After 18 years in Thailand, Richard Bowler’s impression of us still sounds more like the talk you hear among expatriates in a bar along Sukhumvit Road.
If he were alert enough, he would not be so destructive. Thaksin Shinawatra, his favourite subject, was caught under the asset-disclosure rule, following which his undue riches were seized. Former Health Minister Rakkiat Sukthana was sentenced to 15 years’ jail in 2003 for corruption and his personal wealth of Bt234 million was seized. That was the first case under the law on assets disclosure. In 1967 a former agriculture minister and Army general was sentenced to long imprisonment for corruption and died there. Other cases involved two former deputy interior ministers, and they’re still both on the run.
Recently a deputy police chief in charge of drug suppression was allegedly caught with 800,000 methamphetamine pills, and an Army general attached to the Defence Ministry was arrested for allegedly extorting the vendors in Patpong. This is a heart-warming and encouraging trend!
I do wish Mr Bowler would get the right end of the stick first before ridiculing Thailand and I with colourful words that effectively call Thailand a joke.