Thai Crisis: Yingluck Shinawatra’s statement on the anti-corruption unit’s charges over the Rice Pledging Scheme (Up-Dated)

(Up-Dated) Two of Thailand’s newspapers, Matichon and Khao Sod, did an investigative report on the anti corruption unit, and found that there are 13 corruption charges, related to Abhisit’s Democrat Party, that have been lodge for years and years, and have went no where at the anti corruption unit. Mean while, both The Economist Magazine, and the iconic global political risk firm, IHS says the anti corruption unit, is involved in a “Judicial Coup” against Yingluck)

The following is a statement by Yingluck:

Respected fellow Thai citizens and dear rice farmers,

I wish to begin by reaffirming that over the past two years since being appointed Prime Minister, I have been committed to serve the people of Thailand with honesty, integrity and every determined effort, as I have always been conscious of the mandate entrusted to me by the Thai people. I shall therefore not let them down; in particular the responsibility to protect the interests of the Thai people and uphold our democratic system with His Majesty the King as the Head of State.

Since the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has resolved to investigate into the matter upon petition by the Democrat Party, and in the case that the NACC has persistently expressed reason to suspect corruption involved with the Rice Pledging Scheme since 28 January 2014, thereby causing damage to the government; and with the subsequent announcement on 31 January 2014 informing me of this investigation, with the entire NACC making up the investigating committee and the delegating of Professor Vicha Mahakhun and Mr.Prasart Pongsiwapai as the responsible committee members for this investigation through an official note which also confirmed that I shall be accorded full rights, treated fairly and transparently in the judicial process by NACC,

I initially believed the NACC, as in consideration of the current position I hold as Prime Minister, that I will be accorded fair and just treatment and that sufficient witness and evidence will be considered throughout the procedures in the reporting of allegations, even though the law specifies that the NACC proceeds promptly, but without rush, in accommodating justice for the accused.

Fellow Citizens

My work as Prime Minister and also as Chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee is done at the policy level. While at the operational level, the implementation of the Rice Pledging Scheme requires the establishment of a framework, steps, and procedures by government agencies and officials in accordance with the policy direction given.

The government system of work has its own standards and regulations; therefore my work at the policy level does not have the authority to directly operate, order, or overrule the work of government officials in anyway. The implementation of projects involved with a policy must be in accordance with a Cabinet Resolution and must be based on Government Policy as announced to the House of Representatives, stipulated in Articles 171 and 178 of the Constitution of Thailand. I have always been aware that government work and private sector work must be based on such principles and with clear delegation of duties so that there is accountability in all related issues and accountability in each procedure.

Therefore, as there will be an announcement over the investigations into myself and although I have not been involved at the operational level, but nevertheless as I am being accused, I am compelled to exercise my rights within judicial procedures and therefore ask to examine the evidence and witnesses, in accordance with my rights in the judicial procedure as guaranteed by the Constitution of Thailand, so that I can correctly explain such accusations that I have not been involved in any wrongdoing to the NACC.

I have also submitted two official petition notes to the NACC since 11 February 2014, asking them to kindly consider reassigning any other NACC member to undertake the task of investigation, instead of Professor Vicha Mahakhun.

However, since that day, I have not been informed by the NACC that my two above-mentioned petitions for justice would be considered or not. Instead, on 18 February 2014, the NACC, through a press briefing by the NACC member that I wished to be substituted, announced that I have been called on 27 February 2014, at 14.00 hrs. to be notified of the charges. If one considers the duration since the NACC assigned its member to investigate the case on 28 January 2014 until the recent announcement on 18 February 2014, it is only just 21 days. This short duration that the NACC used to investigate a political case has never happened before.

Another observation is that a cabinet member in the last government has been charged with corruption on many counts, including corruption charges on their rice insurance scheme. Surprisingly, there has been no judicial development regarding that particular case, whereas it takes only 21 days to investigate and bring charges against me.

My fellow Thai citizens,

I wish to assure you that as I have served my duty with righteousness and contrary to the charges brought against me by the NACC, I have done nothing wrong. On the charges that I did not stop this Rice Pledging Scheme Policy and allowed the scheme to continue, I wish to prove once again that the Scheme will definitely be beneficial to the farmers as it has raised the living standards of our fellow farmers. And though I may be charged in this criminal case and may have to give up my position in accordance to the wishes of those who want to topple my government, I will still lend my full cooperation and give necessary information to the NACC. It is also my fervent hope that the NACC will listen to all accounts of the witnesses before delivering their verdict. The judicial process, under the rule of law, would provide the best opportunity for the accused to prove oneself.

More importantly, if there were indeed true justice without any hidden agenda, the NACC would not have hurriedly investigated and delivered a verdict in such a manner that has allowed society to deem it as beneficial only to those who want to topple the government. And in comparison to previous cases that I have mentioned earlier, for example the rice scheme of the previous government, which is still under investigation since 2013 and other long impending cases such as the bail out of financial institutions from the 1997 economic crisis.

The NACC should prove to the public that it has used its power righteously, in accordance with the principles of the rule of law as stated under the constitution.

Lastly, I urge our dear farmers and the people of Thailand not to be disheartened by this ongoing dilemma. We shall solve this problem and overcome all other obstacles together. I am ready to listen and cooperate with every party to bring about the truth, the effectiveness and productivity of the Rice Pledging Scheme and whether it would really benefit the farmers. Should there be any need to amend the Scheme to be more effective, I am more than welcome as this would truly benefit every single Thai citizen.

Thank you very much

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