The most encouraging news of the week was the senior Thai politician being quickly cleared by the Customs Dept of tax evasion charges concerning a Rolls-Royce. Well that's alright then. The gentleman, a well-known advocate for the downtrodden masses, can now drive around the city in his luxury limousines with a clear conscience.
You cannot stress enough the importance of politicians having the right car to go with their image. It is no coincidence that the first cabinet meeting of a new government in Thailand often resembles the opening of an international motor show. You can almost guarantee a fine gathering of the latest limousines purring their way towards Government House to unload these pillars of democracy.
Indeed, any minister who arrives for work in a less than glittering vehicle is looked upon with some suspicion. Eyebrows were raised a few years ago when a newly appointed cabinet minister, known to possess a rather "modest" car, suddenly appeared at parliament every day driving a sleek Jaguar. He later explained that he borrowed the Jag from a friend because he felt it was not appropriate for someone of his status to roll up for work in an unfashionable car.
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