The Bangkok Post in an editorial earlier this week entitled “NLA lawsuit harms PM” about 28 members appointed to the NLA who were trying to avoid reporting their assets. Key excerpts:
A small group in the new legislature is taking a large risk by refusing to report assets and liabilities as ordered. In a stunning development, just over 10% of the National Legislative Assembly have simply defied the directive from the National Anti-Corruption Commission – the group last week filed a secretive petition in the Administrative Court in an attempt to circumvent the NACC’s authority. The group’s decision to keep this action from the public multiplies the lack of transparency to an unprecedented level.
According to the Administrative Court, Gen Noppadon Inthapanya is the leader of the 28-strong group protesting against the order to report their assets. Gen Noppadon has been a secretary to the defence minister for several years, and is an adviser to the National Council for Peace and Order. The other 27 NLA members who signed the lawsuit petition have not yet been identified. By the details of the lawsuit, however, they appear to be a military faction.
The prime minister has already ordered his cabinet members, including himself, to report their assets to the NACC this week. Those ministers also can show they oppose the stand taken by Gen Noppadon and his 27 NLA allies who oppose this procedure.
BP: This is a little bit naïve from the Bangkok Post given Gen. Noppadon was not the secretary just to any Defence Minister, but to Gen. Prawit (another of the 28 is Prawit’s brother) who together with Gen. Anupong were the people behind the PDRC protests and behind Prayuth. Prayuth appointed Prawit Defence Minister and Anupong Interior Minister. What did the Bangkok Post think Gen. Prawit and the others were going to do?
The 28 last their lawsuit so they had to reveal their assets. The Nation:
Nine of the 28 National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members, who recently petitioned the Administrative Court unsuccessfully against disclosing their assets, have net assets worth more than Bt200 million each, it was disclosed yesterday.
General Pairoj Panichsamai, a former close aide to Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda, has net assets worth Bt388 million, with more than Bt209 million in investments.
General Yuvanut Siriyakul na Ayudhaya, who was in the same military-school class as PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha, has net assets of Bt340 million. He owns more than 100 valuable Buddha statues, gold bullion and accessories worth more than Bt53 million. His spouse owns property worth Bt158 million.
General Chayuti Suvanamas has Bt295 million worth of net assets, which includes Bt240 million worth of property. Former Air Force chief Air Chief Marshall Ithaporn Suphawong has assets worth more than Bt263 million, including Bt92 million worth of property.
BP: BP is obviously in the wrong career path.
The Bangkok Post on another 2 of the 28:
Pol Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwon, former police chief and a brother of Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, has 136.56 million baht in net assets.
Pol Gen Pichit Kuantechakup, who was former assistant to then police chief Pol Gen Patcharawat, has 161.8 million baht in net assets.
BP: The Bangkok Post has an article and a nice chart (with names, assets, and positions) stating that the 28 of them are worth 4.5 billion Baht
For Prem’s former close aide Gen. Pairoj, multiple papers (Bangkok Post in another article, Matichon, Post Today, Thai Post) report the 388 million baht figure although when the Bangkok Post include him in the list of 28 it drops to 34 million baht which BP assumes it simply an error. [BP: Error corrected now, it is 388 million baht]
Many active military officers have a net worth of dozens of millions of baht as cited in the Bangkok Post article mentioned above:
First Region Army commander Lt Gen Kampanat Ruddit has 99.8 million baht in net assets.
Assistant army chief Lt Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha, who is the younger brother of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, has 79.8 million baht in net assets.
His assets include 42 million baht held in bank accounts and a 5-million-baht Benjapakee Collection of Buddha amulets.
BP: And these are the good people who are trying to prevent corruption from politicians. How they been able to accumulate so many assets despite a career in the military or the police? It is as though they receive a large salary.