July 18, 2014 00:00
By Natthapat Phromkaew
Ministers from the previous government, plus senators and former senators have formally revealed their assets and liabilities, as required by law, which aims to detect any unusual change in a politician's wealth derived from their time in public office.
Information from some members of Cabinet who were involved in the rice pledging scheme, such as the former minister and deputy ministers of commerce, drew attention.
Based on the information released, the assets of some former Cabinet members may have dropped after they became part of the government. For instance, former deputy PM and ex-commerce minister Niwathamrong Boonsongpaisarn’s assets dropped from Bt137 million to Bt122 million after debt, while the assets of Nuttawut Saikuar, former deputy commerce minister, also dropped by Bt1.6 million to Bt16.2 million.
However, the assets of Yanyong Puangrach, also former deputy commerce minister, rose from Bt16.3 million to Bt17.3 million. His savings rose by Bt2 million, while his fiancee’s bank account showed an increase of Bt1.2 million. They have no debts.
An investigation into senators’ assets shows that they are significantly wealthier than former Cabinet members, with five of them having total assets worth up to Bt1 billion. The wealthy senators are Willada Inchat, Pairoch Toongthong, Chusuk Sriraja, Somwang Apichairat and Sunan Singsombutra.
The assets of former senators also appeared to have risen by a modest amount. Former speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai topping the list with Bt175 million in assets after debt.