Senate trips a waste
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Senate trips a waste

As the Upper House's term ends on May 10, some Senate committees have decided to embark on extravagant overseas trips, at a staggering cost of 81 million baht.

Such trips fly in the face of prudence, accountability, and pressing economic realities facing Thailand.

Members of at least six committees will attend "study trips" to countries in Europe.

With less than 20 days in office, these overseas excursions hold little promise of tangible benefits.

The timing is nonsensical, as any insights gained from these trips will scarcely influence their remaining actions as senators.

It's perplexing why senators, who are entrusted with safeguarding the nation's interests, would choose to squander precious resources on ventures that hold minimal relevance to their duties when new elections for senators are about to commence and Thailand grapples with budget deficits and economic stagnation.

Branding these excursions as "educational trips" rings hollow. Cloaked in the guise of "study tours," these junkets appear more akin to lavish vacations.

Senators, as respected lawmakers, are duty-bound to set an example of prudent spending and prioritise the judicious allocation of taxpayer funds.

Instead, their ostentatious globetrotting sends a message of profligacy and disregard for fiscal responsibility.

The parallels drawn with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's previous overseas travels are stark.

While the prime minister aimed to showcase Thailand's economic and investment potential to foreign investors, the senators' trips lack any semblance of strategic intent or national benefit.

The recent public scrutiny faced by the prime minister reflected the need for heightened accountability, particularly regarding the use of public funds for personal or frivolous endeavours.

It's disheartening to witness this blatant disregard for fiscal prudence, especially when the consequences are borne by taxpayers who are already burdened by economic hardships.

The proposed overseas trips not only squander taxpayer money but also deprive future senators of essential resources that could be better utilised on genuine nation-building endeavours.

With Thailand's economic recovery hanging in the balance, every baht must be allocated judiciously to stimulate growth and address pressing societal needs.

In light of these concerns, the senators should reassess their priorities and heed public calls to cancel these trips. Responsible governance demands prudent stewardship of public funds and a steadfast commitment to advancing the nation's interests.

Senators must remember that their actions are subject to public scrutiny and they are duty-bound to serve as exemplars of integrity and fiscal accountability.

The legacy they leave behind should be one of judiciousness, not extravagance, in the management of public resources.

As Thailand stands at a critical juncture in its economic recovery, the onus is on leaders to prioritise the collective welfare of its citizens above all else. Anything less would be a disservice to the nation and a betrayal of the trust placed in senators by the Thai people.

As their time in the Upper House is running out, senators have one last chance to leave public office gracefully by abandoning their lavish travel plans and redirecting resources towards endeavours that genuinely serve the common good.


Bangkok Post editorial column

These editorials represent Bangkok Post thoughts about current issues and situations.

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