Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Bangkok Post to Thai Government: If Thaksin Didn't Break The Law, Just Make Something Up And Go After Him Anyway

The clock ticks on Thaksin investigations

By Post Reporters

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is telling the world that the Assets Scrutiny Committee, appointed by the military coup committee to find the corruption of his regime, has no evidence against him. Council for National Security (CNS) chairman Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin's expression of confidence, published in Time magazine, that corruption charges would eventually be brought against deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra may help justify the coup he staged in September last year.

However, it failed to outdo Mr Thaksin's interviews with international media outlets which challenged the military-appointed graft busters to establish proof against him.

This is because, according to Mr Thaksin, the Assets Scrutiny Committee (ASC) has so far failed to acquire solid evidence of corruption.

The ASC itself has not publicly stated it has that kind of proof either. It only cites findings from its initial investigation that Mr Thaksin was found to have violated the law.

After five months in office, the ASC - with only seven months left before completing its term - accused Mr Thaksin of wrongdoings in three cases: a 772-million-baht land deal he and his wife made with a state agency, a multi-billion-baht procurement of the baggage handling system for Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi airport, and a rubber saplings procurement deal.

In the land deal, Mr Thaksin is accused of breaking anti-corruption laws which bar him from entering into a deal with any state agency he has the authority to oversee. The panel also accused Mr Thaksin of issuing an unlawful cabinet resolution approving the spending of state money in the rubber saplings deal.

The accusations were made public after ASC probes into the three cases. What the anti-graft panel has not told the public is why he did that.

It is possible the panel only cited legal violations because it could only reveal evidence or in-depth information upon completion of the inquiry stage. It is also possible that the panel is focusing on proving the illegality of Mr Thaksin's administration, as some ASC members have already said.

However, as a number of allegations investigated by the ASC have overlapping boundaries between traditional corruption and illegal or ethically questionable administration, it is still possible that these cases may go nowhere if proof of corruption allegations cannot be solidly established.

Until now, there has only been one case in which the holder of a political position, former health minister Rakkiat Sukthana, was put in jail in 2003 for corruption. In that case, there was evidence showing he took a five-million-baht bribe from a drug company.

To ensure public confidence in the process and convince people that Mr Thaksin was corrupt, it is vital the ASC define motives behind Mr Thaksin's unlawful actions and show evidence that the former premier abused public power for his own and others' benefit.

The article is good until it reaches the paragraph above. Instead of demonstrating that Thaksin broke the law, these Bangkok Post reporters want the government to show Thaksin had the motive to break the law. Scary or what? Basically, the Bangkok Post is saying that the government, without proof of lawbreaking, should just blame the problems on Thaksin anyway by only proving intent. How can you prosecute a person for his intention to commit a crime if there was no crime committed?

Failure to do so will enable Mr Thaksin to discredit the panel's investigation and call for support from the international community and his "16 million" Thai Rak Thai party supporters. His wife, Khunying Potjaman, had already requested a review of a tax evasion case filed against her by the ASC.

On the other hand, instead of building up a scenario internationally and perhaps locally that prosecution is the only proof of Mr Thaksin's corruption, the general and the ASC still have seven more months to expose to the public how the flaws in policy and legislation processes under Mr Thaksin's leadership fostered a climate ripe for corruption. This could also result in a push for administrative reforms.

Please read the above. This is really scary stuff for a newspaper to publish

By doing so, punishment against those who facilitated such corruption may emerge in a form of social sanction as well as electoral defeat.

Thailand will never become a liberal democracy if the Thai media keeps up with reporting like this.

Why should the military government keep chasing after a legally elected and installed politician if it can't prove that he committed any crimes?

By the way, how come the worthless Bangkok Post is not going after Thaksin if it is so sure of his guilt? Why are they waiting for the government to report? Why aren't the Bangkok Post reporters doing their own investigation of Thaksin's nefarious empire if they are so sure he is guilty?


Anonymous said...

Love your blog and there should be more like this. This is how Net democracy can help shape our world and people like you and me can be somebody. To hell with the traditional media. They are blind, biased and unprofessional and try to force their ideas on others. People like you, who are obviously paid for by Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai, are more direct, straightforward, and never hide your motives. You are not ashamed of what you are doing and I consider it great courage. A strange kind of courage, but courage all the same. Well done and keep it coming. Your work really shows what kind of a person you are, you know that? Go to the mirror and look at the man you see. You will be very proud of that man. You can hold your head high for the rest of your life for what you have been doing, whether it's for your ideology or whatever. I'm sure both Bangkok Post, The Nation and other Thai newspapers' reporters, though they are talking garbage with total bias, are not half as clever as you. They think being any rich politician's prostitute is bad. They think being paid to write is bad. They think being someone's slave is bad. Hell with them. Good bye and good luck. Don't forget. Go look yourself up in the mirror.

Fonzi said...

am not a Thaksin fan and have made that clear in other blog posts. I have never been paid by any political party, news agency and government entity and non-government agency in Thailand.

I am a blogger. That's it.

I believe in the rule of law. I don't believe in overthrowing any government on conjecture, heresay, opinion, or any reason that isn't a criminal act that can be proved in a court of law.

I have read the constitution. I have it on my website. Go read it and tell me how Thaksin undermined every single check in the Thai Constitution. How did he break the law? Do that, send me an e-mail with the evidence, and I will put it up on my website, then I will forward the information to the AEC.

Would a paid Thaksin blogger do that?

Of course, I bet you will not do that and will crawl back in your hole somewhere.

By the way, I can hold my head very high because I believe in the rule of law, democracy, and political legitimacy.

What do you believe in? Coups, censorship, juntas, military dictatorships, and the crappy journalistic standards of the Bangkok Post and The Nation?

Maybe it is you who should look in the mirror.