W hat sort of government officials does the Pheu Thai Party and the government prefer to have in its service?
The above question was raised after the recent events relating to the controversial rice pledging scheme and the fate of Supa Piyajitti, deputy permanent secretary for finance, who was involved in the scheme in her capacity as the person in charge of doing the accounting for the scheme and was unfortunately caught in the middle of a political war of words between the government and the opposition over the rice programme.Ms Supa is definitely not the sort of official preferred by the government or the Pheu Thai Party, although she is widely recognised as an expert in fiscal and monetary matters, accounting and law. She is also highly regarded in the private sector as witnessed by her appointment to the boards of Siam Commercial Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has also served on the boards of Bangchak Petroleum Plc, the Agricultural Futures Trading Commission, TOT Public Company and Everland Public Company.
Ms Supa became a celebrity overnight in mid-May when the press, based on a leaked report from her office, reported the populist rice pledging scheme had accumulated about 260 billion baht in losses for the 2011-12 harvest seasons. The government dismissed the figures as over-inflated and said the actual losses amounted to about 130 billion baht. She was widely admired for her courage to speak the truth about the ill-conceived scheme, whereas a handful of officials who know what is really going on, including then-commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, chose to keep their mouths shut to save their own skins.
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