State enterprise reform means no more skipping work

State enterprise reform means no more skipping work

TOT's labour union takes a vote; Inset: the corporate insignia of Thailand's state enterprises soon the be tightly regulated.
TOT's labour union takes a vote; Inset: the corporate insignia of Thailand's state enterprises soon the be tightly regulated.

New state enterprise reform law forces businesses to perform & make money, also shields from politicians seeking gain.


State enterprise reform means no more skipping work

Reform on the way to try for greater transparency and efficiency
Wichit Chantanusornsiri

"My job [at an undisclosed state enterprise] is nothing serious," a taxi driver once told his passenger, a Bangkok Post reporter.

"I punch in for work in the morning, then leave to drive my cab all day making extra money, and at four I rush back to the office to clock out."

"Everybody does it so no one tells on each other."

"The office may want us [to be at work] only when there is an emergency, like when something breaks down and needs an urgent repair," he explained. 

This man's relaxed attitude to work exemplifies the cushy and comfortable life of many state enterprise workers that has existed for decades under the protection of their labour unions.

A taxi driver boasted to a rider he only shows up at his state enterprise job twice a day - to clock in, and clock out, and says "everyone does it". (File photo by Somchai Poomlard)


Such activity is set to end after the bill on state enterprise reforms sailed through the cabinet earlier this month before going to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) later this year.

When approved, it will become Thailand's first-ever law regulating state enterprises.

The the new law has been carefully drafted by the State Enterprises Policy Commission also known as the Superboard, formed by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to overhaul the structure of state enterprises.

The superboard comprises veterans in various fields invited by the NCPO.

The new law will put 12 corporatised (made into corporations) state enterprises under the ownership and supervision of a  holding company soon to be set up while allowing the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo) to continue supervising the other 45 state enterprises.

Chanvit Nakburee, director of State Enterprise Policy and Planning Bureau and spokesman of Sepo said the law is a crucial element to tackle key problems in the entire system of Thailand's state enterprises.


"The bill is the first time ever that a [state enterprise] reform has been undertaken," said Mr Chanvit.

The bill was initiated by the superboard, which is chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and aims primarily to prevent political interference, a key issue that needs to be tackled in order to ensure management transparency and enhance efficiency in state enterprises.

According to the superboard's internal research, the combined investment assets of all state enterprises have tripled to 75% of Thailand's GDP from a decade ago but the revenue generated from the assets have risen to only 44% of GDP from 26%.


Superboard member Banyong Pongpanich cited TOT Plc as an example.

He said the state enterprise has a total of 22,000 employees but has been operating at a loss of tens of billions of baht for several consecutive years while revenue at its business rival Advance Info Services (AIS), which has 10,000 employees, is more than five times that of TOT.

TOT labour union had repeatedly accused the superboard that its reform plan had sought to privatise the state telecom enterprise.

The union claimed this would lead to staff being laid off, despite government assurances the reform plan had nothing to do with a privatisation.

However, the union has just agreed, eventually and with conditions attached, to the government's idea to merge some parts of the huge state telecom enterprises TOT and CAT Telecom.


State enterprises have long been influenced by politicians who have appointed aides and other proxies to boards or top executive positions.

The new law should serve as an efficient tool to block politicians from having influence over state enterprises

Politician influence is the key reason for the corruption and poor performance of these enterprises, according to experts.

The new law will prevent politicians from exploiting state enterprises for pork-barrel projects as in the past, and raise efficiency to boost revenue and scale down burdensome budgets.


Among the 12 corporatised state enterprises, wholly owned by the Finance Ministry, to be transferred to the holding company are PTT, Krungthai Bank, TOT, CAT Telecom, MCOT, Thai Airways International, Airports of Thailand and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

One of the most crucial points to prevent political interference is the selection process of the board of directors in each state enterprise as well as the senior management.

The bill will allow all stakeholders as well as the public to participate in the selection process.

This is to secure good corporate governance of the state enterprises in the long run.


Mr Chanvit said the single law would help the state enterprises to manage and supervise their different missions and management structures under a common blueprint.

The bill has given the key management power to the superboard, allowing it to be a master plan drafter and thus able to see the whole picture to create a policy to address state enterprises' problems without resorting to redundancy.

"The plan will set the direction for each state enterprise to go towards and that will give them a key performance index," said Mr Chanvit.

"It has set a five-year performance target for each enterprise and goes into detail how much investment budget they require and what they can do to achieve their target."

If necessary, there are tools for them to adjust their plans, he added.

Each enterprise will have a crucial preliminary audit programme before implementing their operational plans. This can help limit the risk of mission failure and damages.

Currently, the state enterprises require only post-programme audit.

The reform plan may still have some way to go but many are hopeful that it will not be too long before the country sees transparency in its state enterprises' operations.

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  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • accused: to be said to have done something wrong or committed a crime - ถูกกล่าวหา
  • aide: someone whose job is to help another person in their work - ผู้ช่วย
  • aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
  • appointed: officially chosen for a job - ถูกแต่งตั้ง
  • assembly: a group of people who have been elected in order to discuss issues and make decisions affecting a particular region - การชุมนุม, การประชุม
  • asset: something owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property - ทรัพย์สิน
  • assurance (noun): a statement that something is true, esp. when there is doubt about it; a promise; a guarantee - การรับประกัน, การรับรอง
  • attach: to fasten or join one thing to another - ทำให้ติดกัน, ต่อ, ยึดติด
  • attitude: someone’s opinions or feelings about something, especially as shown by their behaviour - ทัศนคติ, ลักษณะท่าทาง
  • bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
  • block: to stop something from being done or from succeeding - ปิด, กีดขวาง
  • board: a group of people who have the responsibility of managing important business or government activities - คณะกรรมการ
  • board of directors: a group of elected or appointed members who oversee the activities of a company or organisation - คณะกรรมการบริษัท
  • boost: to increase - เพิ่ม
  • breaks down: when something breaks and stops working -
  • budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ
  • burdensome (adj.): causing worry, difficulty or hard work ที่เป็นภาระ, ยากลำบาก,ยุ่งยาก - ที่เป็นภาระ, ยากลำบาก,ยุ่งยาก
  • bureau: a government organisation - สำนักงาน
  • cab: a taxi -
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • chair: to be the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company - ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน, ทำหน้าที่ในฐานะประธาน
  • cited: mentioned as an example, explanation or proof of something else - อ้าง, กล่าวอ้าง
  • claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
  • clock out: when a worker gets the time they finish work recorded on their time card -
  • combined: counted together - รวมกัน
  • comfortable: an easy life without difficulties - ความสะดวกสบาย
  • condition: something that must be true or must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข
  • consecutive: following one after another in order and with nothing else in between - ที่ต่อเนื่องตามลำดับ
  • corporate governance: Corporate governance (CG) is "the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of the many stakeholders in a company - these include its shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community." (Source: Wikipedia) -
  • crucial (adj): extremely important because it effects the result of something - สำคัญยิ่ง
  • cushy: comfortable; without worry or care -
  • decade: a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
  • decades: periods of ten years - เป็นสิบๆปี
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • draft: to write a document, plan, etc. that may be changed before it is finally accepted - ร่าง
  • efficiency: the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way - ความมีประสิทธิภาพ
  • efficient: effective and well organised (the opposite is inefficient) - มีประสิทธิภาพ
  • element: an important basic part of something complicated, for example a system or plan - องค์ประกอบ, ส่วนประกอบ
  • emergency: an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary - เหตุฉุกเฉิน
  • enhance: to improve the quality, amount or strength of something - ปรับปรุง, ทำให้ดีขึ้น
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด
  • examplifies: gives an example of -
  • executive: a senior manager in a business or other organisation - ผู้บริหาร
  • exist: to be real; to be present in a place or situation - มีอยู่
  • exploit: to use for your own benefit - หาประโยชน์จาก
  • field (noun): an area of specialized knowledge that people work, study, teach and do research in - สาขา, วงการ, แวดวง
  • Finance Ministry (noun): the ministry in charge of managing the country's money - กระทรวงการคลัง
  • GDP: gross domestic product, the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year, except for income received from money invested in other countries ผลิตภัณฑ์มวลรวมภายในประเทศ -
  • generate: to produce - ผลิต, ก่อให้เกิด
  • holding company: a company that is formed to buy shares in other companies which it then controls - บริษัทผู้ถือหุ้นใหญ่หรือเป็นเจ้าของหุ้นใหญ่ในบริษัทอื่น บริษัทที่ถูกจัดตั้ง ขึ้นมาเพื่อซื้อหุ้นของบริษัทอื่น
  • huge: very large - ใหญ่โต
  • in order to (prep): to cause something, to make something happen - เพื่อ, เพื่อที่จะ
  • influence: to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks - มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ
  • initiate: to make something start - ริเริ่ม
  • interference: the process of deliberately becoming involved in a situation and trying to influence the way that it develops - การเข้าแทรกแซง
  • internal: existing or happening within a country, not between different countries - ภายใน
  • investment (noun): the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน
  • invite: to ask somebody formally to go somewhere or do something - เชิญ
  • issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
  • key: very important - ที่สำคัญ
  • labour union: an organisation of workers that aims to improve pay and conditions of work - สหภาพแรงงาน
  • laid off: when someone to lose their job, usually because there is not enough work for them to do - การปลดคนงาน
  • lead to: result in; cause something to happen -
  • legislative: involving the part of government responsible for creating new laws - เกี่ยวข้องกับสภานิติบัญญัติ
  • management: the people who run and control a business or similar organisation - คณะผู้บริหาร
  • merge: (of two or more groups) to join together to become one - การรวมกัน
  • national (adjective): for the whole country - แห่งชาติ, ของชาติ
  • National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) (noun): The military-installed group ruling Thailand following the 2014 coup d'état - คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ
  • overhaul: to improve something so that every part of it works properly - ปรับปรุงใหม่
  • ownership (noun): the condition or state of owning things, having things that you "own", that belong to you, that you are the "owner" of - สิทธิการครอบครอง, ความเป็นเจ้าของ
  • passenger: someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
  • performance (noun): how well someone does some task or activity; how well they achieve their goals - การปฏิบัติงาน, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • politician: a person whose job is concerned with politics, especially as an elected member of parliament, etc. - นักการเมือง
  • pork-barrel: valuable government spending projects that politicians get for supporting something such as a law politically -
  • position: a job - ตำแหน่ง
  • prevent (verb): to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, ป้องกัน, กัน, กีดขวาง
  • primarily: mainly - ส่วนใหญ่, อย่างสำคัญ, แรกเริ่ม, ส่วนมาก
  • privatisation: the sale of a business or industry that was owned and managed by the government -
  • privatise: to sell a business or industry that was owned and managed by the government so that it becomes a private business (the noun form is privatisation) - การแปรรูปรัฐวิสาหกิจ
  • process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
  • project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ
  • protection: the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง
  • proxy: a person or company who acts for another person or company - ตัวแทน
  • punch in: when an employee arrives at work and enters their time card to record the time they start work -
  • reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
  • relaxed: calm and not worried - อย่างผ่อนคลาย, ซึ่งรู้สึกสบาย
  • repair: to fix something that is broken or damaged - ซ่อมบำรุง
  • reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
  • research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
  • revenue: income from taxes or business activities - รายได้
  • rival: a person you are competing against or opposing - คู่แข่ง
  • rush: moving or doing something very quickly - การรีบเร่ง
  • sail through (idiom): to easily succeed in doing something - ประสบความสำเร็จได้อย่างง่ายดาย
  • scale down (verb): reduce, make smaller - ลดลง, ทำให้น้อยลง
  • selection: choice; the process of choosing - การเลือก,การคัดเลือก
  • senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส
  • set to (verb): to make something happen, or to make someone do something; expected to happen - ทำให้เกิดขึ้น; คาดว่าจะเกิดขึ้น
  • set up: to create something or start it - ตั้งขึ้น
  • staff: workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group - คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
  • stakeholder: someone who has an interest in the success of a plan, system, or organization, for example a worker in a company or the parent of a child at a school - ผู้ถือผลประโยชน์ร่วม
  • state enterprise: a company or business owned and managed by the government - รัฐวิสาหกิจ
  • structure: the way in which the parts of something are connected together, arranged or organised - โครงสร้าง
  • supervision: the process of making sure that something is being done properly - การควบคุมดูแล การตรวจตรา
  • tackle: to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with something - จัดการ, รับมือ
  • telecom: a business in the telecommunications industry - โทรคมนาคม)
  • tells on: when a child tells their parents about something bad their brother or sister did -
  • the public: people in general - ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
  • tool (noun): a thing that helps you to do your job or to achieve something - เครื่องมือ
  • transparency: an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing - ความโปร่งใส
  • triple: three times the number or size of something - จำนวนสามเท่า
  • undertaken (verb): started; having begun - เข้าทำ, ดำเนินการ
  • undisclosed: not reported publicly - ไม่เปิดเผย
  • union (noun): an organisation of workers, usually in a particular industry, that exists to protect their interests, improve conditions of work, etc - สหภาพแรงงาน
  • urgent: needing to be dealt with immediately - ที่เร่งด่วน
  • various: several different - หลากหลาย, ซึ่งแตกต่างกัน
  • veteran: a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area or activity - สส.)หน้าเก่า, (สส.)หลายสมัย, ผู้อาวุโส, ทหารผ่านศึก
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