Feb 26, 2014

‘Dereliction of duty’: Thailand’s PM facing the corruption music

As violence rages in Thailand, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is facing charges of dereliction of duty. Crikey's Asian correspondent reports from Bangkok on the political downfall and the Australian connection.

Michael Sainsbury — Freelance correspondent in Asia and <em>Little Red Blog</em> Editor

Michael Sainsbury

Freelance correspondent in Asia and Little Red Blog Editor

When Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb took the job to help former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now in exile, start his Thai Rak Thai political party in 1997-98, he probably didn’t think it would come to this.

Tomorrow, Thaksin’s sister Yingluck (pictured) — Thailand’s Prime Minister since 2011 — will front the nation’s Anti-Corruption Commission on “dereliction of duty” charges stemming from the disastrous rice-pledging scheme. The cornerstone of a successful campaign that installed Yingluck as prime minister, the ineptly conceived and corruptly managed scheme could mean the end of her government.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

6 thoughts on “‘Dereliction of duty’: Thailand’s PM facing the corruption music

  1. klewso

    That pillock of the political community, Lord Downer, was going to welcome “The Pillager of Thailand” with open alms.

  2. Donna Webster

    I live in Bangkok and it is extremely difficult to get a holistic overview of the actual situation that has sparked and keeps escalating the troubles in this fabulous city. Thank you for a well rounded succinct overview. I will share this with other expatriate colleagues who are struggling to understand what is actually happening here.

    Whilst generally unaffected by the protesting personally, the people and the economy are suffering as people choose to holiday elsewhere and/or avoid Bangkok.

    You are right, if feels like something is going to ‘give’ soon. Let’s hope for the sake of the millions of people whose economy was just starting to really thrive, that it is a democratic peaceful result.

  3. Angela Ballard

    what commentators and writers on this topic have failed to understand is the corruption that got Thaksin into power in the first place: a monopoly on mobile/telecoms courtesy of his mates in the ’90’s making him the first billionaire in a country of many poor people. The Thai Rak Thai (Thai love thai) incarnation basically bought votes by offering one million baht- $40000 USD to every village headman in the north and east to ensure votes from the rural poor. This corruption has continued under his sister the current PM albeit now with public funds so It is not just old establishment elites who want the thaksinites out. There is a long term broad Alliance of educated left together with networks of students and civil society and other urban and rural poor who are struggling towards their democracy as they have been doing for decades now – thwarted yet again by corruption and the monied classes. That they feel the need to fight for their democracy via street protest says much about how true democracy has been denied them for so long. Much of the western press have not fully understood this. Dig deeper to get to the heart of the matter.

  4. Daemon

    “Pillager” Cluso – that’s a bit strong doncha know old chap. Though, if I think about it hmmmm, no – it’s better than complete rapist, which was the beginning of the Thaksin shit fight.

    There are so many parallels between what Thaksin (an elite who made his money screwing the education department for computers, after he had a fairly mediocre position as a policeman), then became an instant “democrat” appealing to struggling farmers for their vote (sold for 300 Baht per), to support him and he would give every one of them a buffalo for their efforts. Of course no one pointed out that the 1 Rai farmers had nowhere to keep a buffalo even if he could find the required 40 million buffalo, which he couldn’t since they had all been eaten years before, and replaced with a Kwai Lek (literally – iron buffalo) , which did all the work of a buffalo, and fed on diesel. It was also easy to store.

    Latest from the “government” is that they are giving students iPads. Interesting people the Thai’s but fancy talking to Robb about it.

  5. cairns50

    so now there the infamous red shirts , not the infamous yellow shirts that hijacked the countries economy when they closed the airport the last time an election didnt go there way, seems you only like democracy when the side you like wins the election

    i travel to bangkok and thailand regulary also,my feeling from the thai people i talk to is that they mostly support the government

    this is once again a political coup de tat by the entrenced elite to keep power and deny democracy to the masses

    infamous red shirts? are the people outside of bangkok second class citizens in there own country?

  6. AR

    Why does Crikey continue to publish Sainsbury’s slip-shod cut’n’paste crap?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details