Assistant news editor
Chairith Yonpiam is assistant news editor, Bangkok Post.
With the Covid-19 outbreak slowly getting out of hand, the Prayut Chan-o-cha government is experiencing a crisis of confidence. State agencies tasked with disease control have been underperforming, a testament to a lack of unity and policy direction. The government has failed to clearly communicate with the people, and that has been intensifying public confusion. The worst part is that there is speculation that some public figures have been shamefully cashing in on the situation. An investigation is underway to prove if those in the face-mask hoarding racket have connections with someone in the cabinet.
Since the dissolution of the Future Forward Party (FFP) on Feb 21, Thai society has witnessed an escalating challenge to the Prayut Chan-o-cha government by university students across the country. Now a number of school students have joined the bandwagon with a series of flash mobs.
The Feb 8 shooting rampage which claimed 30 lives in Korat is a tragic shock. Yet, there must be a thorough investigation into its root causes and necessary actions must be taken to convert this tragedy into a lesson in order to prevent it happening again.
Proxy voting has again rocked Thai politics. The guilty politicians may claim they had no idea about the consequences of the voting irregularity, but it's undeniable that the practice now threatens to void the 2020 budget bill and has caused enormous damage to the country.
The surprise departure of Korn Chatikavanij from the Democrats deals a heavy blow to the oldest political party which was already struggling in an unfavourable political atmosphere. The bold move, however, gives the prominent politician a new opportunity with speculation rife he is about to found a new party. Political observers also foresee the possibility of Mr Korn becoming a new choice for PM in the next election.
The powers that be should not underestimate the "flash mob", the first street protest since the March 24 elections, organised last week by the opposition Future Forward Party (FFP). On the surface, the incident may stem from the resentment of FFP and its supporters over the Election Commission's (EC) move to have the new party dissolved, but it cannot be denied there are also many elements that echo dismay with the coup and subsequent election.
The legal case against Palang Pracharath MP for Ratchaburi Pareena Kraikupt, whose poultry farm is suspected of sitting on part of a forest reserve, must be pursued seriously in order to set a precedent. If she is in the wrong, she should face the consequences to show that no one is above the law.
After the Constitutional Court's controversial verdict disqualifying Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit over the V-Luck shares saga, a domino effect for the business-tycoon-turned-politician and his party looks to be on the horizon.