According to Thammanat Prompao, a convicted drug dealer with fake degrees (and former deputy minister and political leader), voters should vote for a person who is most ready to become a member of parliament and the best representative should have two qualifications.
First, the person must have a “good” family background, by that he meant elites with recognizable last names or family and friends of previous MPs.
Second, the person “must have money.”
“If the person does not have money, when he goes to help the people he would say “Sawasdee krub, I do not have money”, will you want him!?” asked Thammanat Prompao during a recent campaign trail in Hat Yai on January 7.
He was helping to campaign for a by-election in Songkhla.
“But what about, “Sawasdee krub, are you guys in trouble? I will give you this money to use first”, do you like this!?” He went on to ask. The crowd were very receptive to the message.
This mentality is why vote-buying and cronyism are still major problems within Thai politics and society.
This mentality is why we rarely have the right person for the job.
The PPRP and Thammanat think that if they have enough money, they can buy anyone and put anyone into power.
Look at Sira Jenjaka, who was forced out of his MP seat because of a previous fraud conviction, he is now pushing his wife to replace him as the next MP for Constituency 9 in Bangkok.
Look at Thaksin Shinawatra who made his sister into a prime minister and is now pushing his daughter up the ranking of the Pheu Thai Party.
Not everyone in PPRP and Pheu Thai thinks the same way as Thammanat or Thaksin but many of them, and members of other parties that have not been mentioned, have certainly benefitted from cronyism in some way or another because this is how things have been done for a long time now.
The only way to prove them wrong and to stop this from happening at every election is to provide more education to voters.
They must understand that choosing a person who is most suitable for the job will be more useful for them in the long run compared to the 500-3,000 baht that they could get from selling their vote.
Thammanat should be investigated by the Election Commission in Songkhla for blatantly breaking the election campaign law. But if he got away with selling drugs, I do not think he would go down for this one.