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Wissanu denies wanting to change anti-graft law

Jan 08. 2018
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By The Nation

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Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Monday dismissed a notion that he has proposed amending anti-graft regulations to raise the ceiling on the value of gifts a state official can accept.

He said that this had just come up during “small talk” with a group of reporters at Government House.

“I stated clearly that it’s not the government’s business, but the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s,” Wassanu said. Wissanu said that if the NACC did not amend it, the government would address the matter in the Conflict of interests Prevention Bill.

Wissanu, the government’s key lawyer, said an amendment might be needed as the regulation is quite old. But as the people opposed it, he would not push for an amendment.

Wissanu said the anti-graft law actually does not prohibit state officials from taking money or gifts from relatives, or gifts from other people valued at less than Bt3,000. They can also give gifts of any value, because the law prohibits takers, not givers.

Referring to an incident involving Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Wissanu said the premier could give an expensive dog to anyone. However, if that person was a state official, the law prohibits them from accepting it if it is worth more than Bt3,000.

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