NACC urges spending on graft-busting lessons
Teach public to fight curse, says president
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) hopes the government will allocate budget funds to the Education Ministry to educate students and the public about fighting corruption, commission president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said.
He said the commission really hopes that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will see to it that sufficient funding is included in the national budget and expenditure bill.
"[The NACC] is expecting the prime minister to bring the issue up for discussion at today's cabinet meeting," said Pol Gen Watcharapol.
The president said that without a sufficient budget, the Education Ministry will have a difficult time maintaining public awareness about the dangers of corruption.
"Combating graft is a budget-intensive process, and we need to ensure that there is enough money to allow the ministry to do its job effectively," he said.
"We need to send out a strong message to our leaders about the need to stamp out graft."
Pol Gen Watcharapol made the remarks at a special lecture about the need for a solid anti-graft policy in the third phase of the national strategy.
Currently, the NACC is training about 4,000 anti-graft instructors who will be tasked with training personnel who will be deployed in the provinces and local communities. The anti-graft agency plans to train at least 50,000 anti-graft instructors through its networks.
Thailand ranked 99th in last year's Corruption Perception Index with a score of 36, down one point from 2017. The survey was carried out by Transparency International.
The CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Pol Gen Watcharapol said Thais are growing intolerant of corruption, which has led to campaigns to expose irregularities in state projects -- including abuses of welfare funds intended for the poor, school lunch programmes and the use of state cars by high-ranking officials.
Pol Gen Watcharapol said that multi-agency cooperation, aided by the private sector, has also led to the prosecution of scores of people involved in corruption schemes, including the rice-pledging scheme undertaken by the Yingluck Shinawatra government, the police station corruption case, as well as the futsal field project in Nakhon Ratchasima and the temple maintenance fund case.