Chronicles of the day-to-day corruption : Education Minister uses… school for his son’s wedding !

Don’t look further if you want to understand why Thailand is unable to heal the political crisis, unable to move forward on the path of development..

Left or right, Thaksin or no Thaksin, Junta or “democratically elected government”… this is totally irrelevant.

Corruption is natural, widespread, everywhere, deeply ingrained in people’s mind, from the very top to the very bottom of the society.

The Education Ministry has been asked to explain why Saowabha Vocational College used its funds, staff and students in the wedding of the education minister’s son on what was called a “training programme”.

The college in Phra Nakhon district was said in a complaint by people who withheld their names to have been heavily involved in an elaborate wedding ceremony for Chanawee Charoensiri, the third and youngest son of Education Minister Srimuang Charoensiri.

The ceremony was held yesterday at Mr Srimuang’s residence in the morning and at the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok hotel on Vibhavadi-Rangsit road during the evening.

Under a college order No 204/2551 issued on Friday, staff were assigned to provide catering for nine monks and 300 guests in the morning function from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The order specified the names of the staff and their responsibilities, as well as the expenses to be covered by the budget set aside for raw materials for training and education development.

A previous college order, No 197/2551, issued on Oct 24, appointed a committee to oversee the design and production of the wedding souvenirs and packaging.

The panel members, who included college officials and lecturers, were named in the order.

They were told to produce a letter seeking permission from parents to allow 20 third-year students to make and pack the souvenirs. (Bangkok Post)

And the most frightening is that the Education Minister probably doesn’t understand why it’s wrong ! He has no clue !

He’s living in thai Wonderland where an Education Minister owns the schools and the people working in schools ! He’s the Lord among his peasants, sorry, his serfs. 😉

He should know that politicians are under scrutiny right now, that the government is in a very difficult position, that the tension and volatility are very high… but no ! The wedding of his son is more important. No problem. Because it’s normal, he didn’t do anything wrong !

Poor Thailand.

10 Responses to “Chronicles of the day-to-day corruption : Education Minister uses… school for his son’s wedding !”

  1. 1 FDL 13 November 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Ha ha ha ha.

    The guy is the Minister of Education and for the past 2 years or more, this Education Minister Srimuang Charoensiri could NOT have been unaware that heads just keep falling and rolling for corruption and ethical offenses!

    The guy must be thick or is a complete bozo.

    At any rate surely the Thai parliament, MPs or senators, should do their duty and impeach this s.o.b.

    Amazing Thailand, as usual.

  2. 2 fall 13 November 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Who in hell would want a school/college cafeteria to cater for a wedding? That alone speak volume of his taste.

    But aint it nice to see bureaucracy and serfdom at work? I say jump, you say how high.

  3. 3 absolutelybangkok 13 November 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I doubt that many of the kids felt pissed off, It was rather an honor having the chance to serve the phu yai … Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to simply think differently …

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 13 November 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Sure… And we have to remember that the kids are educated like this… So as I said it’s perfectly normal. For everybody. 😉

    The system perpetuates itself… And the lords continue to smile among their serfs. And have a lot of children, and live happily ever after.

    Life is good indeed in Thaiwonderland.

    Okay, this is for the fairy tale part. 😉

    But you would agree that within such a mindset… we are not really going forward, right ?

  5. 5 fall 13 November 2008 at 1:55 pm

    …we are not really going forward, right
    Define forward. It could be Michael J Fox’s style, “Back to the Future”. Forward, into the past!

  6. 6 Krid 13 November 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Good point and well illustrated: Corruption is a way of life, deeply ingrained; and everyone has a clean conscience and doesn’t ask too many questions which disturb the sagnop (peace, tranquility). Perversely, this system is actually WORKING quite well, corruption, master-serf feudalism is also a social lubricant for these harmony addicts. And it’s never boring (“Hey, we’ll host the minister’s son’s wedding, how’s that for fun?”). The incomparable Thai “tongue in cheek” approach to life. Of course it’s WRONG, then again, who says…

  7. 7 Anonymous 13 November 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Your indignation is misdirected and quite ignorant. You only see what your eyes want to see.

    Saowabha Vocational College is a vocational college focusing on hotel management and catering. As part of its educational mission, it allows the College’s facilities to be used for events and uses its kitchens, students, and staff to help cater those events. It doesn’t do this for free – but at the same time it doesn’t do it for profit. A portion of the budget will be set aside to subsidize such services – after all, it is done in support of the educational goals of the institute. You will see setups like this in any educational institute focusing on hospitality management and nutrition.

    ANYBODY can use the facilities and services of the college. Was it in poor taste for the Education Minister to do so? I don’t think so – it actually shows that he has some faith in the work of the state’s educational institutions. Better to host the wedding at the college than at some fancy hotel. That being said, if it can be shown that the Education Minister paid significantly less for the services of the college than any normal person, your indignation will be warranted. But there have been no signs that this is the case.

  8. 8 ThaiCrisis 13 November 2008 at 9:15 pm

    -1- part of the cost of this warm event was covered by the budget of the school, and apparently a budget absolutly not linked (“raw materials” !). It’s not appropriate.

    -2- and it can be seen as an advantage given to the holder of an official position… which is unlawful.
    And even worse : we could argue that there is an obvious link of “subordination” between the school and… the Education Minister.

    -3- I’m not sure that hotel management and catering have anything to do with the “production of wedding souvenirs and packaging”…

    -4- last but not least, you speak about “taste”. Indeed.
    It would have been good for the Education Minister to choose this school in order to support it. For instance, by organizing an official ceremony or party, in relation to the Ministry…This would have been good taste, and proper conduct. But the wedding of his own son ?

    Again, the Education Minister is not “anybody”.

    But anyway, we can see in your reaction the result of the “everything is normal” attitude, so prevalent in Thailand.

    A Minister can’t seek personal benefit from his position. It’s just a basic principle, that is perpetually violated in Thailand, because “it’s normal”, because “mai pen rai”, because “no harm”, because “jai dee”.

    No, no and no, this is not normal.

    You know very well what happened… We can assume that the Education Minister didn’t order the school to tap into its “raw materials” budget to pay for this grand party… But the school’s officials did it, felt compelled to do it, in order to please their master.

    That’s the ignominy, the perversion of this corrupted system : the slaves are pushed to become their own enslavers.

  9. 9 Anonymous 13 November 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Again, your hatred blinds you.

    You’re saying that it would have been appropriate to patronize the college while organizing a government function. After all, nobody expects very much from those things anyway. But for an important occasion like the wedding of his own son, the minister shouldn’t have had those poor vocational college students running the show. He should have gone to some fancy hi-so hotel for such an occasion. I see.

    As for the creation of wedding souvenirs, Saowabha also has a major in fine arts and crafts. And yes, the college does sell the handiwork of its arts and crafts students. And while the college doesn’t sell them to make a profit, I would be shocked if it didn’t subsidize part of the raw materials costs of the trinkets. It is, after all, an educational institution whose aim is the development of the vocational skills of its students.

  10. 10 ThaiCrisis 14 November 2008 at 6:01 am

    Indeed “Court”… this (important and quite ironic) part was missing, because I made a mistake while copying-pasting the article from Bangkok Post’s website.

    And it adds an even worse angle to the story…

    Thanks for the correction.

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Thailand Crisis

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

But this time, it's different.

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

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