Sunday, January 29, 2006

Anti-corruption website will be closed

Anti-corruption website will be closed

The Nation, Jan 27 , 2006

(BANGKOK) A respective anti-corruption website, will be closed down next Wednesday at the order of CAT Telecom that oversees Thai internet service provider, a website founding member said yesterday.

"Our webmaster has received a letter from CAT Telecom's webmaster yesterday, saying that will be shut down, starting from February 1. The letter did not say the reasons," said Khunying Jaruvan Maintaka, auditor general, told reporters.

The website team will have an urgent meeting to discuss the matters. "We think it is very strange because no reasons of the closing were mentioned. I think somebody is not happy that many people have visited our website which present solid corruption information," she said.

Jaruvan is among leading public figures who have joined hands to launch the Corruption Watch group and the website to monitor graft in the country. The others are Totrakul Yomanak, president of the Engineering Institute of Thailand; Democrat Party deputy leader Alongkorn Pollabutr; Veera Somkwamkid, secretary-general of the People's Network Against Corruption.

A source from the corruption watch online said if the website is closed down, the team will appeal to CAT Telecom.


looks like it's already down, check it:

Why the hell did they host in Thailand?

Bank of Thailand (BOT) says baht's rise due to sale of Shin to Singapore

Sometimes I feel like there are 5 assholes sitting in a room, giving out the government position on things here. The explanations bear little or no direct relationship to reality, and are as simple-minded and idiotic as they could possibly be. Now, 80% of the time, I believe these 'expostulations' are nothing more than smokescreen to support the 'long con' that is Thai Rak Thai. In other words, the gov is lying, manipulating and catering to the rural voter base, and they really aren't as stupid as their explanations make them appear. But the other 20% of the time, I think these assholes actually believe what they are saying.

The fact that such people are in power shows the pervasiveness of corruption in Thai society, because how else could people of such limited ability have reached such high levels of responsibility?

from today's Nation:

BOT explanation of baht’s appreciation against US dollar spun in favour of Thaksin

Re: “Baht’s rise due to Shin deal – BOT”, Business, January 20. As reported, it appears that Bank of Thailand (BOT) governor Pridiyathorn Devakula and Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya are intentionally misleading Thai people about the reasons for the appreciation of the Thai baht against the US dollar. The baht/US dollar exchange rate is flexibly managed by the BOT at the broad instruction of the Ministry of Finance, ie, a managed floating-exchange-rate system pegged to a basket of currencies: the euro, US dollar, and the yen. The daily determination of the baht/dollar exchange rate is secretly determined by the BOT in regular consultation with the Ministry of Finance.

This means that the rise of the baht against the dollar since January 4 has been independently determined by the BOT, ie, it has nothing to do with alleged large inflows of capital to purchase Shin shares. No supply-demand relationship between the dollar and the baht is in action as far as Shin shares are concerned.

However, think carefully: Singapore’s Temasek Holdings does not have to wire money to Thailand because it can deposit the agreed US dollar amounts at Shin’s bank account in a Singapore bank. This is easily done, as Singapore is a major international financial centre. Moreover, it is a bad financial management practice to wire such a large amount into Thailand as this money eventually will be wired back to Singapore later. In effect, Temasek’s money is very unlikely to have ever arrived at any banks in Thailand for the purchase of Shin shares.


The reader goes on to note that rather than bring hard currency into Thailand, the sale has in fact resulted in "the flight of capital from Thailand to Singapore, ie, selling [Thaksin's] assets in Thailand in exchange for money directly deposited in Singapore." If this is not true, it would be interesting to know which Thai bank has been entrusted with the 70+billion baht proceeds from the sale. A simple question no Thai newspaper has figured out to ask.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

how Thaksin got where he is today; a Horatio Alger story for Thailand

from the comments page of the Nation, re: the tax-free sale of Shin Corp to a Singporean firm

Date: 24 Jan 2549 22:49

Once upon a time, a deputy Director-General of the then Police Department quickly signed not less than 5 licenses for opening 5 love motels (each signature on each license netted him 20 million baht)

This very Deputy D-G of the Police Dept. has dark skin, and had an assistant with a Ph. D. who was a police lieutenant.

Later, the Ph. D. assistant married the police general's daughter. This assistant resigned from the Police Dept to start his business. He started with computer business because his father-in-law had known of a mega computer project of the Police Dep.

Well, the Ph. D. ex-cop got that computer deal because his father-in-law authorised and signed for him. That gave him the first start of a few hundred million baht profit.

From computer, the family went onto telecom business through paying huge amount of money to a former permanent-secretary of Transports and Communications. This guy passed many licenses for this family, for example, the near-monopoly and advantageous mobile phone license which has given this family an edge (every none-AIS phone call to TOT numbers will be charged, while the ones of AIS are free.), satellite license, etc.

From that start, the family has dug gold and ripped off mobile phone users as well as competitors. They use their wealth in buying votes and men in key positions, e.g. former Secretary-General of the Elections Commission, some members of the Constitution Court.

The family has turned their wealth to poliical power. They also send their men, especially those who used to work in their company and cops, to control key political and bucratic posts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thai hi-so and the concept of charity; incredible but absolutely true

from today's Letters section of the Nation:

Thaksin should share his windfall with charities

It is very common in Western countries for the ultra-rich to be benefactors to multiple foundations, charities and universities.

Many have their own foundations to help the poor of not just their own country, but countries throughout the world.

Witness Bill Gates and his Aids programme worth billions of dollars, or Angelina Jolie giving millions to Cambodian and African poor.

Certainly now Thaksin can afford to really help the poor of Thailand.

Not once in six years of living here have I ever read about the "hi-so" Thais giving freely of their money to help others. Certainly it would have been reported because these selfish rich people would only give to charities if it were to be publicised.

Can anyone give one example of how Thaksin has given of his own wealth to help anyone (other than the televised "unreality" show recently where he gave away Bt50,000 - pocket money for him)?

Let's see how caring Thaksin and his family really are now.

Disgusted by Thaksin

Chiang Mai

Sunday, January 22, 2006

why Thais are incredibly nosey and gossipy; why they are also phone-obsessed

"Asians are obsessed with other people. It's as if they have no core self, only a self that exists through their relationship with other people.

This may be true in some bottom line sense for all human beings, but in Asia, it's taken to its extreme."

what are Thais really like?

rude and incredibly selfish (not to mention racist-- a recent gallup poll puts Thailand at #1 for xenophobia in Asia), for the most part.

>>>a 'slice of daily life' story reposted from another discussion group:

i had a nice one yesterday;

standing in the new, swish, swanky central food hall. waiting in line to have my salad weighed, so to speak, and some big, purple-haired female canine variety of a khun ying strides up, takes a good look at me, for some reason decides that she has the right to jump ahead of me.

she literally thrusts her bag of fruit in front of me towards the weigher...


if she had any idea just how close i am to decking the next dumb fruit somchai who decides to treat me rudely...

anyhoo, i didnt tear thee old witch's head off. i very loudly said to her, in front of other people queing, "excuse me but i was here first, you are very rude". i then shook my head at her while my stuff was being weighed.

she didn't look very happy at all.

many thais are disgustingly, selfishly rude and they can take the pleasure out of living here.

>>> should be noted that this kind of behaviour is not limited to "khunyings," but is definitely most common among older "chinese-thai" (1/4 chinese-3/4 thai) women and, on the other side of the spectrum, low class Thais of any age or gender. Middle class Thais, in my exp., tend to be somewhat better behaved.