Re: “Welfare fraud probe expands to 44 centres”, The Nation, March 12.
Most Thais see the ubiquitous rampant graft, but say that they have to accept this plague because they cannot improve things – and so do nothing. But one solitary youngster, Panida Yospanya, a brave 23-year-old undergraduate, fortunately differed. She blew the whistle, uncovering massive graft that has been going on for years while she was just an intern at the Centre for Protection of the Destitute, in Khon Kaen. Her moral courage was the spark for an investigation by the authorities, including the PAAC (Public-Sector Anti-Corruption Commission).
PM Prayut, you grabbed power to cleanse us of corruption (as well as conduct other reforms). You should take this youngster as your role model and courageously investigate corruption in your own house, for the military has used taxpayer money for such “necessities” as an aircraft carrier without combat-worthy aircraft, an observation balloon that can’t sustainably fly at combat heights, and bomb detectors that are less effective than flipping a coin.
What better case to start with than probing the provenance of Deputy PM and Defence Minister General Prawit’s 25 ultra-expensive watches, allegedly costing up to Bt39 million? The investigation is going at a snail’s pace, as the NACC’s head is a junta appointee. Move it to another investigative agency and light a fire under it. Show leadership and moral courage, PM Prayut, and cleanse us.