Tackling ‘white elephant’ syndrome

Tippatrai Saelawong Most people in Thailand, be they business people, foreign investors or the public, would agree the country urgently needs to invest in building, extending and upgrading its public infrastructure. At the same time, they would also cast doubt over the administrative transparency of infrastructure projects. For many years, political instability resulted in many […]

Better data needed to help farmers

DEUNDEN NIKOMBORIRAK TIPPATRAI SAELAWONG The food industry is one of the most important business sectors of the Thai economy. This is because it is “home grown” rather than “imported”. Its long domestic value chain from farms to the food processing industry and then on to food transportation and export businesses means a large part of […]

How to boost confidence in the police

TIPPATRAI SAELAWONG THANAPAT CHATINAKROB Ask Thais which state agency needs to undergo reforms first, and most would have no hesitation in suggesting the police service. This is because policing affects people’s everyday lives while the police force has long been criticised for its inefficiency, influence peddling and corruption. According to a survey in 2014 by […]

Multifaceted reform is needed to tackle corruption

DEUNDEN NIKOMBORIRAK TIPPATRAI SAELAWONG Corruption has, once again, become the main discussion point in Thai society following the publication of two corruption indexes: Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Corruption Situation Index (CSI). Transparency International’s CPI does not reveal a big change to the situation […]

Keeping state public relations drives accountable

 Tippatrai Saelawong Many readers will have seen images of politicians or public servants displayed on gigantic billboards beside the country’s roads. Not everyone will know that we, taxpayers, pay for these images and the messages they convey. They are an example of wasteful spending by the government on advertising and other communications. Mostly the interests […]

State cash casts a shadow on media reform

Deunden Nikomborirak, Tippatrai Saelawong Political interference in the media has long been a worrying issue for society. In Thailand, the government still holds a tight grip over free television channels as well as radio stations. Most public television channels are either state-owned (Channels 5, 9 and 11) or under government concessions (Channels 3 and 7). Only […]

New laws needed on govt PR spending

Experts have called for transparency in government advertising and public relations spending, and urged new legislation to ensure this. Speaking at a seminar on “Laws to Control State PR” yesterday, Thailand Development Research Institute researcher Tippatrai Saelawong urged the state to hold fair tenders for its public relations projects, and he proposed laws focusing on […]

Law urged to regulate state PR spending

Transparency ‘will avoid abuse of funds’ A law to regulate state spending on advertising and public relations is needed to ensure transparency and fair play, a seminar has been told. Tippatrai Saelawong, Thailand Development Research Institute researcher, said the amount the state has spent on PR projects is “insignificant” compared with other sectors but there […]

A policy for government secrets

Deunden Nikomborirak, Peeradej Tanruangporn One core aspect of the Thai state that annoys people of all political stripes is its secrecy. Despite the promulgation of the Official Information Act in 1997 aimed at promoting the “right to know”, state organisations in Thailand remain riddled with secrecy. A prime example is the rice-pledging scheme. Most developed countries […]

TDRI slams state’s lack of public information

Nanchanok Wongsamuth Calls for reform of public records law Access to information should be the top priority for Thailand to undergo a reform to tackle corruption, said a researcher at a Bangkok seminar. Deunden Nikomborirak, the research director for economic governance at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), said the public should use information as […]