Candidates look to stamp out BMA graft

Candidates for Bangkok governor on Tuesday put forward their views on how they would try to clean up corruption in City Hall.

  • Published: 27/02/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Democrat candidate for governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra is assisted by his rival, Pheu Thai Party candidate Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen, as they step down from a stage after setting out their visions for a corruption-free City Hall at the Dusit Thani Hotel. PATIPAT JANTHONG

A better system is needed to ensure the governor and officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) act with full transparency, candidate Sophon Pornchokchai said.

He was speaking at a seminar on a corruption-free Bangkok, jointly held yesterday by the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand and the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking.

If City Hall's leader is clean, it would be unlikely that his subordinates would be able to cheat, he said.

Mr Sophon recommended that the BMA's departments and divisions make public right from the start details of new investment or construction projects.

Pheu Thai candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen agreed with the idea of creating more mechanisms to ensure the accountability of the governor, saying he was prepared to be scrutinised by anyone.

He said he agreed with a law that allows members of the public to seek to impeach a governor who is found to be unsuitable to be the leader of the capital.

Under the law, the public can appeal to the interior minister to consider impeaching a local leader or a member of a local administration council if at least 30,000 eligible voters sign a joint petition.

Any existing rules that hinder efforts by the public to hold the Bangkok governor's administration accountable needed to be amended, Pol Gen Pongsapat said.

Meanwhile, independent candidate Kosit Suvinitjit said he would fight to increase the salaries of the BMA's civil servants if he becomes the new Bangkok governor.

He said the low salaries of civil servants are to blame for rampant corruption in the public sector.

He believes higher salaries would attract more qualified professionals to work for the BMA.

Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, another independent candidate, said he would impose stringent measures to hold all procurements of the BMA accountable to the public and strictly enforce anti-corruption laws.

Democrat Party candidate and former governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the BMA is already under intense scrutiny by anti-corruption bodies such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Department of Special Investigation.

He said that under his leadership the BMA had introduced a programme to educate Bangkok's schoolchildren about the problems of corruption to ensure that future voters grow up with a strong anti-graft attitude.

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Writer: Supoj Wancharoen
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