resources and the environment is properly implemented. The public needs to ask whether it can now trust the company’s leadership to safeguard its precious natural resources and environment, while the company is engaged in large-scale road building, mining and power-generation projects, much of which are funded by taxpayers’ money. Citizens of other countries where Italian-Thai operates, such as Myanmar, also need to ask the same questions.