Corruption in Thailand will be reduced under PM Prayuth, say 78% of poll respondents

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Some 78 per cent of respondents in a recent poll said they believe corruption will gradually be reduced now that Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is also chief of the military junta running the country, has taken over.

The Bangkok Poll also found that 74 per cent of respondents believed the Prayuth administration was more transparent than the previous government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, while 60 per cent said they had confidence the National Reform Council would be able to help tackle corruption.

When asked if corruption would return after General Prayuth was no longer in power, 41 per cent said it would but 44 per cent said it would continue to be reduced even after Gen Prayuth is gone.

Confidence in the government was high among respondents, with 60 per cent expressing confidence in its purchases and hires, while 32 said they had no confidence in the interim regime.

Nearly half (49 per cent) said they had confidence that bureaucrats would not accept bribes, while 40.6 per cent said they had no confidence.

Respondents were also asked if they found corruption acceptable. Some 86 per cent said they could not accept corruption because it was wrong, but 12 per cent said corruption was acceptable because many people engaged in it.

In a related development, former deputy defence minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha said he had confidence in Gen Prayuth's ability to run the country. General Yuthasak said that in his three-year working relationship with Gen Prayuth, he found the army chief to be a meticulous person who studied the tasks at hand. Gen Prayuth was also experienced both militarily and scholastically, he said.

Asked if he had been approached to advise the new government, he said the government should be given time to run the country first.

Gen Yuthasak said he would remain a brother to Gen Prayuth till death, and someone whom he could always call on to discuss personal matters.

Gen Prayuth had his best wishes for successfully running the country, he added.