Thailand’s ruling party has new slogan: ‘We’ll turn bribes into taxes’

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Thailand's ruling party has new slogan: ‘We’ll turn bribes into taxes’

Thailand’s ruling party has new slogan: ‘We’ll turn bribes into taxes’


The ruling Palang Pracharath Party will call for amendments to laws to turn bribes paid to police into taxes paid to the state, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said on Sunday.

“Turning bribes into taxes will be a key election campaign policy of the Palang Pracharth party,” Chaiwut said.

The Palang Pracharath party believes that strictly enforcing laws against organised crime is necessary, but it may also amend laws in ways that reduce bribery and increase taxes at the same time, Chaiwut said.

He gave the commonplace example of nightspot operators paying bribes to police to remain open after legal hours.

Many other countries have more liberal laws for nightlife, Chaiwut said.

“If society can accept international norms, we can amend laws so that bribes will turn into taxes and there will be no corruption,” he explained.

The minister said the ruling party – which is fading in polls and has been abandoned by the prime minister it selected – will also highlight its crackdowns on Chinese triads as it campaigns for the next election.

He made the comments after the opposition attacked the government during a general debate last week for allowing the triads to operate in Thailand.

A crackdown on triads is well underway and it is intensifying, Chaiwut said.

The triads have been exposed by the crackdowns and several have fled the country, he added.

During last week’s two-day debate, the opposition accused the government of inaction over corruption by senior police officers who took bribes from Chinese triads to allow them to run criminal enterprises in Thailand, especially in destinations popular with Chinese tourists.

Police and the government have started cracking down on Chinese triads after whistle-blower Chuvit Kamolvisit began accusing Chinese triads of operating nightspots in Bangkok where they sold drugs to Chinese tourists. He said they bribed police to allow them to operate.

The ruling party will not tolerate human and drug trafficking and will seriously crack down on them, Chaiwut said.

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