There are people who believe that if Thailand could just stop corrupt politicians from ever getting elected, then the Kingdom would once and for all be free of graft. Few, however, understand that graft, corruption and bribery, at least in its legal, subtle and insidious forms, is very much part of Thai culture and society.
Take, for example, the daily requests and prayers offered at Hindu and Buddhist altars, to animistic deities and the statue of King Rama V. They always come with a promise of an offering if the wishes are “granted” and the “repayment” for such supernatural favours range from flowers, wooden elephants, statuettes of dancers to running around stark naked, depending on how big the wish is.
Besides, these offerings are not just the norm among the less-educated Thais. Many “well-educated” people also make such offerings in exchange for good grades, enrolment at prestigious colleges or promotions at work.
Then there’s the widespread practice of acquiring and wearing Buddhist amulets in the belief they can make the wearer popular, rich, sexually attractive or even strong enough to withstand the impact of bullets. Whether these offerings are reliable or not, the issue is that for many who believe in them, they are also a form of bribery.
Another aspect of subtle corruption is favouritism within the old boys’ network. When your old school chum calls you up asking for a favour that might be seen by some as nepotism, it’s often very difficult to say no.
A broader view of poverty in East Asia and Pacific
High turnout expected for Thailand’s first election since 2014 coup
Six priorities to strengthen the digital economy in Southeast Asia
The signs of Southeast Asia’s digital transformation are obvious from its impressive tech “unicorn” companies, such as GoJek, Grab and Lazada, Sea, Tokopedia and Traveloka
Digital lifestyles, cashless societies, app-based businesses, “smart” nations, virtual services – there is a tremendous amount of excitement in Southeast Asia now about the growth of the digital economy. (more…)
Thai Economy likely to miss the 3.5% growth target
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the global economic slowdown hasweakened exports and reduced domestic consumption
Google shuts down Huawei’s access to Android updates after US blacklist
Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates...
Drivers of Asia Pacific office space demand in 2019 remain strong
More employers plan to increase rather than decrease staffing levels in most Asia Pacific countries, with employers in Japan reporting...
First-home stimulus measure may have limited impact on Thailand’s housing market
The first-home buyers who make less than 25,000 baht per month however will not benefit from this scheme.
Real-time payments : An opportunity for the entire Asian financial ecosystem ?
Real-time payments (RTPs) are critical for bringing millions of people into the digital financial ecosystem, enabling the rise in the...
- Tech5 days ago
Thailand to use Biometrics scan to identify travellers
- Tourism2 weeks ago
Thailand extends free visa-on-arrival until 31 October 2019
- Business2 weeks ago
Political uncertainty weighs on Thailand’s consumer confidence
- Property1 week ago
Property slowdown looms over Thai market
- Business6 days ago
Thailand cooperates with Indonesia to push creative industries
- Corporate1 week ago
Challenges and opportunities await Thai businesses to reduce plastic use
- Corporate1 week ago
Flexible workspace key role in company’s success
- Real Estate6 days ago
Thai Property market : condo launches to slow to 61,000 – 64,000 units in 2019