- By Pooky, Thai Intel‘s economics journalist
But reading the local press, you will never see that sentiment however-it is only apparent in the internet social media.
- Lots of news are being blocked in Thailand-intentionally by the local press-and for a long time now. In fact, one example is, in 2005, the year of the height on the attack on Taksin as being corrupt-that year, Thailand hit the “Historical Record” on not being corrupt.
But the local media are censoring stories.
For example, last week, UNTAD or the trade and development arm of the United Nations, came out with a major research that was talked about a great deal globally-but it was not in the news in Thailand. UNCTAD research found that mobile phone helps lift people out of poverty.
If out readers have been following Thailand for about 10 years, Taksin, the former prime minister of Thailand that was kicked out of office, became popular with the poor because of his village fund. The establishment attacked Taksin as giving money to the villages so that the poor villager can use the money to buy mobile phone from Taksin-a telecom billionaire-calling it, “Policy Corruption.”
In fact, at that time, Ogilvy, the advertising firm, actually did a major research of the grassroots spending of the Taksin Village Fund to help its clients pin-point sales opportunities-and found that most went to farm equipment related. The Ogilvy research was not published by Thailand’s media.
Then another example of blocked news is a major research-that found that the income gap, between the rich and poor in Thailand narrowed during Taksin time-for the first time in recent memory. Today, the gap has reached the top 3 level globally.
But Taksin was attacked for hurting the poor with the various program. The Village Fund and Debt Moratorium-for examples, were said to “Spoil” the poor and for “Buying Votes.” Most of Thaksin policies have now all but been copied by the current government.
Eventually, Taksin was kicked out of office by the 2006 coup-that apart from the anti-monarchy accusations-it was mainly the charges that Taksin was corrupt and spoiling the poor for votes.
Charges after charges of corruption were bought on Taksin and the courts subsequently found him guilty. A string of academics now say, that after reading the proceeding of the courts verdict on Taksin-that if the courts were just-Taksin would never have been found guilty. That news, received little coverage.
But how corrupt is Taksin?
Well another piece of news that had been s blocked for a long time now, and that is the Transparency International’s corruption index. The Index clearly shows that Taksin was less corrupt than those that staged the 2006 coup and also the current government. The index that shows this comes out every year-and Taksin have bought the index to attention before.
But no one was interested.
- So the above are a bunch of important research that should have been news-that could assist Thailand in deciding how this “Great Divide” in Thailand should be put back together and clear up some mis-conception and lead to understandings of what had/is going on in Thailand.
- And in fact, if the reports were made when they came out, this Thai crisis may have been averted-with truth and understanding. But unfortunately, all the above research was not news in Thailand and were blocked. Instead, propaganda became the norm-and continues even today.
The following from the Bangkok Post, is just to show our readers, how the news is being spin, controlled and censored in Thailand. The actual Bangkok Post article says, “Thailand scores high on corruption list.”
The following is from the Bangkok Post
“Thailand Scores High on Corruption List”
Thailand ranks 9th in Asia and 78th in the world in this year’s corruption index released by Transparency Thailand on Tuesday.
The kingdom scored 3.5 out of 10 in the honesty rankings, which range from zero for highly corrupt to 10 for very clean.
Last year, Thailand was ranked 10th of 23 countries in Asia and 87th of 178 countries in the world, showing some improvement.
Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore were the least corrupt countries in the world with a score of 9.3, followed by Finland and Sweden with 9.2.
Somalia was the most corrupt country with a score of 1.1. Above it on the list were Burma 1.4, Afghanistan 1.4 and Iraq 1.5.
This year Thailand is the host of 14th international meeting against corruption entitled “Restoring Trust: Global Action for Transparency” on Nov 10-13 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
The graph that the Bangkok Post is afraid to run:
And it shows:
Corruption during Taksin time was less than the time since the 2006 coup
Thailand’s Corruption Perception Index for the last 11 years together with the data-where the higher the number, the less corrupt (From Bangkok Pundit Blog)
- Pakistan jumps up the corruption index (topinews.com)
- Israel 30th Least Corrupt in World Index (israelnationalnews.com)
- Corruption index 2010 from Transparency International: find out how each country compares (guardian.co.uk)
- Somalia, Afghanistan Top Corruption Index (online.wsj.com)
- Global Corruption Report Shows Corrupting Effects of War (themoderatevoice.com)
- Somalia, Afghanistan seen as very corrupt: survey (marketwatch.com)
- Toyota will start to build Prius Hybrid in Thailand (inautonews.com)