It is not surprising that the NACC cleared Prawit over the watches saga. The NACC secretary general defended the ruling, saying it was based on evidence collected and not the information surrounding the case. Nevertheless in the people’s mind Prawit has already been found guilty, as the explanation that he had been loaned the luxury watches by a good friend – whose children were generous enough not to ask for their return after the friend died – seems to defy all logic and common sense.
It is disheartening to learn that the government’s publicity about countering corruption is nothing more than lip service. In order for the nation to eradicate corruption, the focus must first be on the top officials who are meant to serve as a good example.
A more serious consequence of this ruling is the precedent it sets, which will enable corrupt officials in future cases to claim that their ill-gained wealth has also been loaned. Time will tell whether the 20,000-signature petition calling for impeachment of the five NACC members who ruled in favour of Prawit will succeed. The question now is who will vote for the current government to represent the people in the coming election?