In a recent performance poll on Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, his score was acceptably high in all but one area. The one area that the Thai people felt he was lacking in was dealing with corruption. So on that note, Connecting the Dots has decided to connect the dots on why that opinion was reached.
All things considered, the vast majority of westerners sees that Prime Minister Abhisit is the best thing that happened politically to Thailand in a very long time. Since he has been in the Prime Ministers chair he has fought off repeated attacks by convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra with one arm, and tried to repair and grow the country with the other. That is no easy multitasking in anyone’s book.
But when you come right down to it and look at the issue of corruption, even that on face value he seems to be coming up short, Connecting the Dots sees some progress that just takes a bit of time to get up to speed. Perhaps it could be best described as Abhisit is busy building his anti corruption bulldozer that will eventually deal with corruption. Taking it on with just a shovel in hand is a bit futile.
As Connecting the Dots has pointed out before, there are several layers of government. With each progressive layer, there are more and more people. In short it looks a bit like a Christmas tree. The lower you are on the tree the more ornaments you will find. To date, the top tier politicians who are tempted to be corrupt are for the most part in check, or at least that it is how it seems at the moment. But moving down to the second tier of government and in particular in the provinces, corruption has never been healthier.
Perhaps the most recent example of greed had to do with the disbursement of flood relief funds. In what should have been a straight forward hand over of cash to impacted Thais, officials in the local government decided to disqualify some people and pocket the money. Once that news got back to Prime Minister Abhisit, both feet were applied to squash that particular second tier corruption.
Politically Prime Minister Abhisit must play a passive role and not be seen as the point man poking his nose into every corner, he needs to rely on assorted anti corruption teams in various agencies to uncover the dirt. That is essentially Abhisit’s bulldozer. But seeing that Thailand is the copy capital of the world, some components of his bulldozer are not as they seem and actually are porous and let corruption slip past. It takes time to identify those substandard copies and replace them with factory originals.
Once that happens then the corruption can be better addressed and subsequently dealt with.
So to sum this up, it takes time to get up the momentum needed to deal with the massive corruption in Thailand. The team needed for that simply must be massive as well, and at the moment, that huge bulldozer team is still being built.