If law is the law

If law is the law

Postby Ink on Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:56 am

Ever wonder why Khunying Pajamarn has not been found to be inviolation of anything in the Ratchadapisek land deal while Thaksin is found guilty of abusing his power over the same land deal?

I thought the ruling was “interesting” so I went on a little hunt to see what the boo-ha-ha is all about.

Well, judge for yourself….

The FIDF is an entity set up to solve financial crises in the country many years before Thaksin arrived on the political scene. This office first put this land on public auction in July 2003. There were three development companies that were interested. However, the minimum bid was too high (B870 Mil) and FIDF cancelled the auction.

In November 2003, FIDF again announced sale of this land to the public via its website. Khunying Pajamarn was interested in the land for residential purposes and appointed her attorney submit a bid.

The FIDF appointed two committees to supervise the bidding process, the bid acceptance committee and the price opening committee. There were 4 potential bidders. But before each potential bidder can submit a bid, their qualification must be approved by these committees. One of the potential bidders was disqualified because their attorney who submitted the bid was not properly authorized. Khunying Pajamarn (offered B772 Mil) and two others are found to be qualified. The other two were publicly listed real estate developers, Noble Development Public Co. LTD. (offered B750 Mil), and House Public Co. LTD. (offered B730 Mil).

In December 2003, after the opening of the bidding price, the committee held a meeting to approve the sale to the highest bidder and the Land Sale and Purchased Agreement was signed with Khunyin Pajamarn.

Also in December 2003, Thaksin, as a husband, signed the consent form required to effect the registration of the land transfer. As part of the formality of any registration of real estate requiring spousal consent, he used his official identity card. It shows his official title as Prime Minister.

And this is important… Prior to putting down his signature, it was confirmed that the office of the Prime Minister is neither the office in charge of, nor has the authority to direct or supervise the FIDF. This is supported by the Supreme Court decision No. 4655/2533 which ruled that the FIDF is a separate and distinct juristic body independent from the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand. It has its own rights and duty in accordance with laws and regulations within the boundary of its objectives.

Well, if law is law, it would appear that the sale was legally done by public auction, which means anyone can participate. I would think this includes a Prime Minister’s wife as well. It would also appear that the whole process was done properly and transparently. In the bidding clauses, the FIDF even reserved the right to not sell to any one, including the highest bidder. The transaction is not an abuse of power by the office of the Prime Minister, nor is it a conflict of interest as supported by the ruling of the Supreme Court's decision.

This case amplifies what I and many Thais already know. Unfortunately, we are doomed to live our lives under sensationalized rumors and highly charged fabrications where our politic is concern. It’s unlikely there are efforts on any one’s part to really inform the public the truth behind rumor based and politically motivated charges. I would think if there were any intention to corrupt or abuse power, it would have been much simpler and nothing to have someone else purchase the land. The Shinnawatra would not have personally involved themselves. Fact is, Khunying Pajamarn was informed she is qualified to participate and buy the land and Thaksin's office confirmed FIDF is a separate entity and not a part of the central administration. The sale and purchase was done in good faith with consideration paid and in accordance to the law......That is if Law is Law....

Here’s section 100 of the Organic Act on Counter Corruption Thaksin is found to be in violation of.

Section 100 Any State official shall not carry out the following acts:
(1) being a party to or having interest in a contract made with a Government agency where such State official performs duties in the capacity as State official who has the power to conduct supervision, control, inspection or legal proceedings;
(2) being a partner or shareholder in a partnership or company which is a party to a contract made with a Government agency where such State official performs duties in the capacity as a State official who has the power to conduct supervision, control, inspection or legal proceedings;
(3) being a concessionaire or continuing to hold a concession from the State, State agency, State enterprise or local administration or being a party to contract of a directly or indirectly monopolistic nature made with the State, a Government agency, State agency, State enterprise or local administration, or being a partner or shareholder in a partnership or company which is a concessionaire or a contractual party in such manner;
(4) being interested in the capacity as a director, counsel, representative, official or employee in a private business which is under supervision, control or audit of the State agency to which such State official is attached or where such State official performs duties in the capacity as State official, provided that the nature of the interest of the private business may be contrary to or inconsistent with public interest or the interest of the Government service or may affect the autonomy in the performance of duties of such State official.
The positions of State officials prohibited from carrying out the activities under paragraph one shall be prescribed and published in the Government Gazette by then N.C.C Commission.
The provisions of paragraph one shall apply to spouses of the State officials under paragraph two. For this purpose, the activities carried out by the spouse shall be deemed as the activities carried out by the State official.

If law is law and given the circumstance surrounding the land deal, I don’t see how or where Thaksin abused his power and violated the law.
Last edited by Ink on Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Chaiyuth on Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:38 am

Yes, Thaksin was not guilty under any of these laws.
Every agency involved approved of this sale and said it was the best offer they had.
And of course, the court did not mention anything about price-fixing, irregularity etc. that PAD and their supporters have been trying to shove down people's throat....
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Ink on Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:44 am

Correction....

"Also in December 2006, Thaksin, as a husband, signed the consent form........"

This was in 2003, not 2006.
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Sanjay on Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:47 am

Chaiyuth, I ain't no legal eagle but doesn't Section 100 clearly state that Govt. Officials CANNOT be involved with private deals?

Was Thaksin, as PM not a Govt. official? If the post of the PM is God of the Universe then I agree with your post.

Please explain in layman's terms for us villagers.
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Non Aligned Bangkok on Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:46 am

Sanjay wrote:Chaiyuth, I ain't no legal eagle but doesn't Section 100 clearly state that Govt. Officials CANNOT be involved with private deals?

Was Thaksin, as PM not a Govt. official? If the post of the PM is God of the Universe then I agree with your post.

Please explain in layman's terms for us villagers.


Read the OP again Sanjay and al will become clear!
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Ink on Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:47 am

Hello Sanjay,
Would you be so kind as to point out which part of Section 100 states government officials cannot be involved in private deals?

It’s rather clear that Section 100 states government officials cannot be involved in deals with a state agency.

Do you see any difference between the two statements?

It is also rather clear the Supreme Court ruled FIDF is not a part of the central administration, even if Thaksin was actively involved, which he clearly was not.

The extent of his involvement was that his signature (assuming that it was in Ink) was required for the registration the transfer of the real estate “after the sale” has already been publicly, legally, and transparently made. It was to demonstrate consent as a husband for the registration a piece of property. This shouldn’t be that difficult for any layman villager to wrap his head around without having to be a legal eagle, should it?

I have explained and showed specific rationale behind my assertion that not only was Section 100 not violated; it doesn’t even apply due to the status of the FIDF as ruled by the Supreme Court. Perhaps, you can explain how Section 100 was violated?
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby davidb98 on Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:17 pm

thanks Ink, well covered...

I also read section 100 and could not see exactly why Thaksin could be held involved, and I missed the bit about FIDF is an independent agency... so thanks for that
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby pachangamac042 on Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:24 pm

Yow Ink, great research! There is only one thing I would like you to explain to me. I thought that laws in Thailand are not really binding, but are more like something which leaves place for interpretation. I thought that laws in Thailand are more like suggestions.

For example; I am a poor farmer who run over a person with my car and killed that person, result, I go to jail. But same thing happens to a rich and famous Bangkok elite family son, than he gets a clap on his hand and is told not to do it again.

I am a Joe average and police catches me with some kind of illegal substances, again I go to jail. But same thing happens to the educated son of a Bangkok dynasty family and again a clap on his hand, some days rehabilitation in a nice private 5* clinic and that’s it.

This are only 2 examples of how to interpret the law but there are many more. So could you explain to me, same as you would explain a 7 year old, how the legal system works in Thailand? An other thing is, that laws tend to keep on changing. Who does really know about the current laws?
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Sanjay on Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:42 pm

Yes, pachangamac, all laws are subject to interpretations.Thaksin did no wrong too when he shifted ownerships of billions of baht to his children and servant, just before he assumed office.There must be somthing in the law to say that this is OK in Thailand.Perhaps Ink can explain his interpretation of this law.

And about the rich getting off lightly, well it's how you interpret the law too.You can even get away with murder, if you have the right connections.Like the son of the present health minister.

Lol!
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Re: If Law is Law

Postby Ink on Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:22 am

Hello Pachangamac042, Sanjay,
First, Sanjay..
You’ve yet to oblige my request to be so kind as to point out which part of Section 100 states government officials cannot be involved in private deals. Again, it’s clear what Section 100 states. I’ve granted you the courtesy of answering your request. It would only be fair for you to return that courtesy by answering mine before you head off into another area to convolute the discussion.

Until you do this, I see no point in obliging anything you request. My being right doesn’t equate to you being wrong, just misinformed or simply deciding to be ignorant. Take you pick..


Pachangamac042..
First, you’re not a 7 year old and I would not expect you to react to anything being stated here like one. Please note the topic, If Law is Law. The subject being discuss is the Ratchadapisek land deal and how that relates to the law being used to prosecute the case.

Your stated understanding is a redirect from the subject and how the law governing this case has been used. The law is most certainly not subject to be wildly interpreted to be something other than what it is intended to be. Otherwise, what’s the point? By your stated understanding that the law is just plain subject to interpretation, we would have no law of any binding letter. There would be no point in having one, would there? And since we do have laws, why would we not examine what the law states before we support or condemn something. The attitude that law is subject to interpretation is exactly the attitude that undermines everything that is supposed to be binding in this country. How much of that do you think is playing into our politic? This Ratchadapisek case is nothing but politic when examine the law. The examples you gave are nothing but generalization of how money trumps the law in this country, which it most certainly has been the case. You don’t even have to use the rich and their children as example to make that point. You and I both know that if Joe farmer gets stopped driving his 2 cow powered wagon in violation of the law, he can just as easily stuffed a couple of bills in the police’s palm and all is good. You and I both know this is literally a daily occurrence. You and I both know that police set up bogus check points to stop motorists with some BS charges so they can literally rob these motorists, and the motorists allow that robbery. Do you think the law is being interpreted in these situations? I don’t. I think it is simply being ignored because it has been so undermined by this very attitude that it plays little to no importance in people’s lives.

The point is if law is law then the letter of the law should play some importance. But if law is not law, then there is no point in prosecuting anyone of anything. If the law that is used to prosecute the accused can be interpreted differently from what it plainly states, there would be nothing to prosecute anyone with because it would “all” be subject to be “interpreted” and if that is the case for Section 100, what’s to validate one interpretation and not the other?

Perhaps you can explain this to me?
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