The Great Ladprao Burglary and State Governance

One of the problems with Thailand’s political system as a whole is that a small number of people get to share numerous important public positions, which makes them incredibly powerful through being able to distribute resources and influence. The victim of the Great Ladprao Burglary, Perm Sec of the Ministry of Transport Supoj Saplom (other spellings are available) is also on the board of Thai Airways International and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority and was due to be nominated for Chair of the Board of the State Railway of Thailand (no doubt he holds other positions as well).

It is understandable why such people get invited onto boards – they are the ones who can (f they wish) get things done or stop things getting done. However, a civil servant in Thailand is both unelected and largely unaccountable and policies prepared by the democratically elected government (in the brief periods we are permitted to have one) can be blocked or else can be pushed though only with considerations for committee members.

It is not a good place to start from and powerful interests would aim to stop any changes occurring – the Thai media disgracefully follows the establishment line that any attempt to change is ‘undermining checks and balances’ or attempts to favour certain individuals or groups.

Perhaps the best place to start would be through providing (no doubt against their will) transparency concerning the activities of leading people. There also needs to be some kind of public campaign to educate people that multiple posts does not necessarily indicate the wisdom, virtue and competence of the people involved.

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One thought on “The Great Ladprao Burglary and State Governance

  1. Expats often perceive their home country as ‘going down the toilet’. However you appear to have rose tinted memory glasses. The situation back here is not so different from the one you describe. It is however not as blatant and cannot be ‘justified’ on the grounds, normally trotted out in ‘less’ developed countries, that there are only a small number of highly qualified people with the right experience. Perhaps you have forgotten. We call it cronyism and it is not confined to government.

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