Political decision: The rubber saplings corruption case

25 09 2009

Another historic court verdict in Thailand history: the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions found all 44 defendants (who served under Thaksin leadership) in the Bt1.44 billion rubber sapling project graft case not guilty. This shall stand to remind all the Thais of injustice and incredibility of our judiciary system: the lack of independence of members of the judiciary. It is a political rather than legal decision.

Newin who served as the former deputy agriculture minister and the 43 co-defendants were charged with corruption the procurement of 90 million rubber saplings for about 1.4 billion baht for farmers in the North and the Northeast. Let’s imagine if Newin did not switch side and he was loyal to Thaksin and Puea Thai Party, would the verdict still be read the way it did? Does his supporting role or mediating role in the current coalition government facilitate his corruption case?

Newin has played an important role in the current coalition. The injustice court verdict on rubber saplings case has brightened up a political prospect of a rising political star, Newin Chidchob, a de facto leader and a newly appointed headmaster of Bhumjaithai Party. Crying while giveing interview to the press won him the best actor award!

However, Newin and the other former executives of the disbanded parties still face another legal hurdle that is the five-year political ban imposed by the Constitution court. To be able to make a political come back, the constitution would need to be amended or amnesty bill be enacted. It is interesting and something to watch is whther the chater will be amended to facilitate his political ban? If the rubber sapling is the first example to show how the verdict will be read, it is not very difficult to predict the outcome of the online lottery case and the rest that involve Newin and his crews. It is a political case that ends with political decision.

Thaksin Where Are You?

14 04 2009

Thaksin said it often he will walk with RED protesters once the army have its first shot on protesters. It is known that people died bcause of the violence initiated by RED, but WHERE IS THAKSIN. Will he come and help them fight as promised? If he is a  true promoter of democracy, he should come back to Thailand and defend himself in court.

Those leaders of YELLOW should also be put behind bar to show example to RED protesters. Those who violate the law must be put on trial. After containing the RED protesters, the government should consider dissolve the House and call for a fresh election. Whatever the result will turn out to be, we all must accept it. Otherwise the street protest can never end and we can never have a Thailand land of smile back as most of us wish.

It is good to see that the US government is not blind by Thaksin lie on CNN and BBC. Those who set fire on government buidlings are not ordinary Thai citizens. They are well trained with a clear aim to destroy whoever on their ways to bring back Thaksin.

Impressive but exhuastive strategy

11 04 2009
From the Nation

From the Nation

I have always underestimated the power of RED. I see them as too aggressive a force and a group  that lacks long term objective. When they managed to mobilise close to ten thousand of mass I began to realise that the Thaksin supporters are not alone in the fight for the retun of Thaksin. There are  other forces that join the RED Shirt protest. First is those who love Thaksin. Second is those who love democracy and are against bureaucratic polity. Third is those who hate Democrat Party and Abhisit Vechjajiva.

I was impressed the way the RED Shirt leaders mobilised the mass to gather in front of the Government House. Thaksin is well known for using rural & urban poor for his own advantage. He knows that having his face shown on the VDO link will urge people to join. It proved to be perfect. He got the number he wanted. However, provoking is one thing and controlling is anohter. The RED power was expressed unlimited. When taxi drivers blocked Victory Monument road and Sukhumvit , Road, Thaksin and the leaders of RED Shirt group realised they are not the only drivers there are others too on a driving seats and they are there not to have Thaksin return and walk free on the street but they are the real promoter of democracy.

Thaksin and his team perhaps aim something almost unthinkable: Abhisit will not resign and dissolve the parliament. Prem and the other Privy councillors will not resign too. They were appointed by the King and it is only the King who can withdraw their positions.

Thaksin the RED want to win the people war in a short period of time. However, the success of their strategies depends on two main factors: the way the govenrment will respond to the protest and the size and duration of the protest. The government seems to handle it well so far and it is my hope that they remain calm and using only necessary force to handle the mad mass. After the road blocked creating rifts among RED, we can see the size get smaller and after the ASEAN Summit we can see the significance of the group slowly diminishs.

Thaksin dreams to be a real hero to rescue Thai democracy

9 04 2009

Thaksin urged his red shirt supporters in his VDO link yesterday to block the main road in Bangkok and not to give up on their demands. “We won’t retreat. The only way is forward. If the government uses force to suppress the protesters who come in peace, we will rise up”. “All roads will lead to Bangkok and I’ll be there with you.”  This is what a democracy promoter should do?

He loves democracy as much that he has to destroy everything else that blocks in his way just to rescue democracy. To make his dream comes true, he is using those who have gained under his leadership to join force to revolt. Its pay back time. But I wonder if he would win this people war of his. We loose and loose badly. No one will win out of this political mess.

Continuing to do what he is doing now, Thaksin can ever dream of becoming a real hero to rescue Thai democracy. He is fighting the war he can not win. Sad thing is that he knows how to use the mass for his political gain.

New Coalition Government under Democrat Party

8 12 2008

When we hear this news for the first time, it reminds me of the development in Malaysia when its opposition leader claimed to have enough number of lawmakers to form a government. The Malaysian Opposition could not deliver its promise. How about the Thai Opposition Democrat Party?

It sounds so unusual and it is the first time in Thailand to have a number of lawmakers to switch side. The Democrats seem to have the advantage after the fall of Somchai Wongsawat and the dissolution of People’s Power Party. There seems to be on prominent leaders left to take a hot seat of premiership. Even a newly formed political party Puea Thai led by Yongyuth Vichaidit refused to take such a position. Democrat Secretary General held a press conference last Sunday saying with confident that Democrat will form a new coalition government with Abhisit Vejjajiva as a new prime minister. When we were about to believe that this is possible, Puea Thai leader confirmed that it has a new prime minister ready and will submit it to the house this week. This shows its de facto leader Thaksin’s determination to fight and to signal that the game is not over yet for him and his party.

I am not against the idea of switching side but I find it difficult to accept the fact that Democrat has to rely on Newin’s faction for its to form a new government. What happen if they do not vote for Abhisit in the house? Has Democrat prepared to answer when people questioned how much does Democrat offer to Newin’s faction for them to crossover. Democrat has to explain it well to their supporters or risk losing them in the next general election. At risk immediately would be its candidate for Bangkok Governor election in Janauray 2009.

Democrat’s recent move is criticised widely since the development took place after its consultation with the Army Chief. A few of Democrat’s leaders were seen to support People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demonstration that blocked the airports recently. This means that even if their effort in forming a new coalition is successful, they will surely face with the same situation as the previous government -  a mass movement by United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), although the RED demonstration will not be as powerful as the YELLOW movement. It is therefore quite likely that a new coaltion under Democrat Party will be shortlive and can not be sustained for longer than a year or two.

What have we learnt?

3 12 2008

It was a pleasant surprise to all Thais to hear the end of airport seige. PAD has finally dispersed themselves. It is like Christmas comes early. News about the dissolution of three ruling coalition parties has lessened political temperature in the Thai capital. A few good things is happening at the same time and at the right time. I wonder if one ever thinks “why so?”.

I have always discussed about political development with my friends, colleagues and family members. especially so after PAD voiced out their concern against Thaksin leadership and staged a protest. I remembered when I have to take my parents to listen to PAD’s talks when I have to defend myself from being misperceived as being PAD supporter when my opinion was challenged when my argument was supported and when we agreed to agree or disagree on certain issues. I think throughout those turbulent time, people’s political awareness were raised to a good level. Those who did not care about politics at all,began to discuss about it, and participated in it.

Those supporters both RED and YELLOW are happy to play their part in the demonstration because they feel that they are doing something for the betterment of the country. In a way, they are rights. Without their participation, the entire scenario would have been different and PAD would not have progressed this far.

Dissolved PPP and Disbaned their executives

2 12 2008

As expected, the constitutional court judges ordered to dissolve the ruling People’s Power Party led by Thaksin’s brother in law and also to ban all its executives. Why as expected? A few weeks ago, many senior leaders have resigned from the party to prepare themselves for new positions in a newly formed party – shell party. Chat Thai and Matchima Thipataya, ruling coalition parties, are also dissolved and their executives banned from politics for 5 years.

While the dissolution of these parties is not difficult to predict, it is more difficult to say whether the court decision will contribute to easing off tension in the Thai capital. PAD inisist they will stay at the airports until their proposal is met. They are now pressing for a national government. Their request will never be accepted and agreed upon by a proxy government. Conflict is likely to continue. Worst case scenario would be a physical fight between anti-government PAD and pro-government RED. Should that happens in a massive scale, it will definitely invite a military intervention military coup.

PAD has been trying to involve the military and the military has until today denied to get involved. They said they had painful experience from the last military take over in September 2006 and would not like to repeat the same mistake. Let’s hope that PAD’s attempt fails in getting military involved and military coup will never take place again!