Mahidol debt: Dolrudee the only defaultor (Thursday update)

Mahidol debt: Dolrudee the only defaultor (Thursday update)

Dr Dolrudee is reportedly a naturalised US citizen, married, and can't be touched directly by Thai civil law, but apparently she can be declared bankrupt in Thailand so any property here can be confiscated (Photos from social media)
Dr Dolrudee is reportedly a naturalised US citizen, married, and can't be touched directly by Thai civil law, but apparently she can be declared bankrupt in Thailand so any property here can be confiscated (Photos from social media)

Of 5,000 state scholarship, only Dolrudee Jumlongras breached her loan agreement, leaving her guarantors to pay. She has contacted them again, saying she will eventually repay her debt.

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Thursday updates

Dumronkiat Mala has a very interesting update.

Ohec says Dolrudee the sole offender

Dumrongkiat Mala

Former dentistry lecturer at Mahidol University Dolrudee Jumlongras is the only one among 5,000 state scholarship grantees who breached her scholarship contract and left the burden of paying off the debt to her guarantors.

According to Arporn Kaenwong, secretary-general of the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec), only 23 out of the 5,000 scholarship recipients between 1992 and 2005 did not eventually return to Thailand.

In 1993, Dr Dolrudee, better known as Dr Porsche in the United States, won a scholarship to study a Master's degree and PhD at Harvard University. "But only in Dr Dolrudee's case did the guarantors have to pay off the debt for the recipient," Ms Arporn said.

Unlike Dr Dolrudee, most other recipients who chose not to come back to Thailand found better jobs abroad and they agreed to repay three times the scholarship debt as stipulated in the contract, she said.

Earlier Thursday story

Contact made, no money transferred

Dumrongkiat Mala

One of the guarantors stuck with the bill for runaway dentist Dolrudee Jumlongras' unpaid 30 million baht student loan said on Wednesday she had sent a new email from the United States promising yet again to repay the money.

Dentist Padet Poolwithayakit posted the details on his Facebook account.

He said Ms Dolrudee had sent an email to another guarantor insisting that she had every intention to  repay them, as she had repeatedly promised previously.

Mr Padet said Ms Dolrudee sent this email: "As I mentioned to you, P'Pui, P'Padet and Aj Araya several times that I will pay all of you the loan you got plus interest. I'm still looking for a way to find the money to pay you and perhaps, it may be better that you hear it directly from me so that you can be reassured that I will do it as I promise?"

The message also said, "I just talked to P'Pui and she's aware of my intention and sincerity. Please give me the best number and time for me to call you."

Wednesday's story

Mahidol, Ohec planning suit to declare Dolrudee bankrupt

Dumrongkiat Mala

Mahidol University and the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec) are planning to file a lawsuit to have its former dentistry lecturer, Dolrudee Jumlongras, declared bankrupt, in order to help collect her scholarship debt.

Banchong Mahaisavariya, vice-president of Mahidol University, said at a press conference Tuesday that he is discussing with Ohec about using legal means to force her into bankruptcy before the 10-year statute of limitations expires on Feb 14 this year.

Mahidol University vice-president Banchong Mahaisavariya speaks about Dolrudee Jumlongras, who allegedly breached her state scholarship contract. CHANAT KATANYU

Dr Dolrudee is now a US citizen having married and settled down in the US. This puts her beyond the reach of Thai law, Dr Banchong said.

"Under Thai law, if Dr Dolrudee is not bankrupt, we are unable to take legal action, seize her property or even ask the Immigration Office to help screen for her at airports in case she returns to Thailand. All we can do is file a civil lawsuit and follow legal procedures," he said.

Dr Dolrudee, who allegedly breached her state scholarship contract and left a 30-million-baht debt with her guarantors, currently works at Harvard University.

Dr Dolrudee's four guarantors for her Master's degree and PhD at Harvard over a period of 10 years from 1993 have already cleared a 10-million-baht debt negotiated with the Comptroller General's Department. Dr Banchong said that Dr Dolrudee remains fully responsible for the entire scholarship debt of 30 million baht.

Normally, scholarship recipients must return to the country following the completion of their studies to teach at their university for double the time they spent at their university overseas. If they fail to fulfil this obligation, they must pay back three times the amount of the scholarship.

Although Dr Dolrudee's case is worth 30 million baht, Ohec and Mahidol University helped the guarantors by securing court permission to reduce the debt by two-thirds.

"Dr Dolrudee cannot zigzag or avoid her karma by just paying 10 million back to her guarantors. She must pay back the full amount of the scholarship," Dr Banchong said.

Passiri Nisalak, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at Mahidol University, insisted the institution has done all it can to reclaim the 30-million-baht debt and bring Dr Dolrudee to account.

Asked why the Faculty of Dentistry approved Dr Dolrudee's resignation back in 2004 when she had not yet repaid her scholarship, Dr Passiri explained that according to the Civil Service Act, BE 2551, the faculty cannot stop staff resigning because they breached a scholarship contract.

"The university and the faculty have sent many collection letters to Dr Dolrudee both in Thailand and in the US, but she replied that she was not yet ready to make payments. She also complained about the unfair criteria of the scholarship," Dr Passiri said.

"We also wrote to Harvard asking them to investigate the issue and consider appropriate action, but they just replied that they are treating this case as a private matter," he added.

"I was recently told by one guarantor that Dr Dolrudee contacted him a few days ago. She asked him if there was anything she can do to help, so he told her to transfer the money back to all guarantors, but she said she still cannot pay the debt at this time," Dr Passiri noted.

You can see our previous coverage of this story here:

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  • Act: a law passed by a country’s government - พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
  • allegedly: claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
  • appropriate: suitable or right for a particular situation or purpose - ที่เหมาะสม
  • approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต
  • bankrupt: without enough money to pay what you owe - ล้มละลาย
  • bankruptcy (noun): when a business runs out of money, cannot pay its debts and has to stop doing business; business failure - การล้มละลาย
  • beyond the reach (exp): in a situation where you are unable to take action - เกินเอื้อม
  • breach (noun): a failure to follow a law or rule - การละเมิดกฎหมาย, การละเมิดกฎข้อบังคับ
  • bring to account: to cause to take responsibility and to punish, if necessary -
  • burden: a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ
  • case: a particular situation or a situation of a particular type - กรณี, เหตุการณ์, สถานการณ์
  • citizen: someone who has the right to live permanently in a particular country - พลเมือง 
  • civil lawsuit: a case filed with a court that deals with non-criminal matters, especially complaints made by people against other people or organisations - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาลแพ่ง
  • civil service: the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action - ราชการพลเรือน.
  • clear (verb): to successfully deal with a problem or case and thus remove it from your to-do list -
  • commission: an official group of people who have been given responsibility to control something, or to find out about something, usually for the government - คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
  • completion (noun): finishing something; bringing some project to an end after having done everything successfully - การทำเสร็จ, การทำให้สมบูรณ์
  • Comptroller General (noun): the director of the government's accounting office - อธิบดีกรมบัญชีกลาง
  • consider: to give careful thought to something before making a decision - พิจารณา
  • contract: an official written agreement - สัญญา
  • criteria: a standard that is used for judging something or for making a decision about something - บรรทัดฐาน
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • dean: a senior official at a college or university, often the head of a faculty or department - คณบดี
  • debt (noun): an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน
  • declare: to announce officially - ประกาศ
  • dentistry (noun): the medical study of the teeth and mouth; the work of a dentist - ทันตกรรม, งานของหมอฟัน
  • details: small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด
  • double: twice as big, twice as much or twice as many - สองเท่า
  • entire: including everything, everyone or every part - ทั้งหมด
  • eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด
  • expire: to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ
  • faculty: a group of departments in a college or university which specialise in a particular subject or group of subjects - คณะ
  • file a lawsuit (verb): to sue ; to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you - ฟ้องร้อง
  • former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน
  • fulfill (verb): to do or have what is required or necessary - ปฏิบัติตามหน้าที่
  • grantee (noun): a person who officially receives something like a scholarship - ผู้รับ
  • guarantor: a person who agrees to be responsible for somebody or for making sure that something happens or is done - ผู้ค้ำประกัน
  • immigration: dealing with people entering and leaving the country - การตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
  • insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you - ยืนกราน
  • insisting: keeping saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you - ยืนกราน
  • institution (noun): a large and important organization, such as a university or bank - สถาบัน
  • intention: a plan in your mind to do something - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
  • interest: the money that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the money it pays you when you keep money in an account - ดอกเบี้ย
  • investigate: to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it - ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
  • issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
  • karma: a belief in Hinduism and Buddhism that the way in which you behaved in past lives affects your present life, and the way in which you behave in this life will affect your future lives - กรรม
  • lecturer (noun): a teacher at a university or college - อาจารย์ผู้บรรยาย
  • legal: relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
  • loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้
  • master's degree: a further university degree that you study for after a first degree - ระดับปริญญาโท
  • matter: a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered - เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
  • means: methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ
  • negotiate: to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง
  • normally: as usual; properly - ตามปกติ
  • obligation: something which you must do because you have promised, because of a law, etc. - สัญญาผูกมัด, ข้อผูกมัด
  • overseas: in another country - ต่างประเทศ
  • permission: allowing someone to do something - การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
  • press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
  • private: intended for or involving a particular person or group of people, not for people in general - ส่วนตัว
  • procedure: a way of doing something - ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
  • property: things, especially valuable things, that are owned by someone - ทรัพย์สมบัติ, ทรัพย์สิน
  • reassure: to make someone feel less worried about something - ให้ความมั่นใน
  • recipient: someone who receives something - ผู้ได้รับ
  • reclaim: to take back something that was yours - เรียกกลับคืน, เอากลับ
  • resignation: the act of leaving a job, position of power, etc. - การลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
  • responsible for: to have a duty to do something - มีความรับผิดชอบ
  • scholarship (noun): money given to a student to pay for the cost of education - ทุนการศึกษา
  • 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
  • secure (verb): to get or achieve something - ได้มา
  • seize: to take something using official power - ยึด
  • settle down: to start to have a quieter way of life, living in one place, often by getting married - ตั้งถิ่นฐาน
  • sincerity: (of a person, feelings or behaviour) not pretending or lying; honest - ความจริงใจ, ตรงไปตรงมา
  • statute of limitations: the legal limit on the period of time within which action can be taken on a crime or other legal question  - อายุความ
  • stipulate: to state exactly how something must be or must be done - ระบุ, ระบุเงื่อนไข
  • suit (noun): lawsuit; a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล คดีที่อยู่ในระหว่างการฟ้องร้อง
  • transfer: to officially arrange for someone else to receive money or be the owner of something - โอน
  • zigzag (verb): to move forward by making sharp sudden turns first to the left and then to the right - เคลื่อนที่เป็นรูปฟันปลา, วกวน, เลี้ยวไปมา
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