Several local reports, Surin, former ASEAN head and Abhisit‘s Dems former high ranking party member, have pointed to high corruption in Thailand, being like a “Black Hole” that Thailand will fall into, leaving the country behind other ASEAN countries. This is not the first time Surin blasted at the Yingluck‘s government. Earlier several local press reports, that at a high profile meet in Bangkok on reconciliation of Thailand, where many global level people such as Tony Blair addressed the meeting, Surin raised the aged old establishment assertion that Thaksin is the caused of all of Thailand’s problems.
Surin says Thailand’s track record of corruption on public works together with the size of the new infrastructure projects has given rise to serious concern. The huge investment will necessitate substantial borrowing by the government. If corruption were to continue on these projects, Thailand will not achieve its stated aim of being the transport hub of Asean, and Asean will not get the connectivity that it needs to become an integrated market. Surin says the massive funds will merely represent a transfer of wealth from the country to a privileged group of people, and the world will be the poorer.
However, Surin did not mention that Thailand’s corruption is less than in many ASEAN countries. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (which ranks the perceived level of public corruption in 176 countries on a scale of 0-100 where 0 is the most corrupt and 100 the cleanest), Thailand scores 37. Six other Asean countries score lower – Philippines 34, Indonesia 32, Vietnam 31, Cambodia 22, Laos 21 and Myanmar; and two countries score higher – Malaysia 49 and Singapore 87.
Surin did not mention also, that the Yingluck government has reached out to several corruption watch unit in Thailand, to participate in the entire process of the government infrastructure spending.
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