Opinion: The coalition partners once again show their cowardice in Wednesday’s vote

For three days and three nights, the coalition partners of Palang Pracharath let the ruling party have it. Criticism after criticism was aimed at Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and his ministers for their mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic fallout.

People are dying, people are suffering, the country is circling the drain, for a moment you could be forgiven for thinking that there was no coalition and the partnerships were dead.

But then when the time came for the parties to actually vote on the budget, there was no shift. Bhumjai Thai and the Democrats, for all their hot air and bluster proved to be paper tigers and failed the people that they represent.

There is a serious rot inside the political class in Thailand and Wednesday night’s shambolic vote was the latest symptom.

Keep in mind that both the Democrat and the BJT have ministries worth billions of baht that needed a working budget so that they could keep ‘helping the people’ and themselves.

I am sure no corruption goes on inside those ministries. But after all the hot air of the days prior, one can’t help but wonder a little why they were all so eager to pass a budget that even their own MPs had criticized for doing too little for healthcare and too much for the armed forces.

The optimists in the country will say that at least now, with the budget passed, the government can issue more stimulus, more bailouts, more cash handouts to help the country through this time of crisis.

To the optimists, I say this. Right now, I wouldn’t trust this government to boil an egg.

It makes me physically sick and vehemently angry to think that at our country’s lowest point, at the height of this generation-defining crisis, that some politicians would still be lining their pockets with proceeds from the national budget.

I hope that is not the case. But after seeing the eagerness in which the government voted for this budget with all its flaws, I am no longer so sure.

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