Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Politician Promise Nullification Loophole

Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Dusit Nontanakorn passed away earlier this month but the battle he spent his professional life fighting against corruption is one Thailand cannot afford to abandon ...
Here's the gist of a speech he gave about conditions in 2010:

"When government concessions are offered to the private sector there is often an under the table payment of 30%. He estimated that added up to two trillion baht per year and the trend is on the upswing - it could soon reach 50%."

"The Thailand Information Centre for Civil Rights and Investigative Journalism last week released a study which showed that 317 MPs were found to have become richer than they were when they took office on Jan 22, 2008.

Of those, seven MPs saw their bank accounts swell by 100 million baht in their three years in office, 10 had become 50 to 100 million baht richer, the wealth of 54 grew by to 10 to 50 million baht, and 61 were between five and 10 million baht richer. The wealth of the rest only grew five million baht each. Overall, it was a 4.3 billion baht increase in wealth.

The study, however, stated that this new found fortune was through investments made by spouses and family members and other ''legal'' means.  The average monthly salary of an MP is about 100,000 baht."

In the US, crossed fingers behind your back means that there is a nullification of whatever statement or promise you’re making.  

This act exercises the supposed “promise nullification loophole” but there must be a different tradition for Thai politicians when they make promises to stop corruption.  The breaking of a promise to stop corruption is so big that they actually cross their entire arms. And it is so well known publicly that they go ahead and cross them in the open instead of behind their backs.

Thailand opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, front left, anti-corruption network Chairman Phongsak Assakul, front center, and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, front right, use the Thai promise nullification loophole at an anti-corruption campaign in Bangkok, Thailand Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. 

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