- Posted January 10, 2014 by
THE SHINS ARE ABSOLUTELY SEIZING ALL ENTITIES OF STATE ENTERPRISES (2)
Under the changes that are not yet wrung dry and still vague, those leeches, ticks, and worms in the Thaksin regime continue to infest, suck, and devour Thailand.
(Continued from last week) Among assets of all entities in Thai state enterprises worth more than 10 trillions baht, one has already been sold and that is Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT). It now has total assets of 1.69 trillions baht, more than half of which has been in the hands of capitalists close to Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra from when it was privatized according to his order. And in the era of his sister, there have just been plans to drain those state enterprises in an increasingly broadened circle in almost all of them. From last week, we talked about:
1) Appointing their own people as directors in those Thai state enterprises to put in place policies to allow conflicts of interest.
However, there is still something even more scathing than that and it has already begun:
2) Law revision on the Act of Qualification Standards for directors and employees of state enterprises (number…, year…) to lower qualification of directors and executives of those enterprises. More importantly, reducing condition is allowed for prohibition of people holding those positions to have conflicts of interest so it can be done through increasing power for Kittirat Na Ranong to arbitrarily consider such exceptions as Finance Minister.
Although this matter is not yet finished, the process has already begun smoothly. If we look back to the end of term of the last government, there was preparation for a bill to fix the flaw in the qualification of directors and employees of state enterprises and make it more intensive. But once the term was over and Yingluck’s government came in, there was an order to withdraw the bill and subrogate it with a new one by claiming “human rights of those employees who deserved lenient conditions.” However, it turns out that several bottles of poison have been interpolated. This appears in the cabinet resolution dated April 23, 2013.
The first issue is regarding the power to make exceptions “in the case of prohibiting stakeholders in state enterprises concession to become directors.” This is by allowing Finance Minister to make exceptions or set up new rules to manage it at his pleasure.
The second issue is regarding amendment and supplementation of a Section by designating Finance Minister to be in charge according to the statue to allow him to manage state enterprises himself through his authority by setting rules and assigning policies.
It is frightening that if the process is allowed to finish, state enterprises in Thailand will be no different than subsidiaries of Shin Corp.
3) Assemblage of state lands for redistribution under the establishment of “State Property Development Fund.” The new organization is particularly intended for the Prime Minister to set the table herself.
As Prime Minister, Yingluck has her own authority as the Chairman of the State Enterprise Policy Committee (SEPO), the Chairman of the State Enterprise Capital Policy (SECP), and most recently, as the Chairman of Policy Committee on Private Investment in Affairs of State (PPAS). She has used those channels to gather key ratifications to get them through the cabinet and that is statutory. This would have been acceptable if they had been proposed in practice with scrutiny from the cabinet without dipping into and directing that them herself. This is because appointing people from her family businesses to oversee all entities like in this era is already regarded as having conflicts of interest so overlapped that it cannot be anymore than that.
However, this is beyond expectations! This Prime Minister has done even more than that.
What happened to cause a peculiar order to be issued by the Prime Minister to Finance Minister Kittirat according to what he claims to mandate all state agencies and Treasury Department to survey state assets, lands, and properties? He claims this is so that studies can be carried out to continue utilization of those properties for the benefit of the country. This is considered one of the key projects for the government to take action on.
After that, Kittirat uses two types of his authority:
1) Under his authority as Deputy PM and the Finance Minister, he orders the establishment of “State Property Development Fund” to supply or invest in state’s real estates suitable for each area. This is so that government agencies and private sector can utilize them, and collect rent and dues.
2) Under his authority as a State Enterprise Policy (SEPO) Committee member, he collaborates with Yingluck to issue orders to Property Survey Secretary and act quickly as if he already has certain lands in mind.
As a result, State Property Development Fund has been established for fiscal year 2014. This is being done while on the other hand, the results of SEPO meeting No. 1/2013 have been ratified through cabinet resolution on March 31, 2013 and there was an order to relocate Bangkok Dock Company, Ltd from that prime area without saying what to do with the original location.
Subsequently, during a SEPO meeting No. 5/2013 on August 21, 2013, a critical resolution was passed and it stunned all the people in real estates business.
Finance Minister Kittirat mentioned the climate before issuing a resolution from the head of the table, “For the utilization and development of state assets (lands), SEPO finds that the lease of lands from state enterprises for a period of more than 1 year should have scope for consideration:
(1) Nature of the lease transaction under consideration by SEPO
(2) The duration of the policy to propose leasing of land for a period of more than 1 year needs to be presented at SEPO meetings.
In conclusion, all state enterprises that wish to lease lands for a period exceeding 1 year (which is almost all) must get that through SEPO to be approved on a case by case basis. According to the resolution that day, the first group of lands totaling 8 of them in Bangkok area and its perimeter was identified to be considered on the table [9 of them were first proposed but one parcel of 202 rais at Ratchada Rd. belonging to State Railway of Thailand (SRT) was dropped when it was proposed to the cabinet]. Those 8 parcels include:
(1) 3 parcels of 597, 276, and 240 rais from SRT in Makkawan, Bang Seu, and Rama III River Station areas, respectively.
(2) 1 parcel of 50 rais from Mass Communication Organization of Thailand (MCOT) Public Company, Ltd. in Huey Khawng area.
(3) 1 parcel of 134 rais from Plywood Company of Thailand, formerly Forest Industry Organization, in Bang Na—area on Sanpavuth Rd.
(4) 1 parcel of 20 rais adjacent to Yannawa Temple from Bangkok Dock Company, Ltd—a shipyard under Ministry of Defense that has just been ordered to be relocated by SEPO for unknown reasons.
(5) 1 parcel of 2353 rais from Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) in Bangkok docks area in Khlong Toei.
(6) 1 parcel of 999 rais from Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) Maintenance Center in Rama IX area.
[From the translator: 1 rai = 1,600 Sq. meter]
There was subsequently a SEPO resolution No. 5/2013 already sanctioned by the cabinet with Yingluck sitting at the head of the table. Hence, this is like the Prime Minister using her authority as SEPO Chairman along with Kittirat to dissolve and relocate state enterprises out of their original locations. There are also orders to bring those original lands under new management along with other selected parcels. It is important to note that those lands are in prime locations and interested by private companies because they are available, supported by mass transit networks, and can become commercial districts with high value.
If we go back to look at the original data from Yingluck and her family, we will find that she used to be a shareholder and a high level executive at SC Assets Corporation (public) Ltd. It is a real estate company that is still under her kinship. There are also groups of capitalists in all real estate investment groups close to the government and the Prime Minister that will benefit from this. Therefore, conflicts of interest are inevitable. Yingluck, her family, and her allies met at Four Seasons Hotel (known as Radio Code 5 mission) with a government’s investment group. This was according to what Kittirat said that there were groups of real estate investors talking to the Prime Minister before those policies were born very much to appease them.
Is this what the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) calls Thaksin regime devouring the entire generation?
“In a lifetime, there are certain things you must still do anyway whether or not you consent to. If people can die happily, that can sometimes be even more difficult than living happily.”
(Kow Leng Dej Khon Nok Yoong)