Defining nepotism

Blood is thicker than water inside mafia-like military families. Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha has “defended his brother [General Preecha Chan-ocha] against allegations of nepotism after a leaked memo revealed that the permanent secretary for defence had secured a post in the military for his son.”

Earlier posts, here and here, provide the background.

Most sources describe nepotism as favoritism, particularly in appointments to jobs and official positions, based on kinship. Preecha’s first statement on the matter – it’s normal in Thailand’s Army to appoint sons – fits the definition perfectly. He did try to backtrack and cover-up on this.

Yet it seems that The Dictator doesn’t get it. Blood may indeed be thicker than water, but nothing is thicker than a military dictator. We say this because, seemingly believing he can do and say anything, no matter how stupid and incriminating.

Prayuth insisted the nepotism of his brother was “a minor matter” and “simply an ordinary appointment.”

Clearly, nepotism is rampant in today’s military. The top brass can’t even conceive of nepotism being consider wrong or unethical. For them, appointing family member is no big deal and normal.

Prayuth went on to explain this feudal situation: “Today the offspring of military families are appointed (to positions) because they gain trust from what their parents have done for the country…”.

From this it is easy to see how the military has become personalistic fiefdoms that defend hierarchy and the royalist elite.

And, oh yes, Prayuth added: “Everything was legal and correct, that’s it…”.

We doubt that it was all “legal and correct,” but guess that the paper trail is being cleaned as we write. We also doubt that this is the end of the story. Nor should it be.


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