Courtesy of Forbes:
At the top of our list is Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose $35 billion estimated net worth is up sevenfold as a result of increased transparency of his Crown Property Holdings. He takes the top spot from the only other Asian monarch on the list, the Sultan of Brunei, worth $20 billion, one of only two rulers worth less than they were last year.
Of course, the Thai media won't touch this with a ten-foot pole, because they love to propagate that the king is poor.
Should the Thai people care? Should they be concerned if the king pays taxes?
Unfortunately, it is illegal for Thais to have an opinion on the subject.
There is no doubt that the king has hundreds of little projects across the country that he funds out of his own pocket, which is good, but Thailand has so many pressing needs from AIDS to an education crisis that more money can be spent from his largesse.
With that money, he could create a world-class university on par with some of the best in the world. He could create high-tech parks. He could pore hundreds of millions into environmental preservation or buy land and redistribute it to landless farmers.
Look at what Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, the Emirs in the UAE are doing with their billions.
The king doesn't even come close to their generosity. It is quite an embarrassment, really.
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