Joke of The Day : “how I’m supposed to know how many bank accounts I have ?”

Do you want to understand the class system in Thailand ? Read this article written by Nattakorn Devakula.

It’s about the Constitution that requires that all members of Parliament and ministers disclose their assets and liabilities to the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) upon coming to office, immediately after leaving office, and also a year later.

Devakula says that it’s a huge and pointless task.

First I thought it was a joke. Like an ironic piece or April’s fool. But actually no. The guy seems really serious.

Here are some tasty quotes.

Tedious task. It took me pretty much the entire week. Typing in the form is one thing; that is not too bad. But the real effort was spent trying to track down how many bank accounts I had. Yes, that includes even ones with very little money in them.

Next I’m supposed to track down all the land that I own – plots that I bought on my own, and the ones my parents bought me (these include plots I am aware of and those I was not).

How about the next challenge of figuring out how I’m supposed to know the total amount of shares that I own in both non-listed and listed companies? Just the other week, I found a shares-ownership certificate in an old drawer. It was from when my parents purchased some equities for me when I was a teenager.

For those who live in the real world, where the ownership of shares is a very normal and mundane practice not to be seen as always rife with conflicts of interest, making a summary of all the equities you own and figuring out the value, and then having a securities firm issue statements to support these conclusions, is nothing less than a completely ridiculous undertaking.

All that took me a week. I’ve not even begun to count the bottles of wine, jewellery, rugs (I hear Persian rugs are popular among politicians these days), Rolexes (or maybe it’s classier to wear Patek Philippe), nor have I gotten my house and car re-valued so that the figures are updated.

I guess you’re speechless too ! Last but not least, he’s got a point.

Further, which dumb, corrupt politician would in his right mind place the millions of baht in bribe money – if taken – into accounts whose details would be disclosed to the NCCC?

😉 Indeed.

Last word. Who is Nattakorn Devakula ? The son of Pridiyathorn Devakula, former governor of the Bank of Thailand, and former Finances Minister (under the Junta, but he resigned in february 2007) !

Oh… and by the way, the poor little rich boy “beginning next week will be taking a break from this column to venture out on a four-month, personal, semi-political campaign.

We’are lucky that it’s only “semi-political” ! 😉

With such so called “elite”… the country will move in one direction… and only one : downward.

5 Responses to “Joke of The Day : “how I’m supposed to know how many bank accounts I have ?””


  1. 1 fall 30 May 2008 at 5:28 pm

    “how I’m supposed to know how many bank accounts I have ?”

    Actually, this statement apply to me.
    In Thailand, they are giving bank account for free. Apply for bachelor degree, wham… student ID with bank account. Another university, another bank. Salary pay-roll, gimme your account… no, not that bank, create another account with the bank we use. Buy bonds, promisory note, or Aom-sin lotto… need even more bank account.

  2. 2 thaichris 31 May 2008 at 1:54 am

    I fully agree with ‘fall’. My wife has forgotten bank accounts dating back to 1985 which we only became aware of a few month ago. And with the land title deeds it’s a similar problem. Remeber, the roots of most peoples in this country are chinese. And the intention of chinese is to own land in order to leave there footprint in this world. So they buy land, whenêver they have an opportunity. And they don’t care, where it is. I know peoples, who live in Bangkok, come from Surin and own land in Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri, Ubon and Bangkok. And they might bought the land for 10’000 THB per rai (land with no access in nowersland. But they own it and that is all what counts. And if you buy land like this, you might very well loose the overview. So this ‘joke’ is might be a reality not only for the rich, but also for the still existing ‘middle class’ and even for ordenary peoples.

    The basic problem of the ‘joke’ is the behaviour of the political class. They don’t understand, why the public cares, if they milk money out of the country. And that is, why they don’t understand, why there is a NCCC and they have to declare there assets. For them, being a polititian is a profession and the intention of every profession is to make money. (Dick Chenney – Hally-Burton?). The coice for the peoples in Thailand might not be ‘corrupt’ or ‘not corrupt’ but ‘very corrupt’ or ‘a little corrupt’. This country needs leaders, wich create ‘win-win’ situationes (polititian win – people win) and not ‘win-loose’ (polititian win – country loose). Unfortunately, the current leaders are not only from the second group (win-loose) but they are even from a third one (loose-loose) as they are just ‘incompetent’.

    On the other hand – I like ‘jokes’ and with the current governement, we will get plenty of.

  3. 3 thaicrisis 31 May 2008 at 4:30 am

    Come on guys… I can understand that you lost some of your bank books… but here is totally different.
    😉

  4. 4 thaichris 31 May 2008 at 5:32 am

    I just wanted to make a point about the way, these peoples think. It’ doesn’t mean that I agree.

    This is a strange country. I came here the first time 28 years ago, was living mostly with thai communities (even in my homeland) and they still take me by surprise from time to time. But the question is always: WHY. Why do they act like this. And this was exacly what I tried to explain.

    Is it good, is it bad. Is it appropriate or just only funny. I leave it to other to decide. But … it’s Thailand … And believe me, it was the same 27 years ago. And 15 years ago. And 1996. And, and, and …

    So let’s monitor from outside, you give your comments which I really love and mostly agree with and enjoy live in the land of smiles. Can we – farang – change anything? No, even our beloved one’s are will not understand our ‘western’ way of thinking. Let us just enjoy the ‘jokes’.

  5. 5 fall 31 May 2008 at 6:04 am

    Sure, first and the last part of his article sound snobbish, like a spoil-elitist rich brat. But the middle part strike some point, albiet only a scratch.

    This article of his is sure not up to his previous standard.
    “I dont wanna eat veggie ’cause it taste bad…”. Sure kid, if u wanna grow up, eat veggie. If u wanna show transparency, do the require paperwork.

    He would have better off started his paragraph with “What’s the point of declaring assets? When NCCC cant/wont do squat about it and the info would only be use by political-nemesis as a way to take cheap shot on those politician who use their time to work, instead of completing their paperwork.”

    But the best joke of all, even with declaration of asset. Surayud (yes, our belove ex-PM) still reside in his provincial casa, with location dubiously close to mother nature.

    PS – I didn’t lost my bank books, I just misplace them. Somewhere…


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