Researchers have called for urgency in raising ethical standards of people in 11 professions after finding their work is plagued with misconduct.
Their findings are based on an opinion survey and close observation of their work practices. The researchers said they came up with a broad picture of the workers' characteristics and tried to find reasons behind what they considered to be "unethical behaviour".
Their studies, supported by Mahidol University and Thailand Research Fund, looked into the lives of politicians, legal experts, members of the media, policemen, soldiers, state officials, primary and secondary school teachers, university lecturers, doctors, nurses and businessmen.
The researchers have found money is a major reason behind their dishonest and inappropriate behaviour, even in careers that have a good image in the eyes of the public.
Some doctors earn money by acting as if they were medicine sellers, by prescribing a lot of drugs to patients, researcher Wirat Thungwachirakun said.
Teachers at primary and secondary schools also make extra money from tutorial schools rather than devoting themselves to ordinary classes while some aimed mainly to promote their academic rankings rather than paying heed to the learning development of their students, researcher Thanyarak Ruchiphakdi said.
For media members who play a key role in monitoring irregularities in society, some can easily abandon this role when they, or their bosses, get involved in "capitalist media" which emphasises profits for themselves rather than caring for the interests of the public, researcher Siriwan Anantho said.
Wicha Mahakhun, a National Anti-Corruption Commission member, who conducted research on ethics in legal experts, said his study found that some legal experts can ignore justice if they are offered high rewards to help their customers win legal cases.
"Many legal experts simply use the the gift of the gab [for money] without caring for morality," he said.
Policemen also use their positions to find extra money. Some demand money to process people's complaints while others even directly extort money from people, Pol Maj Gen Adun Narongsak's study found.
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Writer: MONGKOL BANGPRAPA