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Royal Thai Police accused of “ticket” promotion system to buy senior positions

Caitlin Ashworth

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Royal Thai Police accused of “ticket” promotion system to buy senior positions | Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Royal Thai Police are being accused of using so-called “elephant tickets” to buy their way into promotions and pay their way up the police force’s chain of command. The corruption among the police force and the buying of positions without meeting the requirements for a promotion has been a longtime problem, according to the Bangkok Post.

The “elephant ticket” issue was recently brought to light by an opposition MP at a censure debate who said it fast tracked the promotion system and allowed some people who were unqualified and undeserving to raise their rank. Some Thais have protested the “elephant ticket.” Many gathered in front of the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok last week, including one person who dressed up as an elephant.

At the censure debate on February 19, Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome called out PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chairs the Police Commission overseeing the Royal Thai Police, and said the prime minister allowed the “elephant ticket” promotions. Prayut later said there were problems within the police force and that he would handle it.

Police who want a promotion need a ticket, which is basically just a reference or a stamp of approval from a senior officer or even a politician or business person. To get an “elephant ticket,” some can pay for the ticket. A source told the Post that positions for police superintendents cost between 5 to 10 million baht.

Others can get a ticket by doing favours for their superior or even just serving their superior for a long time, sources told the Bangkok Post. The higher the position a senior officer has, the more tickets they have to give out.

To read the full special report by the Bangkok Post, click HERE.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    B.T.

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Typical feudal system.Thailand is in medieval age.

  2. Avatar

    Pedro

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    There are countless different open and transparent police promotion models around the world that Prayut could use to replace the flawed system in place at present, so even someone with his limited abilities should be able to ‘fix’ this one. In fact, this is a gifted ‘win, win’ situation for him. He would get the thanks of the public and rise in their estimation (although he could not sink much lower), and also get a police service that is slightly less corrupt than now, which is a start. Police promotion boards, conducting interviews based on abilities as well as qualification, both with a broad spectrum outside oversight to ensure no interference from above, would be a simple and open way to start. Further developments could then take place. Cue Issan John to disagree, as he knows best 🙂

  3. Avatar

    John

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Totally agree….Thailand’s number 1 problem.
    Vile corrupt cesspool.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Not ‘disagree’ as such, but you’re in la-la land.

    It isn’t the “system” that’s flawed but the organisation itself.

    Simply changing the “system” for a similar one based on Western buzzwords will achieve more than varnishing a dog turd.

    “Police promotion boards, conducting interviews based on abilities as well as qualification, both with a broad spectrum outside oversight to ensure no interference from above, etc” are already part of the supposed “system” but they’re by-passed, just as they would be if you dress them up as something else in the same organisation.

    You’re changing nothing as the “system” you’re suggesting is the system that’s already in place.

    The only way to address the issue with any possibility of genuine “change” would be complete re-structuring and re-organisation, much as the Australians did a while ago.

    You can put as much varnish as you like on a dog turd, but that doesn’t stop it being a dog turd.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Sorry, that should read “Simply changing the “system” for a similar one based on Western buzzwords will achieve NO more than varnishing a dog turd.” 🙁

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Here we go again. Changing the system to a western one is wrong.
    Forget any comparison.
    The Thai system is a rotten corrupt system, and comparing it to a western system doe not excuse the system!
    You are a dog turd for suggesting this.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Toby, calling you a half-wit would be an insult to a half-wit.

    I’m not making any “comparison”.

    I’m not “excusing” anything.

    Pedro said it was a “flawed system”, etc and so the “system” should be changed etc and that would make Prayut more popular, etc

    My point was that his suggestion was moot as they ALREADY supposedly use the “system” he wants them to change to. That already IS the supposed “system”, even if he is unaware of it.

    The “tickets” are NOT part of the system – they by-pass it, just as they’d by-pass it if all you did was adjust the window-dressing.

    It’s the whole organisation that needs changing, not just re-naming bits of the promotion system while changing nothing.

    As English is evidently your second language, maybe you could find some three year old Cambodian kid who could explain it to you.

  8. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 6:39 am

    This is why everyone on the tourist islands is shaken down by the police so much, they need to make that money back quickly.

  9. Avatar

    Pedro

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Who mentioned implementing a ‘western system’. I didn’t, and the only ‘system I was talking about was the one for promotions, not the service as a whole. I also did not know that you were such an expert on dog turds, but I suppose it takes all sorts. I just said that there were plenty of promotion systems out there, and suggested one, which you say is already in place. If the one I suggested is already in place in Thailand then how can it be a ‘western system’? I was suggesting that having external cross party oversight would be a start to make inroads into the endemic corruption that taints the good police officers who are in there. Of course the organisation as a whole is flawed, the question is how could it be changed, and there is nothing La La Land about seeking or suggesting change? Nothing should be off the table.

    It is not the case of a rotten apple in the barrel, but instead it is the barrel that is rotting the apples, so we need a new barrel. Two ways to change something. Slowly, step by step from the inside, removing the bad apples with checks and balances along the way, with identified ‘stepping stones’ or ‘markers’, indicating with evidence when a change has been implemented. Better external oversight on promotion boards is a good way to start. Or crash, bang, wallop, take all the good apples out of the old barrel and stuff them into the new one all at once, leaving the rotten ones behind, but difficult to know if you got them all. It would probably need an in depth independent study to recommend which route to take. Perhaps as you know everything IJ, you should be the Chair of such a study. I obviously did not know that the Thai police were supposed to have external oversight of their promotion system, otherwise I would not have suggested it. Perhaps IJ will share how this works with us seeing as he knows what is what on police promotions as well as everything else under the sun.

  10. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 10:41 am

    IJohn to the keyboard. DENY you are an expert on dog turds as Pedro suggests!
    Oh, I forgot. You are an expert on everything.

  11. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 10:53 am

    As you say, Pedro, you “obviously didn’t know”.

    “If the one I suggested is already in place in Thailand then how can it be a ‘western system’?”

    Because when it was introduced it was based on “Western systems”, just as those introduced more recently in, say, Iraq and Afghanistan are – they’re now Iraqi and Afghan systems, just as that in Thailand is now a Thai system, but that doesn’t change their origin (or, necessarily, make them work).

    Without having any idea of the system already in place you’ve banged on that they should change it – for the same system, unknown to you, they already have. 😮

    Beyond asinine, except you’ve even taken that one stage further by suggesting they also need “external cross party oversight” when, AGAIN, that is ALREADY part of the present system.

    All the supposed RTP “police promotion systems” are well documented and readily available – as are the ways to by-pass them by the parallel “ticket” system, reported here, which has been widely known before but never before naming names.

    THAT’s the big difference this time – although it’s still unlikely to make any difference unless action is taken against those named and there’s little or no likelihood of that happening.

    As long as the parallel, illegal, corrupt system exists and works it doesn’t make any difference at all what’s MEANT to happen or what systems are SUPPOSED to be in place – all you’re doing is changing the display in the window / putting another coat of varnish on the dog turd.

  12. Avatar

    Andy W

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Unfortunately “western systems” don’t work in a country where loss of face is number 1. If they where to copy elsewhere then they would have to look at other Asian countries where loss of face strangles logic. I don’t know if Japan police force still suffers in this way, but if not then they may be the model.
    But it’s unlikely the police will change notable whilst so many of the politicians themselves are know to be corrupt.

  13. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    It’s not just about “loss of face”, Andy W, or about a few “rotten apples” or even some “rotten apples” in a “rotten barrel” and changing the “apples” or the “barrel”.

    The “change” required is far more fundamental.

    The “ticket” system in the police, and elsewhere, has never exactly been a secret but names have never been named before and now they have – whether that will lead to a “change” or not, only time will tell.

  14. Avatar

    MARK GOODYEAR

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    When you see and hear about all this shyte going on in Thailand, its no small wonder the young people are simply not buying in to any of this…politics, the Monarchy, the corruption, the lack-lusture legal system, the stupid ‘Thai-face’ concept, the road deaths, the appalling devaluing of ‘life’, the corrupt monks….I COULD GO ON AND ON HERE!
    In some ways, its a great shame Covid 19 hasn’t been more rife in Thailand like it has here in Indonesia. It hasn’t been the ‘wake-up’ call most countries around the world have had.. almost like re-booting a laptop! Maybe Covid deaths in the 1,000’s would have been a good thing?

  15. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 5:45 am

    Any service with the word royal in it has always been based on this type of system and always has been.just a bit more transparent here than some other places,that’s all.

  16. Avatar

    Pepe

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Hi, could you please send me the key for the time being!!!?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Investigations of Covid-19 infected elite rule-breakers demanded

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Investigations of Covid-19 infected elite rule-breakers demanded | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: VIP clubs and their wealthy customers may have violated rules and led to Covid-19 outbreaks

Investigations are being demanded by a corruption watchdog into Thai politicians infected with Covid-19 after allegedly attending venues in the Thong Lor entertainment venues in Bangkok that have now emerged as the ground zero for the Coronavirus third wave in the Kingdom.

The Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand are being asked to investigate the latest Covid-19 outbreak, noting in a Facebook post that the second wave was also linked to illegal activities, spreading through illegal migrants and other visiting gambling dens. This third wave is also angering those who see the wealthy elite and powerful politicians frequenting high-end bars and not following Covid-19 safety protocols.

Mana Nimitmongkol, secretary-general of ACT argues that the ministers visiting these clubs did not behave “ethically”, and it’s part of a larger problem. He is pushing for legal action against not only club owners, but against police, public health officials, and even the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration for failing to enforce laws to protect against Covid-19.

Investigations into whether the code of ethics had been violated were requested to be carried out by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ombudsman and the committee on ethical standards.

As entertainment venues have been ordered closed for at least 2 weeks, Mana proposes that along with restrictions, a hotline to report rule-breakers should be set up, and all people should be held to the same standard without exception.

The president of the Rural Doctors Society agreed, saying that especially important is the need for Covid-19 infected public officials to disclose their personal timelines to reassure the public and assist in contract tracing. It is feared that little or no action will be taken to investigate and punish powerful rulebreakers.

One controversial infection was that of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, rumoured to be infected from Thong Lor nightclubs, but later shown to be in another province at the time. The entertainment venue outbreak was not completely innocent though, as details emerged that the minister’s infection was in fact passed to him via an aide who had frequented clubs in Thong Lor.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, a former massage parlour owner turned activist, has been outspoken on the issue, calling for investigations into high-society VIP clubs like Krystal Club and Emerald Club, who allegedly flaunted restrictions and ended up with dozens of Covid-19 infected staff members.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau chief had said that legal action was pending against these clubs for the virus spreading.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Protests

Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests

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Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests | Thaiger
PHOTO: Demonstration attendance has been falling in the face of Covid-19, coups and crackdowns.

While protesters against the Thai government are continuing as they have for endless months, attendance is lessening in the face of crackdowns, coups and Covid-19. The throngs of 10,000 plus protesters, mostly energetic youth, that waved The Hunger Games 3 finger salute and demanded change in Thailand last summer have thinned to a few thousand or less these days.

The government isn’t in the clear yet though, as the protester’s calls to replace the current government, lessen the power of the Thai monarchy, and draw up a new constitution are still popular ideas. But a number of factors are causing protester size and vigour to wane.

The second wave of Covid in December quickly curbed the daily demonstrations for fear of spreading the virus. After that, the coup in Myanmar on February 1 has brought massive protests with international attention shifting to the growing humanitarian crisis just across the border. On top of the pandemic and the Burmese coup, the Thai government has taken a much more hardline approach to protesters in recent months.

Police began fighting back against mass demonstrations, dispersing crowds with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. And after 2 years of leniency, the government has begun prosecuting people under the strict lèse-majesté laws, where offending the monarchy can carry harsh punishment including a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Anon Nampa, a human-rights lawyer, and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, a student activist, have already been arrested under this law and held without bail. Arrests like these have been demoralising for the pro-democracy movement, and have scared away a lot of Thai protesters. Many have shifted focus to more immediate efforts to demand the release of the detained protest leaders.

Even with the crowds shrinking, the protests have already brought about change, bringing once unspeakable conversations into the national conversation, and keeping pressure on Thailand’s leaders. Opposition is growing, with efforts to push no-confidence votes and amendments to the constitution being constantly proposed and advocated.

SOURCE: The Economist

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