Today’s comments from Thailand’s House Speaker Chuan Leekpai say a lot about the sad state of corruption in Thailand.
A country that is currently at #104 out of #180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index a drop of five places from 2019, and with the same low score of 36 out of 100 as the previous year.
In an announcement to Thai members of parliament, Mr. Chuan turned down a suggestion MPs should donate part of their salary to a Covid-19 relief fund, and instead said it would be good enough if MPs were not involved in corruption.
He also rebuffed attempts by some MPs to complain about having to attend meetings by reminding them most of them have been doing the majority of their work at home and, at the most, only have to be in parliament three days a week.
As if it wasn’t clear enough Mr. Chuan’s was sticking with a strict stance on complaining MPs, he also reminded them they were currently much better off than millions of ordinary Thais.
After all, MPs have jobs and a salary while, due to on-going Covid-19 restrictions in Thailand, millions of Thais do not.
Small businesses in Thailand too are suffering, with tens of thousands of them having been forced to remain closed for weeks or months due to government regulations over Covid-19. A sizeable percentage have already gone bankrupt and closed permanently.
It remains to be seen how long Parliament will hold in-person sessions and meetings, however, especially as cases of Covid-19 in Thailand rise.
Unlike Parliament, the Senate has already suspended its in-person meetings for at least the next week.