With corruption always topping the list of problems citizens would like tackled, and being the main reason for the military’s ouster of an elected government, you would think it would also be the main focus of media attention.
So why is that not the case? Big corruption issues are disappearing so fast they make illusionist David Copperfield look like an amateur.
The Panama Papers, a huge revelation in many countries, lasted maybe three days in the public limelight. Worse still, the very serious Rolls-Royce and General Cable corruption case, which involved Thailand in a big way, has been so comprehensively swept under the carpet that it’s now invisible. At the time, prominent banker Banyong Pongpanich, a board member of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, was quoted in this paper as saying: “Bribery was a large and expanding industry that involved many people who were earning their living as ‘coordinators’ in the sale of goods to state agencies.” He added that the problems not only involved officials of state enterprises but also “people who have superior power over the organisations … Authorities, either politicians or others who get into power by any method, have the power over the procurements [of state agencies].”
Despite these clear indications of the scale of the problem and just who is involved, absolutely nothing has been done to tackle this crisis. It would seem that politicians are nothing more than fine talk – and I would extend that judgement to include the present-day powers-that-be who would like us to believe they are as clean as the driven snow. In light of this, it is essential that newspapers and television do not give in and bury reports. Print and thereby expose them to disinfecting sunlight.