published : 7 Oct 2014 at 09:35
writer: Terry Fredrickson
There are some very rich people in the National Legislative Assembly, including state officials whose salaries are relatively low, prompting calls for explanations.
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Outcry builds for NLA asset probe
Rosana Tositrakul, a leading member of the National Reform Council. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
A leading member of the National Reform Council (NRC) threw her support behind the anti-graft agency's proposal yesterday to invite public input on investigating the assets of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members.
Rosana Tositrakul said she agreed with National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) secretary-general Sansern Poljiak's suggestion that members of the public should come forward if they have information about the sources of suspicious assets.
Last week, the net worth of NLA members was posted on the NACC's website.
She went further, saying the NACC should offer cash rewards to informants for tip-offs that help it identify any dubious origins of wealth held by government officials, at all levels, who refuse to clarify their income sources.
Over the past several years, corruption has spread rapidly, creating a need for a stricter scrutiny process, she said.
Ms Rosana also urged authorities to scrap the 1,000-baht banknote.
She said politicians who have records of buying votes often keep cash at home, resulting in low circulation of Thailand's highest banknote.
Scrapping the note value would discourage politicians from hoarding cash or keeping it with trusted associates.
Mr Sansern yesterday urged anyone who notices irregularities in the assets-and-liabilities disclosure of the 195 NLA members to lodge complaints with the NACC to initiate an investigation.
Concerns arose after several NLA members disclosed their assets and debts, as required by the constitution, revealing that several state officials have net assets worth more than 100 million baht each.
Among them, Defence Ministry permanent secretary Gen Sirichai Ditakul has assets worth 108 million baht.
Deputy national police chief Gen Jakthip Chaijinda has 97.4 million baht in assets and his wife has 870.9 million baht in assets. With 6.3 million baht in liabilities, the couple's net worth is 962 million baht.
From left, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Jakthip Chaijinda's wealth is 963 million baht, assistant army commander-in-chief Gen Preecha Chan-cha has 79 million, and former navy commander-in-chief Adm Surasak Runrongrom has 185 million. Their wealth has staggered observers.
National police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang has 246.4 million baht in assets and his wife has 128.2 million baht in assets, with a net worth of 355.8 million.
First Region Army commander Lt Gen Kampanat Ruddit has 99.8 million baht in net assets. Assistant army chief Lt Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha, who is the younger brother of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, has 79.8 million baht in net assets.
Mr Sansern said the NACC has yet to take a closer look into the assets of the NLA members.
"Some state officials have vast amounts of assets. It is possible they have inherited the wealth. The NACC hasn't examined how they have obtained it," Mr Sansern said.
Worawit Sukboon, the NACC's deputy secretary-general, said the agency will first verify the list of assets and debts.
It will order in-depth inquiries into those deemed "unusually rich".
Learn from listening
- arise (past form: arose): to happen as a result of a particular situation - เกิดขึ้น
- assembly: a group of people who have been elected or chosen in order to discuss issues and make decisions - สภา, สมัชชา
- assets: things owned, especially property and money - สินทรัพย์
- associate: someone you work with, especially in a business - ผู้ที่มีความสัมพันธ์กัน (เช่น เพื่อน, ผู้ร่วมงาน, หุ้นส่วน)
- authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
- cash: money - เงินสด
- circulation: the passing of money from one person to another - การหมุนเวียนของเงินสด, กระแสเงิน
- clarify: to make clear - ทำให้ชัดแจ้ง
- commander: the head of an army or army unit - ผู้บังคับบัญชา
- concerns: worries - ความกังวล
- constitution: the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ
- debt (noun): an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน
- deemed: considered - เห็นว่า ถือว่า
- deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
- disclose: to give information to people - เปิดเผย
- discourage: to make someone feel like something should not be done - ทำให้ไม่อยาก (ทำสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง)
- dubious: thought not to be completely true or not able to be trusted - อย่างสงสัย
- encourage: to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
- graft: corruption - การฉ้อโกง
- hoard: to collect a large amount of something - เก็บสะสม
- identify: to specify - ระบุ
- in-depth (adjective): thorough and detailed; going deeply into some issue or subject and looking at the details - ลึกซึ้ง
- income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้
- informant: someone who secretly gives information about someone to the police or someone in authority - ผู้ให้ข้อมูล, ผู้บอก, ผู้แจ้ง
- inherit: to receive money, a house, etc. from someone after they have died - รับมรดก
- initiate: to start something or make it start - ริเริ่ม
- input (noun): help in the form of ideas, advice, or information, used in a process or in making a decision - ข้อมูล, การสนับสนุน
- inquiry: the process of asking questions - การสอบถาม
- investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened - การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
- irregularity: a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed - การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
- legislative: involving the part of government responsible for creating new laws - เกี่ยวข้องกับสภานิติบัญญัติ
- level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ
- liability (noun): the amount of money that a person or company owes - หนี้สิน
- lodge a complaint: to make a formal statement to someone in authority that someone has done something wrong - ยื่นคำร้อง
- net (adjective): the amount that remains after everything has been subtracted (or taken away) -
- net worth: the value of all your property, possessions, and money after you remove what you owe - มูลค่าของทรัพย์สินทั้งหมดหลังจากลบออกหนี้สิน
- notice: to see or hear somebody/something; to become aware of somebody/something - สังเกต
- obtain: to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult - ได้มา, ได้รับ
- origin: the place where someone/something comes from - ที่มา, ต้นกำเนิด
- outcry: a strong expression of anger and disapproval about something, made by a group of people or by the public - การคัดค้านอย่างรุนแรงจากผู้คน
- permanent secretary: a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry - ปลัดกระทรวง
- probe: an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation - การตรวจสอบ การสอบสวน
- process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
- proposal: a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ
- public: the public; all people; the people in general - มหาชน, ประชาชน
- rapidly: happening quickly - อย่างรวดเร็ว
- reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
- refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
- reveal: to let something become known - เปิดเผย
- reward: money that someone receives for finding and returning something or for helping the police - รางวัล
- scrap: to get rid of; to stop using or accepting - เลิก, ทิ้ง
- scrutiny: careful and thorough examination - การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
- secretary-general (noun): the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่
- source: the place or person or something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something - ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
- spread: to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people - แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว
- state: government - รัฐบาล
- strict: very careful and exact - เข้มงวด
- suggestion: an idea or a plan that you mention for somebody else to think about - ข้อเสนอ, ข้อเสนอแนะ
- suspicious: making you believe that something is wrong, dangerous or illegal - น่าสงสัย
- tip-off: secret information or a warning given by someone - ข่าวเตือน จากวงใน
- trust: a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable - ความเชื่อใจ, ความไว้วางใจ
- urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
- vast: extremely large in size or amount, etc. - มากมาย
- verify: to prove that something is true, or to make certain that something is correct - พิสูจน์ว่าเป็นความจริง
- wealth: a large amount of money, property, etc. that a person or country owns - ความมั่งคั่ง
- wealthy: having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things - ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย