Oil : Abhisit extends the subsidy to end… the subsidy

Mid-january, I’ve asked : “who is going to invent the subsidy for intelligence ?”

At that time, our dashing Prime Minister was busy making gifts (while announcing the “recovery” of the thai economy) and he created the subsidy to end a subsidy.

The state Oil Fund will be required to spend around three billion baht to subsidise fuel prices after excise tax on fuel resumes in February, according to Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul.

Five months later… well… the name of the game is still the same… eventhough the government is totally broke and there is no sign of recovery. And oil prices are going up again…

In those conditions, Abhisit wouldn’t dare to change the recipe for disaster… As for the consequences, mai pen rai… just multiply the figures by… five !

The State Oil Fund (SOF) will extend its price subsidies for retail fuels until the end of September at a cost of 16 billion baht, to curb the impact of soaring prices on motorists’ pockets, says Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul. (Bangkok Post)

Who will pay ? That’s irrelevant in Abhisit’s psyche. Enough to borrow some money (the government is still running after a 400 billions THB loan or 1 trillion or more, nobody knows).

Furthermore… 2 weeks ago the timescale they were thinking about was one month. Now that oil prices are increasing, and that the government is in deep shit with mega corruption issues (the “leasing buses” scandal) and therefore deep political troubles (the Newin faction wants the honey pot… and Abhisit owns them his position…)… so the government is trapped.

Abhisit was a clown. Definitely. Now he’s a loser. Definitely.

I’m wondering which is worse.

17 Responses to “Oil : Abhisit extends the subsidy to end… the subsidy”


  1. 1 Tarrin 2 June 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Funny when Abhisit took the office people like Chinesethai came out and brag about how great Abhisit is. Now it seems like Abhisit has brought us back to the early 1990s. Damn what a good prim minister he is.

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 2 June 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Not a surprise. Abhisit is not tailored, not designed to last… I was the first to use the expression “Frankenstein Coalition”…

    The morons were delighted : “Abhisit elected PM, a new era begins, Obama stuff, rule of law, democracy, blablabla”…

    To be elected thanks to a gang of MP’s led by a thug like Newin… I mean it was beyond sanity and normality. But the media in the West are so dumb… they didn’t even know who Newin was (an ex Thaksin’s friend !).
    As for the thai media, difficult to ask them to show any sense of responsability.

    The last events prove that I was right : the “Monster Coalition” can’t work. It’s just impossible… It’s the impossible wedding.

    The Newin Gang wants the “honey pot”, as payment for their “support”… It’s pay day ! Therefore they are pushing for all those inane projects (leased bus, airport extension, etc.)… waiting for a rainfall of cash.

    And Abhisit is trapped. Other could say that he’s fucked (sorry).

    He sold his soul (if he had really one) to the Devil.

    Now he has to deliver.

    Or to go to hell.

    He started his premiership with shame. He will end it with shame. And between : nothing.

  3. 3 Jaap 3 June 2009 at 1:04 am

    It would be nice if you where my neighbour dear publisher. I somehow still believe that the clown abhisit is trying to make a stronger country ( even though he had some bad judgement.) Off course he borrowed a lot of money, but wasn’t that to stimulate economy and make an investment for government on the long term. On the long term isn’t he right trying to keep up spending, wouldn’t it be more down if he didn’t and wouldn’t more people loose their jobs. I know their is a twist in this debate but I would really want to see your blog in 2 years of time. What is your solution? What would be the best to do.. Abhisit gone.. Other diplomacy.. every one broke.. Capitalism, communism, dictatorship.. What would be the solution.. Kicking against things is great. Its call populism but tell me a solution, give me a helping hand..
    What should Thai Government do to save Thai misery, cause in the end we all love Thailand….

    Bye the way. my condolence to all those in the Air France flight and their families..

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 3 June 2009 at 2:36 am

    Jaap : I don’t have a “solution”. There is no miracle solution, only work, smart things to do, mistakes to be avoided etc.

    I said it many times before : Abhisit might be not as bad as the previous PM… But that’s not enough to give him absolution.

    Look at the speed the “Frankenstein Coalition” is falling a part, with Newin’s gang calling for the honey pot… What Abhisit can do ? Nothing. He’s trapped. The whole Democrat Party is trapped. Because he owns them his “election”.

    Abhisit was “elected” PM by a small gang of MP, who were ex Thaksin’s friends. Vulgar whores willing to be sold to the higest bidder.

    Where is the rule of law in this ? Where is the political decency ? Where is democracy ? Nowhere to be seen ! Instead, an abject political game, of which Abhisit was the accomplice.

    If you love Thailand, you can’t accept this situation.

    Any honest man should stand up, and denounce those disguting games.

    I prefer corruption that says its name. What I hate is corruption that tries to hide, to disguise itself behind big and noble words like “rule of law” and “democracy”. Abhisit has been very good at this game… But it’s cardboard, the Potemkine Village, nothing real behind. An illusion.
    To see clear through the mud is a first step. A small one. But a necessary one.

    Eventually, I start to fear one scenario : the Democrat Party is going to manage to be hated by the whole population… with the looming super huge corruption scandals (leasing for buses, airport extension… all projects pushed by Newin’s gang)…. and then… the PAD or a “miracle man” (a general who will claim “clean hands, free of corruption”) will be elected by the people. Angry people.

    And believe me that would not be a positive event.

  5. 5 Tarrin 3 June 2009 at 6:39 am

    Jaap,

    I’m pretty sure that you wouldnt believe in what I am about to say anyway but there is a solution to Thailand political crisis. You might have heard something like “Politic lead economic, economic lead society” well before we start fixing our fast collapsing economy we have to fix our political system first.

    You see, no matter how hard Abhisit try, if we are still in this political system, he wouldnt achieve anything meaning full, and I’m not talking about Abhisit, ANYONE will not the next prime minister will be in the same pot as him so the solution is to, first, change out political system. Thai people must be given full control of their country since, right now, Thailand is a semi dictatorship. You know that something is wrong with a country that have coup detat every 7 years.

  6. 6 George P Tuckeer 3 June 2009 at 9:25 am

    @ Jaap:

    The problem (and not only in Thailand) has been:
    1
    Mis-directed subsidies to sectors of the community that did not need it, but that had votes/lobbyists/political clout/corrupt politicians on their side, etc.
    2
    Lack of investment in education, health, public transport, renewable energy, maintenance of public facilities — that is anything long term that did not have immediate payoff in terms of votes/political contributions/bribes.
    Such investments would have laid strong foundations for steady long term development.
    3
    Ineffective, convoluted, unfair tax policies along with weak or non-existent oversight of various self-serving industries.
    4
    Promotion (through tax policies, subsidies, etc) of over consumption and over production in sectors and ways that were non-conducive to overall, balanced societal development

    And what’s their new, new solution?
    more subsidies, more ‘stimulation’, government rescues, more borrowings, lower taxes, encourage more consumption, oh, and, almost as an afterthought, here’s a little sop towards healthcare and education.

    Is it any wonder that thinking people are mad as hell??

  7. 7 W W 3 June 2009 at 12:06 pm

    ThaiCrisis: Unfortunately, your view is not shared by the public. Most thai media don’t ,or not willing to, see through the cloud of this political game. The mess after 2006 coup just bought us back into the early 1990s. I thought many people share your view, not the mass, but they just want to say it out loud given the potential treats, that’s too bad for the country. We can’t discuss our future because it’s illegal!

    I think there is too much emphasis on “The good man” instead of the good system that enable the country to function properly and fairly! The solution to this mess is to create a justice, legitimate and meritocracy governing system – a truly democratic one. But it’s hard that the vested interests would let that happen. Abhisit is just a puppet for the very powerful people behind this mess. He is not a truly leader, otherwise he wouldn’t ended up in this position. To lay hope on him is just a fault dream.

  8. 8 observer 3 June 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Knowledge is power. For long time the Thai elite has been aware of this. For long time they have deliberately opposed improvement of the educational system. They send themselves their children to Oxford, Eton or Harvard. On top of today´s political folly, the PAD has formed a new political party. The fundamental ideology for this party is that 70% of Thai people are dumb and should not vote in general elections. The parliament for this party is in the madhouse.
    Unfortunately nothing can change in Thailand before you let people get knowledge.

  9. 9 antipadshist 3 June 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Dems, Abhisit & Korn get what they want: desired 400blns

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/06/03/business/business_30104282.php

    why I’m not surprised ?

  10. 10 maverick263 3 June 2009 at 11:56 pm

    i’ll just supply you with an insight from uk mp:

    “the electorate does not understand” 😉

  11. 11 George P Tuckeer 4 June 2009 at 10:38 am

    A broke government borrowing to extend subsidies is going to affect private sector banks that are otherwise sound:

    Moody’s to review ratings for Thai Banks:
    “The review of their debt and deposit ratings will look at the extent to which Thailand’s ability to provide support to its banking system, if needed, is converging with the government’s own debt capacity as a result of the ongoing global economic and credit crisis,”

    “Moody’s believes that most governments are at least as likely, if not more likely, to support their banking systems as they are to service their own debt – a view that has traditionally led to bank ratings often benefiting from significant uplift due to systemic support.

    “However, as the financial crisis continues, the capacity of a country and its central bank to support its banks converges with, and is increasingly constrained by, the government’s own debt capacity.

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/05/28/business/business_30103808.php

    If this leads to lowered ratings, it will affect the Banks’ financing costs which will affect their profitability and share prices. The banks will try to offset some of these losses by increasing the interest spread, punishing both savers and borrowers. And/or they may resort to cost-cutting, laying off staff and closing branches.

  12. 12 Marvo 4 June 2009 at 11:09 am

    I wonder where the 400bln loan will come from and what kind of terms the Thai govt will get?

  13. 13 Jaap 4 June 2009 at 11:23 am

    @ Tarrin and the rest..

    I believe you when you say “Politic lead economic, economic lead society” however a country can change his politics, but this is a slow process. It is not expected that a totally disrupted organization will change into a well run machine on short notice. So what you are telling me is a long term vision of change. Of course the word change rings some bells, as our great friend of the Americas is claiming this word for months now.
    But I am not looking for a long term solution. I am looking for a short term one. Someone who can hold everything together until various powers of the so called ” dictatorship” slowly loose their power or start abusing them even more.
    What can the Thai people do on short term? Revolution, silent protest, or simply do nothing and wait their judgement.
    It is simple to say that the short term solution is keeping Abhisit and await for the long term change. Another PM would make situation even worse, cause changing PM will cause more instability isn’t it?

    Maybe Thaicris can tell me what he thinks would be the best Political System for Thailand in the future?

  14. 14 George P Tuckeer 4 June 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Wherever the money comes from, any responsible lender who expects to be paid back will insist on some firm timetable to an end to subsidies, otherwise all that money will simply go into a black hole.

    BTW, a lo of these subsidies are often gateways to corruption. The people who are supposed to benefit rarely do to the extent the subsidies seem to promise.

  15. 15 Pricilla 4 June 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Marvo, it really doesn’t matter what the terms are, this is about getting hungry snouts in the trough while they can, contracted, locked, cash flow guaranteed.

    George B Tukeer, thought you were talking about the US, I missed the early reference to Thailand.

    Observer, agree with you comments, which is why things will remain as there are. Remember the winning formula is for personal elite profit and has nothing to do with the country. The politicians are allowed to build some infrastructure to get their cut, that is all the nation building required. After all where would the cheap and grovelling servants come from?

    Unfortunately it seems the more I observe democracy in action world wide the more it appears that it was derailed long ago, it is now about vested interests (elites) buying elections, stacking their people and raking in the rewards. Dare I say the caliber of politician is abysmal, it is purely about personal aggrandizement and profit, and bugger the country. It is nothing to get emotionally involved with, it is a business transaction, sort out your own life and finances and look after your own as that train has well and truly left the station.

  16. 16 antipadshist 4 June 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Bt60m snow house for pandas
    http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/145162/bt60-mn-spent-on-new-pandas-home

    wow, what a nice caring servants pandas got in Thailand 😀

    “… the temperature inside the dome will be set at minus 5 degrees celsius.

    The path to the snow house is built to resemble the Great Wall of China

    hmmmm….

    do Thais (or rather Thai ethnic Chinese) really think that by their obtaining their own panda (reports are that there are efforts to plead with China to let Thailand keep the newborn cub, when time “expires” after 2 years) will change or influence country’s luck ?

    “In most places, the panda is highly revered as a symbol of good luck … ”
    http://www.giantpandaonline.org/naturalhistory/lore.htm

  17. 17 Tarrin 6 June 2009 at 11:59 am

    Jaap,

    Then again have you heard about “to build a good house is to have a good foundation” ?? What is the point of building a damn best looking house on the foundation that you know that going to crumble down with in months? Btw. this got nothing to do with America, I dont know why you brought that up, personal agenda?

    There is no short-term in this crisis, I’m not saying that Abhisit should leave his office I really do want him to perform but as things turn out what do we get?? a broke government, corruption scandal, low commodity price, higher tax and the list go on but that’s ok

    You ask TC what is the best political system we should have, well so far in human history we got 3 known base political systems
    1. Absolute Monarchy
    2. Democracy
    3. Communist

    Which one is the best?? well that’s the choice, pick one.


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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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