Corruption, nepotism and dictatorship

Dictatorships invariably descend into a mire of corruption. They come to power through illegal means, operate on the “principle” of “might is right,” and usually decide that what they want is theirs.

Thailand’s dictatorship demonstrates the arrogance of unfettered power. Nepotism runs deep as does self aggrandizement.

Blood is thicker than water inside mafia-like military families. Back in April, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha was defending his brother General Preecha Chan-ocha against allegations of nepotism after a leaked memo revealed that the permanent secretary for defence had secured a military post for his son Patipat.

Earlier posts, here and here, provide the background.

Now a son of General Preecha is getting military contracts. The contracts are worth nearly 27 million baht and are “from the army region his father once commanded…”. The contracts awarded to a firm owned by Pathompol Chan-ocha.

Of course, General Preecha denies there is anything “wrong” in this. The facts are that “Preecha formerly commanded the Third Region Army, which awarded the contracts to his son…. At the time they were awarded, he had moved up in the ranks to deputy army chief and later permanent secretary of defense.”

Meanwhile, Preecha’s wife is accused of behaving pompously. It is reported that there have been complaints that the “reverence and honor” demanded and received “is reserved for members of the Royal Family, and that Pongpan Chan-ocha is being treated as one by the military – a serious allegation in Thailand.”

Red shirt activist Anurak Jeantawanich reportedly observed: “She’s just a peasant, but she’s behaving like a noblewoman, Her Royal Highness Pongpan Chan-ocha. She deserves to be charged with 112…”.

No one deserves that, but we get the point.

General Preecha declared his wife had done nothing wrong. He didn’t comment on his family’s nepotism.


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