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December 2015 : One-Year Government Progress

  • One-Year Government progress announced
  • Royal endorsement for 5 new NACC members
  • NACC dropped petition against Abhisit-Suthep-Anupong
  • NACC froze more 27.4 MB related to Tarit Pengdith
  • Rajabhakdi Park construction in line with Defense Ministrys regulations
  • Somchai Neelapaijit case upheld by Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court overruled BBC case
  • CDC resolved on senators
  • Civil Court ruled 3 PDRC leaders guilty-fined
  • Former Pollution Control DG got jail term
  • Emergency Decree in 3 southernmost provinces extended
  • 15 BB loans to alleviate minor rubber-planters
  • 12th National Plan to include infrastructure master plan
  • New Year shopping got tax deduction
  • Inedible rice sold for fuel and composting
  • Thailand Future Fund for infrastructure development
  • More 50 BB allocated into SMEs Fund

    One-Year Government progress announced

    On 23rd December, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delivered a speech during his governments one-year progress report at the Government House. Regardless too many inter and intra constraints, during the rest 1 year and 6 months in office, his government has several progresses in international affairs, jurisdiction and reform as promised in the first reform policy. He said his government will stick to its roadmap on national political reform and will lay down a national reform strategy for the next two decades for the benefits of next generation. For the second stage of reform, the elected administration would continue according to the 20 years planning as described in the next 5 national plans. However, this not imply that the plans could not be changed as revision is possible when deems appropriate.

    He also stressed on the idea Pracha-Rat, strong cooperation of state, private and societal sectors. He called for integration of state top-down function and support from the public and begged everyone to refrain from creating conflict while his government is trying to resolve the current one.

    Royal endorsement on five new NACC members

    On 30th December, the Royal Gazette published the names of 5 new National Anti-Corruption Commissioners. They are:
    1. Pol. Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, former deputy national police chief.
    2. Mr. Witthaya Arkompithak, former auditor general.
    3. Mrs. Suwana Suwanjuta, Justice Ministry permanent secreatr.
    4. Mr. Surasak Kirivichien, former Southern Bangkok Criminal Court chief judge.
    5. Gen. Bunyawaj Kruahong, former director of the Armys Office of Internal Audit.

    NACC dropped petition against Abhisit-Suthep-Anupong

    On 29th December, the National Anti-Corruption Commission dropped a petition against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban and former army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda for ordering the crackdowns on protesters led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

    They were accused of abuse of power for ordering the crackdowns on the red-shirt protesters between April 10 and May 19, 2010, resulting in many deaths and injuries. The NACC found from its investigation that orders were made for armed soldiers to retake areas occupied by the protesters because the country at the time was under the emergency decree. During the operations, orders were made for soldiers to be able to use weapons only as warranted by the situation or as necessary in self-defense. However, if it could be proved later that in using the weapons the soldiers had not been careful enough or had overacted, leading to deaths and injuries, they must be held responsible.

    As for the accusation that Mr Abhisit, Mr Suthep and Gen Anupong might have been neglect of duty by not taking action as necessary to stop the deaths and injuries, the NACC found it its investigation that after the crackdown on April 10, 2010 which caused deaths and injuries to the protesters the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) had adjusted its operations.

    After the adjustment, the military force was no longer used to disperse the protesters but deployed to set up checkpoints around the protest sites to put pressure on the protesters.

    On May 19, 2010, the government force moved to take control of Lumpini Park without directly pushing against the protesters at the Ratchaprasong intersection.

    There was no evidence to confirm that Mr Abhisit, Mr Suthep or Gen Anupong had misused their authority. The NACC, therefore, decided to dismiss the accusation against them.

    The NACC, therefore, decided to leave it to the Department of Special Investigation to further investigate to find out if any of the soldiers had individually caused deaths and injuries to the protesters.
    NACC frozen more 27.4 MB from Tarit Pengdith

    On 29th December, the National Anti-Corruption Commission ordered the freezing of 27.4 million baht worth of assets of former Department Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith who has been suspected of being unusually rich. The assets are being held by Piyarerk Atthakanrat acting as a proxy for Mr Tarit and his wife Mrs Wassamol. Mr Piyarak is a nephew of Mrs Wassamol.

    The 27.4 million baht assets are four accounts of Thanachart Bank with altogether 643,572 baht, and nine plots of land worth 26.8 million baht in Nakhon Ratchasimas Pak Chong district. The NACC said the freezing of the assets of Mr Tarit and his wife is to prevent them from being transferred, transformed or concealed.

    The NACCs decision, was based on the NACCs Order 631, dated Oct 30, 2014, which set up a subcommittee to investigate an allegation that Mr Tarit had become unusually rich while serving as director-general of the DSI. The NACC, on March 12 this year, also ordered a temporary freezing of Mr Tarit and Mrs Wassamols assets worth altogether 40.9 million baht.

    Rajabhakti Park construction in line with Defense Ministry regulations

    On 30th December, Gen. Chaicharn Changmongkol Deputy Permanent Secretary of Defense disclosed the investigation on the construction of the Rajabhakti Park, conducted by an 8-ad hoc committee members in the past 1 month, from enormous documents and 23 people relevant to the project, finalized that the spending was made in accordance with the regulations.

    The construction was partially financed by state central budget and private donations; in both cash and materials and the investigation committee has no liability to pin point any wrongdoer since it is the duty of the responsible agency.

    Supreme Court upheld the acquittal in Somchai Neelapaijit case

    On 29th December, the Supreme Court upheld the appellate court's acquittal of all five police officers charged with the robbery and coercion of "disappeared" human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit 11 years ago. The Court found the evident was inadequate to prove the defendants were guilty as the five eyewitnesses gave confusing and questionable testimony on the identification of the kidnappers and the levels of light at the time in Ramkhamhaeng Road, when Mr. Somchai had last been seen.

    BBC case overruled by the Supreme Court

    On 29th December, the Supreme Court overruled the first Court of Instance and the Appeal Courts verdicts and sentenced the two defendants, former executives of the Bangkok Bank of Commerce Plc. (BBC), to jail terms and a total amount of Baht 1,854,201,794.75 compensation to the damages caused to the Bank.

    The first defendant Mr. Krirkkiat Jalichandra was the executive director in 2005 and his deputy director was Mr. Ekachai Atikomnantha. Both were accused of conspiracy to embezzle the Banks fund and to improperly lend money to private companies without through check of their creditability. The first defendant, deceased in 2012, was guilty on 204 accusations, each to a five-year term, totaled 1,020 years but commuted to a maximum of 20 years according to the law. The second defendant also received a 20-year term, too.

    CDC resolved on senators

    On 22nd December, the Constitution Drafting Committee ( CDC) resolved on the total number of senators, 200 members and they are to be selected from 20 specified different groups. Firstly, qualified people entitled to the groups should register to the provincial Election Commission in their provinces. The EC will conduct a cross-selection to streamline a total number to 99 members each, or 1,980 countrywide. They are to be nominated for final selection, by the central agency, to 10 members from each group and the total number of 200 senators as required in the constitution.

    The CDC reasoned this selection system was chosen due to the Senates functions will be different from the House of Representatives members and they are unauthorized to impeach the House members.

    Later on 23rd, The CDC agreed on qualifications of the senators such as; no restriction on education degree, having been involved or being expertise in such the subjects for more a minimum of 10 years prior to the application date and people under election purging processes by the courts and independent agents will be barred from application etc. However, spouses, children and parents of the political position holders are not prohibited to run.

    The CDC will conduct a poll to gather public opinions regarding to the selection of senators and its results will be taken into consideration.

    Civil Court ruled 3 PDRC leaders guilty

    On 23rd December the first Civil Court ruled 3 PDRC : Peoples Democratic Reform Committee leaders; Mr. Somsak Kosaisuk, Mr. Komsan Thongsiri and Mr. Satit Kaew-wan guilty of disrupted and blocked the Interior Ministrys premise on 1st December 2013. They were to compensate Baht 1,636,428 to the complainant Interior Ministry. The three offenders will file petitions to the Appeal Court.

    Former Pollution Control DG got jail term

    On 17th December, the Criminal Court sentenced 3 former executives of Pollution Control Department: director-general Mr. Prakit Kiravanich, deputy director Mr. Sirithan Pairotboriboon and project manager Mrs. Yuwaree Inna, to a 20-year jail term each over their guilt of causing a state loss of more than Baht 23,700 million in the construction of wastewater treatment plant in Klong Dan sub-district Samutprakarn province during 1995 to 2003. They were bailed at Baht 2 million each and will petition to the Appeal Court in 1 month.

    Emergency decree in 3 southernmost provinces extended

    On 15th December the Emergency Decree applied in the 3 southernmost provinces; Narathiwas, Yala and Pattani were extended for another 3 months.

    15 BB loans to alleviate minor rubber planters

    On 8th December the cabinet approved an addition budget of Baht 5000 million to the Bank of Agricultural and Agricultural Cooperatives for the provision of loans, total budget of Baht 15,000 million, to minor rubber-planter households. The loans interest rate is 3%. Since there are 23,216 households unqualified to the loans, they can seek financial support through the village funds.

    12th National Plan to include infrastructure master plan

    On 23rd December, the cabinet resolved to incorporate infrastructure master plan to the 12th National Development plan. The infrastructure master plan will cover modes of transportation in Bangkok Metropolitan and vicinity such as electric rail, intercity expressway, elevated way, dual track rail and port/ferry. The 12th National Plan will be commenced from 2017 to 2021 and become a directive for the administrative function. Though the plan will focus in Bangkok Metropolitan and vicinity area, connection will be made with neighboring countries.

    New Year shopping gets tax deduction

    On 25th December, the economic incentive measure was effective after published in the Royal Gazette. Shopping done from 25 to 31 December is liable to personal income tax exemption from a minimum of actual cost to a maximum Baht 15,000. It was estimated this incentive will boost 0.1-0.2% of GDP regardless to a loss of Baht 4,000-5,000 of income tax.

    Inedible rice sold for fuel and composting

    On 15th December, the Rice Policy and Management Committee approved the bidding, done in November 2018, of rice stock, totaled 37,412 ton, in 7 provinces to the two bidders at a total cost of Baht 198 million or Baht 5,020-5,420 per ton. The rice was inedible and is suitable for biomass fuel, composting and soil improvement

    Thailand Future Fund for infrastructure

    On 15th December, the cabinet resolved an establishment of a Thailand Future Fund, amount Baht 100 billion, for infrastructure development. The first allotment, Baht 10,000 million, will be transferred from the Financial Ministrys Vayubhakdi Fund and the Fund will be later opened for public investment.

    More 50 BB allocated into SMEs Fund

    On 22nd December, the cabinet resolved to increase the SMEs fund from Baht 100,000 million to Baht 150,000 million. The maximum loans will be reduced from a Baht 50 million to Baht 10 million so as to be accessible to small and medium enterprises.

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