Dealing with corruption in Thailand is no easy task. Fortunately for Abhisit, Thailand’s new Constitution seems to be doing a good job dealing with corrupt politicians. But the Constitution does little beyond the scope of managing corrupt politicians.
So now enter a major crime that captures national attention, and you start to see how troublesome this is. There are several crimes that are politically motivated, and most if not all remain unsolved. For one example the bombings on New Years eve December 31, 2006 are known to be politically motivated but have turned up a dead end. If you make a comparison to the FBI in the US, the crime would have been solved, and wanted photos would be on display around the country inside a month or so.
The crime that seems to have dragged Abhisit into this prematurely is the assassination attempt of Sondhi Limthongkul, who is a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). That investigation seems to be going nowhere fast, and that could almost be called a signature of police involvement. After all it makes perfect sense if you stop and think about it. If there is no harm to yourself in doing your job then you should do it.
However for Abhisit this could be dangerous waters jumping in this early. Abhisit at the moment has only a small core of people who could be defined as the Thai version of Eliot Ness. Eliot Ness was credited with bringing down Chicago’s mob boss Al Capone in the early 1930’s. For someone to go up against the police like this most certainly defies a person’s survival instincts. The issue is the police do not host a small percentage of corrupt cops, in fact the number is much closer to 100% than 0%. However nobody is sure of the exact number, but with low wages encouraging corruption, you can do the math yourself as to how tempting the dark side of the force is.
So now the playing field is set and for the moment it favors the police winning in the long run one way or another. This task will simply look to route out what is already ingrained in Thai society. Comparatively speaking it will be like asking a Sikh to cut their hair explaining it is much more comfortable and convenient. Even if that is the case there will be a lot of resistance from the elders.
The problems and more specifically the dangers Abhisit will face will be indirect. Police lines protecting Abhisit could suddenly become porous and simply citing and overwhelming mob makes it all seem innocent. The recent memory of how easily Thaskin’s red shirts penetrated the police lines in Pattaya and gained access to the ASEAN summit is one such example of how accidents could happen.
Realistically Abhisit should do a hit and run with the Sondhi Limthongkul case. Then come back later when he has a bigger army of people who look like Eliot Ness.