Thai public see corruption as worse, despite junta’s 2014 promise

Thailand faces two legitimacy crises at its peripheries — and the junta is only making them worse.

Corruption has got worse in Thailand, according to a survey released on Thursday by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand.

The Corruption Situation Index (CSI) points to a worsening of corruption, despite the junta’s longstanding claim that the 2014 coup was aimed at eliminating widespread corruption.

In a survey conducted last December, 37 per cent of respondents said corruption had increased from the year before, 33 per cent said it had remained the same, and only 30 per cent said it decreased.

The survey questioned 2,400 Thai residents, business people and government officials nationwide.

Asking about the outlook for corruption this year, 48 per cent said it would increase, 27 per cent believed it would stay at the same level, while 23 per cent thought it would lessen. About 2 per cent said they had no idea.

The top five causes of corruption as identified by respondents were: State officials have too much discretionary power as authorised by laws, there is a lack of transparency in the political system and there are obstacles to scrutinising it, law enforcement is weak, there is a lack of good governance and mechanisms to ensure checks and balances are ineffective, and there are complicated regulations within government agencies.

Major type of corruption identified by respondents included bribery, nepotism and favouritism, policy corruption, collusion of government projects and kickbacks.

The release of the survey coincided with a scandal over luxury wristwatches involving a very senior junta Cabinet minister. – The Nation

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