The most depressing opinion poll : corruption is acceptable

This has to be the most depressing opinion poll of the year…

Agencies need to act immediately to eradicate corruption in Thai society before the country is ruined and it is too hard to rehabilitate. Most people now care about their own interest and that of their group more than public interest,” Abac Poll director Noppadon Kannika said.

About 63 per cent of 3,880 respondents countrywide said they believed graft is part and parcel of every government, which was acceptable if the government could bring prosperity to the country and its people.

Some 37 per cent could not accept such an attitude.

The survey was conducted from October 1-22 on people aged over 18 in 18 provinces.

All genders, ages and occupations said they could overlook corruption with conditions. About 68 per cent of respondents aged 40-49, 65 per cent aged 30-39 and 64 per cent aged 50-59 agreed, Noppadon said. (Nation)

It’s depressing because it could show that people are giving up on principles (they understand very well that corruption won’t disappear) and/or that they just don’t care anymore about public interest with a touch of cynism (corruption is okay as long as I can be corrupted myself, AKA “having a good life”).

7 Responses to “The most depressing opinion poll : corruption is acceptable”

  1. 1 tj 24 October 2008 at 1:56 am

    This has & always will be the mentality of Thai’s…if it’s good for me then “never mind”

  2. 2 chinesethai 24 October 2008 at 2:19 am


    This survey truly represents Thais’ attitude towards corruption these days. And that’s why the majority of Thais won’t care which side, either PAD or Pro-Thaksin, will win the battle or whether Thailand would lose the whole Mount Preah Vihear to Cambodia, as Bedwyr often times refers to such attitude as “MAI PEN RAI”.

    The most appalling is that a large number of young Thais (25-30 years old), who are less included in the survey and who are supposed to be mature enough, do not care about either the advancement or the deterioration of their society but are consumed by it. Besides working day-by-day, there are only English Premier League gambling, cellphones, night life, shopping, credit card debts, personal loans in their mind. Even if Thailand were to collapse tomorrow, I am sure they wouldn’t give a sh….

    See the relationship between older generations included in the survey and the younger ones here? It is the older generation that should be blamed.

    PAD is just the minority in this falling society, you know.

  3. 3 paperback 24 October 2008 at 9:28 am

    Yes, this is truly depressing. Still I have strong doubts whether people really think that corruption is “acceptable” under certain conditions. I believe the true feeling here is capitulation, not acceptance. The old powers are based on corruption and the new powers don’t want to change it but just take their share instead. When every option includes corruption it is actually a rational decision to choose out of all villains those crooks which also mean improvement for yourself. The error in this reasoning however is that corruption and “prosperity for the country and its people” are two contradictory principles.

    No hope, nowhere?

  4. 4 Bedwyr 24 October 2008 at 10:01 am

    Falling indeed CT, as has been opined by me and you.

    And failing.


  5. 5 fdl 24 October 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Thai people have always been practical . . . and perhaps what the Thai people meant to convey by that poll was “unavoidable” rather than “acceptable”. In Esan country where the Thaksin magic rules, perhaps the poll meant “accepted” rather than “acceptable”.

  6. 6 Mark Lamerton 24 October 2008 at 1:23 pm

    The survey results don’t surprise me at all – since corruption is so endemic in Thai society, from street vendors, taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers paying the police, to the illegal Thai lottery run by the police and mafia, to tax avoidance by most Thai business, to cash kickbacks for business contracts. It’s everywhere.

    I also found disturbing a survey published by BK Magazine recently in which readers said that it was reasonable for former boxer Aswin Wongwitaya and a woman, Aruni Tongprom, to stab and kick an old drunk to death after he tried to molest her. They were both jailed for three years and two years respectively. The officers found Aswin had earlier been jailed for three years for throwing an imitation grenade at Bangkok Metropolitan Administration inspectors behind the Criminal Court. Readers felt that they should not have gone to jail.

  7. 7 Bedwyr 25 October 2008 at 10:49 am


    Thank God there is someone else who thinks that Thailand is saturated with corruption and dishonesty. The Thai natural character is lawless and this is because Thais do not have sufficient education, integrity and plain intelligence to recognise the need for law-abiding and honest citizens.

    A colleague once told me that the average male Thai is at about the same stage of cognitive and emotional development as pre-pubescents in Europe. Which is why they only see things in terms of themselves. Which is one of the reasons their self-esteem is sky-high. Confidence without competence as I have heard it described.

    Thailand is still a hundred years or more away from a reasonably corruption-free political and governmental system, and the same period of time away from an enlightened and responsible electorate.

    We must not forget that however much Thais believe they are blessed and enlightened and culturally advanced and superior, Thailand is still ‘developing’. In other words it is a banana republic on a par with many African, Asian and South American nations.

    One should not expect too much from these people, but in the meantime the Thai culture is already dying. it seems likely that in 50 years, Thais will be the poor non-white trash of SE Asia.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

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The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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