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Opposition says Thammanat should not have been appointed minister

The Thaiger

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Opposition says Thammanat should not have been appointed minister | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Post

“It is old stuff from the opposing political group. I know all of them. Don’t pay any attention to them. I do not give them any importance.”

A government opposition spokesman, Adisorn Piangkate, says he would not have appointed Captain Thammanat Prompow as deputy agriculture minister if he were the PM due to the minister’s “tainted record”. He made the remark in reference to a Sydney Morning Herald report yesterday detailing Thammanat’s drug convictions in Australia in 1993.

The SMH published an investigative report “From sinister to minister: politician’s drug trafficking jail time revealed” about Thammanat’s role in a 3.2 kg heroin smuggling case that landed him in a Sydney prison in 1993 for four years.

The SMH report shows Thammanat, who went by the name of 2nd Lt Manat Bophlom at the time, was among key members of the drug trafficking gang, citing court files detailing police reports. Some of the evidence had been obtained using listening devices installed in a Sydney hotel room where the gang members met.

According to the SMH report, Thammanat was sentenced to six years in prison without the possibility of parole for four years.

Adisorn said Thammanat is the only person who knows the full details about the drug conviction and urged him to issue a clarification.

Thammarat, however, bluntly dismissed the SMH report as an attempt by his political opponents to dig up his past in order to discredit him.

“It is old stuff from the opposing political group – those Avatars – I know all of them. Don’t pay any attention to them. I do not give them any importance,” he told the media.

The deputy agriculture minister is known as the government’s “fixer” who is tasked with sorting out the smaller parties in the coalition government to make sure they tow the government line. The government coalition is made up of 19 parties and has a razor-thin majority in parliament.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

Thai MP rich list

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai MP rich list | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has published a who’s who list of Thailand’s richest politicians. The NACC has reported the personal finances of 80 MPs.

The personal finances report is an addition to the NACC’s previous report of 415 MPs who had earlier submitted their asset lists in July.

Notable MPs whose assets and debts have been revealed include Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward Party; Pannika Wanich, the FFP spokesperson, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the FFP secretary-general; Parina Kraikup, an MP of Phalang Pracharat Party from Ratchaburi province, and Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, a party list MP and leader of Thai Civilized Party.

The two reports combined found Thanathorn was the wealthiest MP, with 5.63 billion baht in assets and 683 million baht in debts (shared with his spouse.) The second richest was Bhumjaithai party-list MP Nathee Ratchakitprakarn, with a shared 4.67 billion baht in assets and 177 million baht in debts (and wife of the inexperienced Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn). Third on the wealth list is Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anuthin Chanwirakun, another Bhumjaithai party-list MP, who with his spouse claimed 4.19 billion baht in assets and 50 million baht in debts.

Satun MP Phibul Ratchakitprakarn, also of Bhumjaithai Party, had 2.38 billion in assets shared with his spouse. Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, coming in fifth place, was the richest MP in the government coalition-leading Phalang Pracharat Party, claiming with his spouse 2.19 billion in assets.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thai MP rich list | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: The Nation

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ASEAN

Prayut heading to New York for six day trip, including attending UN

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Prayut heading to New York for six day trip, including attending UN | The Thaiger

Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his entourage is leaving for New York to attend the 74th United Nations General Assembly tomorrow.

But the PM isn’t travelling alone. The six day trip to the US will also be made by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa (and half a plane of ‘others’).

According to a schedule released to the media, Prayut will also attend two meetings in his capacity as this year’s chairman of ASEAN to represent ASEAN and Thailand’s roles in the international arena.

He will attend a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage to show Thailand’s strong leadership with its national health scheme. The PM will also emphasise Thailand’s push to put universal healthcare on the world agenda.

Prayut will also attend the UN Climate Action summit and the Sustainable Development Goal summit. He is expected to say that ASEAN will accelerate development of the region and emphasise the role of local people as the centre of development projects based on the “sufficiency economy” philosophy, and that ASEAN would cooperate with the US and other nations in implementing development projects.

The Thai PM will assure the Asia Society that Thailand would cooperate with various countries on security, economic, social and environment projects, while the Kingdom also prepared to transform itself into an aged society and to develop smart cities and get its human resources ready for digital disruption.

During the meeting with the USABC, the PM will emphasise the strong points of the Eastern Economic Corridor project.

During the trip, Prayut will also meet and hold bilateral discussions with several foreign leaders, including Australian PM Scott Morrison, UN Secretary General António Guterres, as well as Tijjane Muhammad Bande, the chair of the 74th UN General Assembly.

On Tuesday, Prayut will attend a 9am banquette host by the UN secretary general for national leaders and their spouses. In the afternoon, he will attend the SDG Summit, as well as an evening banquette held by the US president and first lady for foreign leaders and spouses.

On Wednesday, Prayut will deliver a speech to the Asia Society at noon and attend a dinner meeting with executives of the USABC at night. The PM and his entourage are scheduled to fly from New York at noon on Thursday, landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 9.55pm on Friday.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Politics

Future Forward secretary-general floats idea of another debate

May Taylor

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Future Forward secretary-general floats idea of another debate | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Party leader of Future Forward Party – AFP

Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul says the Opposition will consider the option of holding another parliamentary debate over the next 3 months.

His statement comes after what was  generally considered an unsatisfactory response from the PM and other cabinet members during Wednesday’s debate.

Piyabutr is not ready to let the matter go, claiming the PM’s performance sets a bad precedent for future Thai leaders when it comes to respecting the oath recital requirement.

He adds that he’s not satisfied with the lack of clarity from Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngarm during this week’s debate, accusing him of being deliberately unclear by saying the issue of the oath-taking was a matter between the cabinet and the Monarchy.

For his part, Wissanu says he’s happy with how the debate went, but refused to discuss the Opposition’s threats of legal action against him and the PM, nor would he be drawn on the accusation of involving the monarchy in the oath debacle, which was levelled at him by opposition chief whip Suthin Klangsaeng.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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