MPs accused of corruption after report reveals 100 million baht a year spent on subsidised meals

Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash and Abhisit Vejjajiva via Flickr

Members of the Committee for the Selection of Catering Operators for MPs and Senators have been accused of corruption after a report revealed over 100 million baht a year is spent on subsidised meals.

Former Democrat Party MP, Watchara Phetthong, revealed that there is corruption between the catering company and some MPs and Senators.

Watchara claims that because the committee chose a particular catering company to serve food in Parliament, they get benefits and kickbacks from the said catering company.

A Democrat Party MP, and a committee member, Rangsima Rodrasamee, gave an interview with Thai reporters today regarding the issue.

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Rangsima denied she got any benefits from the catering company, adding she was unaware of any corruption. She said no one would dare to lobby her for a contract because she is not corrupt. Rangsima said that an investigation should be conducted if corrupt practices are being carried out.

Rangsima made known that she believes the budget spent on government catering is too high and wants this changed. Rangsima revealed over 100 million baht a year is spent on meals for MPs and senators.

Rangsima said MPs had a meal budget of 1,000 baht per person at each parliament meeting. There are 500 MPs, so the budget is 500,000 baht per day and 100 million baht per year. The budget is divided into 250 baht for breakfast, 350 baht for lunch, and another 350 baht for dinner.

The food is ordered regardless of how many MPs were present at that meeting, meaning there is a lot of waste because at times MPs are absent.

Rangsima said 1,000 baht per person isn’t too expensive but suggests that the government provides MPs with a top-up card to allow them to choose their meals at the food court. Rangsima said the budget spent on meals would be only 50 million baht.

Rangsima added that Watchara must be clear with his corruption allegations adding, if true, the President of the National Assembly, Chuan Leekpai, should conduct a special investigation into the charge.

Thai netizens got involved in the debate and compared an MP’s meal allowance with the lunch budget for Thai students.

Netizens believe that Thailand’s students are important to the country as they are the future of the kingdom, adding they should get a bigger budget to eat healthier.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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