By Frank-this blog political journalist
Chula: A Right Wing School
As documented over and over again, Chula University is a hotbed of Thai right wing thinking that attacks anything Taksin with extreme prejudice. But this professor of Chula probably had it with the right wing Abhisit government and exploded by blasting away at Abhisit.
The Top Police Chief Position is About:
The explosion of this Chula professor is about the appointment of the new police chief. If you followed this story, Abhisuit wants to appoint this police chief with his man, namely because the Thai police plays an important role in elections, and that the police chief he is pushing, is a staunch ally of the Yellow Shirt, and this is Abhisit way of keeping the airport occupation and the terrorism charges on the Yellow Shirt, from coming to fruition.
This Chula Professor being Expelled:
The following is what this professor wrote. Please cherish this work of his, at the Chula Institute for International Study-because he is on the way of being expelled from Chula, as other professors who comes out to criticized the right wing at Chula have all been dismissed from Chula before.
- Writer: THITINAN PONGSUDHIRAK : The writer is Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University.
Notwithstanding his pledge to usher in a clean and accountable government, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has shown:
- Complete contempt for the Thai people in the saga over the appointment of a new national police chief.
As the police drama has dominated news headlines for days and weeks, all we are allowed to know is that Mr Abhisit and his backers prefer Pol Gen Pateep Tanprasert, while the opposing camp – led by a government coalition partner and the secretaries-general of the PM’s Democrat Party and Government House – has jousted for Pol Gen Chumpol Manmai. It is as if the PM and his men are up against his other men together with government allies. The rumours, intrigues and innuendos are an utter insult to the public’s collective intelligence.
- Never has the PM come out to explain why either police general is qualified for the top law enforcement job.
Nor have we heard from the candidates themselves as to how they intend to run and reshape the police force for public benefit.
Instead, the fixation has been on the PM’s role as chair of the National Police Commission, his narrow loss of a crucial vote on Pol Gen Pateep, his instructions for incumbent Pol Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwon to first go to China for assignment and then to the southern border provinces for another.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission’s timely decision to accuse Pol Gen Patcharawat of malfeasance related to the police’s dispersal of the yellow-shirted protesters who blocked Parliament on Oct 7 last year, will now bring this drama to denouement.
Just three weeks shy of his mandatory retirement, Pol Gen Patcharawat, who happens to be Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon’s brother, faces an ignominious end to his police career. He has resigned but his detractors are suggesting that he can only be fired. Criminal and disciplinary investigations also await him.
The coalition of forces may now tip to Pol Gen Pateep because Pol Gen Patcharawat’s replacement is likely to vote the PM’s way. It would be an outcome of machinations and power plays that has little to do with merit and accountability, strikingly reminiscent of convicted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s behind-the-scenes manipulations of bureaucratic appointments several years ago.
- The police force has long been politicised, but the politicisation has reached a new high under PM Abhisit’s tenure.
With so much politics driving its upward mobility and career advancement, it is little wonder the Thai police are notoriously corrupt and inept.
On paper, the two candidates are in stark contrast. Pol Gen Chumpol, Mr Thaksin’s close and trusted police academy classmate who rose quickly under the Thaksin regime, comes from operations. He has held lines of command that included Nonthaburi province and the second sub-division of crime suppression with jurisdiction over the entire country, considered the most powerful and prestigious of all sub-divisions in the police force.
Pol Gen Pateep comes from an administrative and policy-and-planning background.
- In the eyes of police rank-and-file, Pol Gen Chumpol is supposed to be more qualified, seen as a proven copper who has busted vice dens and stood up to the bad guys.
But the qualifications of both candidates are beside the point.
The unfolding drama over the police is not just about power plays but a downright proxy battle. And this time, it is not between Thaksin and his opponents but among the opponents themselves.
On one side stands the bluish yellow People’s Alliance for Democracy and its street protesters who blockaded Parliament and suffered from the tear gas and wrongful dispersal tactics on Oct 7 last year. They have been clamouring for payback time, agitating against Pol Gen Patcharawat for much of the past year and pressuring the Abhisit government to appoint an accommodating police chief who can right the wrongs of Oct 7. For the PAD, this is the day of infamy to be avenged. In addition, the unsuccessful hit job on PAD co-leader Sondhi Limthongkul also needs to be accounted for. A police chief who can get to the bottom of both Oct 7 and the Sondhi shooting is thus essential.
Strange bedfellows are ensconced on the other side. The smallish but disproportionately powerful Bhumjaithai Party is aligned to both Suthep Thaugsuban and Niphon Prompan, two key Democrat power-brokers who have provided backroom wherewithal and political cover for the prime minister. They have openly pushed for Pol Gen Chumpol without stated rationales. Normally a low-profile party operative, Mr Niphon’s cryptic travels back and forth to Germany have added to the intrigues. He has returned each time with a reported thumbs-up for Pol Gen Chumpol.
- However the proxy preferences between the pro-Chumpol and pro-Pateep factions within the Abhisit government turn out, they will have wide repercussions. The government’s coalition unity will be shaken to its foundations, sowing discord and destabilising political stability.
That the infighting within the government and the Democrat Party festers without Thaksin’s doing suggests that the Thaksin-rooted political polarisation will broaden. The battles between the various colours will become more nuanced. It is still red versus yellow in the main, but shades of blue and green may well become more assertive.
- The conflicting preferences over the new police chief indicate that the Thai body politic is nowhere nearer than at any point over the past four years to reconciliation and workable compromise.
A new consensus is still far off in the distance. This harsh reality is not what Mr Abhisit and his government of custom-made circumstances are meant to bring about.
- The prime minister should not be playing Thais for fools. More Thais than he is willing to realise know what is really going on in their country.