Diligent followers of Thai politics may remember the expensive clocks purchased for parliament. Khao Sod:
Mr. Watchara also urged the NACC to speed up the investigation of pricy digital clocks installed in the House of Parliament last year. A total of 238 clocks were installed throughout the building while the Pheu Thai Party was in power, costing the state approximately 15 million baht.
Veera in the Bangkok Post with an op-ed entitled “Costly clocks and other wasteful spending”
Yet, the parliament’s acquisition of the clocks at such an outrageously expensive price – 62,500 baht for each clock – became an issue of heated debate in the parliament, and in the social media during the last few days. The widespread criticism prompted the parliament’s deputy secretary-general Nukul Santhitiseri to issue an explanation on Thursday.
Manager Online reported that the Bodet clocks, the Cristalys Elipse model manufactured in England, retail at 602.7 euros, or about 25,000 baht. Netizens posting on web boards said a similar clock made in Germany could be bought for 420 euros, or about 16,800 baht.
It may seem an insignificant waste compared with the many other profligate expenditures, but it’s still the taxpayers’ money. This kind of wasteful extravagance by the parliament and by other government agencies during the last few months of each budget year reflects the deeply ingrained mindset of our bureaucrats and politicians alike towards the taxpayers’ money – that the money can be spent or wasted in whatever way they choose and at their whim.
Besides buying the giant new digital clocks, the office of the parliament secretary-general has renovated various rooms in the building, and even installed an airconditioner in a garbage collection storeroom and replaced the audio system in the chamber — despite the fact that, in the next few years the new parliament building which is now under construction at huge cost – and will certainly have digital world clocks – will be completed and the current premises will likely be abandoned.
BP: No need to worry though. We have had a coup now and wasteful spending has gone….
The Nation today:
Government House’s Cabinet meeting room will be ready for ministers’ meetings by Tuesday, PM’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul said yesterday.
Panadda boasted that the new technology adopted for the meeting room was on par with that of the White House.
Known as Room 501, it has a sound system operated by a touch screen, a first for Thailand. It is also has a special computer programme and comes with an anti-snooping system.
A total of 89 new microphones have been installed, and each cost Bt145,000. There is also a 55-inch high-definition video wall and videoconference facilities. The room, together with the upgrading of two other conference rooms, known as Room 301 and 302, cost a total of Bt69 million.
BP: In fairness, they are not your ordinary microphone as if you click on the link at The Nation you will see they also have a little screen too. Matichon did some digging and found that they were Bosch microphones (Bosch DCN multimedia is the product name) which were retailing for 99,000 Baht a piece, but less than a day later the price had been pushed up to 199,000 a piece (screenshots showing the change in price is available at the Matichon link)….
No doubt part of the plan to boost the local economy because surely in a post-coup environment there is not going to be any wasteful spending, right?