Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ethical Engineers Blast their Thai Brothers for Selling Their Souls for Money in Airport Projects

Engineers beat their breasts over airport debacle

There has been a growing chorus of self-criticism within Thai engineering and architectural circles as public confidence in the professions has been shaken by the Suvarnabhumi Airport debacle.

The latest effort to keep people in the engineering profession accountable has come from group of senior engineers who call themselves "Engineers for the Nation". They held a press conference yesterday urging the Council of Engineers to launch an investigation into possible breaches of professional ethics by their peers who were involved in the construction of the controversial airport.

"We all know the project has been plagued by corruption, and corruption by politicians would not have been possible without the help of engineers," said Kieng Mekwasekphan, a leader of the group. "Those engineers have compromised public safety, a key principle of our professional ethics."

Chaiwat Sinsuwong, former industry minister and member of the group, added that every step of the project from the inception, design and construction to the final auditing had been the work of engineers. The group said engineers and engineering firms which were found guilty should have their operational licences revoked by the council.

It really says something about Thai society when the engineers of a major project like an airport see it as an ATM machine with free money rather than as an opportunity to use their professional skills to do something remarkable so that they can feel proud about their work.


anon said...

It's not only about safety that the public has concerns. From the article, it's clear that there is major doubt about whether the conclusions of any engineering study will be warped by the junta's overriding motive of destroying the legacy of the Thaksin-regime.

Another choice quote:
"All the recent previous governments before Thaksin took part in taking something from the project," Chaiwat said. "If it is found that sand used in pressing and draining water from the soft swamp soil is a problem, then we have to look into those involved as far back as 1996, during the interim Banharn government," Chaiwat said.

Fonzi said...

I have to admit, sometimes these problems are not just about skimming money and corruption, I bet many problems are due to sheer incompetence.

The airport project is a major engineering feat, especially with the swamp, so I bet many companies were way over their heads and couldn't admit that they didn't know what they hell they were doing.

Anonymous said...

Indeed it is not a good idea to underestimate the apalling extent of Thai incompetence. The airport fiasco has people all over the world laughing and shaking their heads and realising what a bunch of stand-up comics these people really are.