Gen Preecha feels the heat

Gen Preecha feels the heat

Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha speaks with reporters to defend his son's appointment to the army. APICHART JINAKUL
Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha speaks with reporters to defend his son's appointment to the army. APICHART JINAKUL

"Nepotism", giving unfair advantages to your own family, is the word of the day regarding the appointment of Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha's son to an army position. The Bangkok Post's Veera Prateepchaikul explain why it fits.

It is looking more and more like the appointment of Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha to an army position was a mistake. In his commentary yesterday, the Bangkok Post's Veera Prateepchaikul explains why. Below is an excerpt. You can read it in full here:

Common practice, maybe, but it's still nepotism

Veera Prateepchaikul

It's a classic case of shooting yourself in the foot and is currently the talk of the town on social media – how Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha gave his civilian son a job as an army officer, working for the 3rd Army Region.

It's doubtful critics would have bothered much at all with the appointment of Gen Preecha’s son had the army been a private company and the general the chairman – even if his son was made CEO.

But the truth is the army is not a private company but an arm of the state, funded by taxpayers through the government budget.

It's also true several generals seem to have mistakenly believed the army is their private domain and off-limits to everyone else.  Remember the signs “Army Territory, No Entry” that used to greet outsiders at most military barracks?

It is through this misperception that several sons, sons-in-law and other relatives of the military top brass have been recruited into non-combat military service, as in the case of Gen Preecha’s son.
To the critics and those who do not have the same privilege of sending their unemployed sons into military service, or who don’t have the right connections, the practice Gen Prawit (Wongsuwan) described as perfectly normal is called nepotism.

Nepotism has been widely practiced in most state enterprises too.  Ever wonder why there has never been an advertisement for applicants to fill job vacancies at Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, the Government Lottery Office or the waterworks authorities? The truth is that all the vacancies available were quickly filled by relatives of those already working there. That also explains why these organisations are left behind and cannot compete with the private sector.

Honestly, I have sympathy for the young man, Gen Preecha’s son, for being caught in the middle of the controversy through no fault of his own.  He should know that his career path in army service is limited because he did not graduate from the military academy and does not belong to a class at the academy.

Gen Preecha shot himself in the foot through his own misjudgement.   However, the damage is not confined to him, but has inevitably affected the National Council for Peace and Order because of the general’s close connection with the junta.

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  • academy: an organisation intended to protect and develop an art, science, language, etc., or a school which teaches a particular subject or trains people for a particular job - สถานศึกษา, สถาบันการศึกษา, วิทยาลัย(เฉพาะด้าน)
  • adj (noun): connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร
  • applicant: someone who applies for something, such as a job or a loan of money - ผู้สมัคร,ผู้แจ้งความจำนง,ผู้ขอ
  • appointment: when someone is officially chosen for a job - การแต่งตั้ง
  • arm: a part of an organisation that deals with a particular subject or activity - หน่วยงาน
  • authorities: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • barracks: a group of buildings where members of the armed forces live and work - โรงหรืออาคารใหญ่เป็นที่พักทหาร
  • bother: to spend time and/or energy doing something - ทำให้ตัวเองยุ่งยาก, ยุ่งกับ
  • budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ
  • career path: a series of jobs of increasing responsibility and pay that a person does during the whole length of their career -
  • case: a particular situation or a situation of a particular type - กรณี, เหตุการณ์, สถานการณ์
  • chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน
  • chief executive officer (CEO): the person with the highest rank in a company or an organisation - ผู้บริหารสูงสุด, ซีอีโอ (ประธานบริหาร)
  • civilian: of someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police - พลเรือน
  • classic: with all the features you would expect to find; very typical - เป็นแบบอย่าง
  • combat (noun): fighting; fighting during a war - การต่อสู้
  • commentary: a newspaper article that discusses a subject and gives opinions about it - บทความแสดงข้อคิดเห็น, คำวิจารณ์
  • common practice (noun): the way things are often done - การปฏิบัติตามปกติ, วิธีการทั่วไป
  • compete: to try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - แข่งขัน
  • confined: limited - จำกัด
  • connection: a relationship between people or groups - ความสัมพันธ์
  • connections: people or organisations that you know and that can help or advise you in your social or professional life - วงศ์วานวงศ์ญาติมิตร
  • controversy: a strong disagreement, especially about a public policy or moral issue - ความขัดแย้ง  ประเด็นข้อขัดแย้ง
  • critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • domain (noun): lands owned or ruled by a particular person, government, - etc อาณาเขต
  • excerpt: a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. - บทคัดย่อ
  • fault (adj): being the one to blame; blameworthy; the person who caused something bad to happen - ความผิด
  • funded: given money for a particular purpose - ได้รับเงินสนับสนุน
  • Government Lottery Office (noun): The Thai state enterprise which controls the national lottery - สำนักสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล
  • graduate: to get a degree from a university or college; to complete a course in education, especially at high school - ได้รับปริญญา,สำเร็จการศึกษา
  • honestly (adv): actually, truely, however surprising it may seem - ที่จริง
  • inevitably: unavoidable; certain to happen - ซึ่งหลีกเลี่ยงไม่ได้
  • junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร
  • limited: stopped from increasing beyond a particular amount or level - ถูกจำกัด
  • misjudgement: to make a wrong decision or judgment about a person or situation - การตัดสินผิด
  • misperception: misconception; a wrong belief or opinion as a result of not understanding something - ความเข้าใจผิด
  • National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) (noun): The military-installed group ruling Thailand following the 2014 coup d'état - คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ
  • nepotism: the practice of using your power and influence to give jobs to people in your family instead of to people who deserve to have them - คติเห็นแก่ญาติ การเล่นพรรคเล่นพวก
  • normal (adj.): typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect - ปกติ, ภาวะปกติ
  • off-limits: (of a place or area of land) not allowed to enter - ที่ห้ามเข้า,ที่ไม่อนุญาตให้ผ่านเข้าไป
  • perfectly: done in a way that is complete and without faults or weaknesses - สมบูรณ์แบบ
  • practice: a way of doing something - การปฏิบัติ
  • private: intended for or involving a particular person or group of people, not for people in general - ส่วนตัว
  • private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน
  • private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
  • privilege: a special benefit that is available only to a particular person or group - เอกสิทธิ์
  • recruit: to get someone to work in a company or join an organisation - จ้างงาน  จัดหาเจ้าหน้าที่หรือบุคคลากร
  • relative: a member of your family - ญาติพี่น้อง
  • shooting yourself in the foot (idiom): doing or saying something that will cause you a lot of trouble or harm, especially when you are trying to get an advantage for yourself - การทำลายตัวเอง
  • social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
  • son-in-law (noun): the husband of your daughter - ลูกเขย
  • state: government - รัฐบาล
  • state enterprise: a company or business owned and managed by the government - รัฐวิสาหกิจ
  • sympathy: a natural feeling of kindness and understanding that you have for someone who is experiencing something very unpleasant - ความเห็นอกเห็นใจ
  • talk of the town: something that everyone is talking about such as a new popular TV program -
  • taxpayer (noun): ordinary people and businesses who pay money to the government as taxes - ผู้เสียภาษี, ผู้ชำระภาษี
  • territory: an area of land controlled by a particular country, leader or army - อาณาบริเวณ  อาณาเขตประเทศ
  • top brass: the people with the highest positions of authority, especially in the armed forces - บุคคลสำคัญ
  • truth: what is actually the situation; not lies or misrepresentations - ความจริง
  • unemployed: not having a job - ซึ่งว่างงาน
  • vacancy: a job that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone new to do - ตำแหน่งว่าง
  • waterworks (noun): a building with machinery for supplying water to an area - การประปา
  • wonder: to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย
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