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Voluntary declaration is useless

Re: "Assets declaration a foundation of reforms", Editorial, August 20.

This coup will have been no different from past coups - weak on transparency and worse - if members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the junta do not disclose their personal assets while in power. The editorial's insistence that a declaration of assets is vital if the junta wants to enhance its sincerity is beyond dispute.

However, I do not believe voluntary disclosure is enough, since the value of assets each person declares will neither be checked nor subject to National Anti-Corruption Commission regulations and sanctions.

To be beyond reproach, the NLA and junta members should be subject to the same rules and regulations applied to members of parliament, prime ministers and Cabinet ministers under previous democratically elected administrations. Voluntary declaration without any checking mechanisms is simply useless as a measure for discouraging corruption.

If the junta issued another order, requiring its own members and others to comply with normal anti-corruption rules, it would be praised and the coup seen as a sincere move to restore national order.

Songdej Praditsmanont


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