WIN­NERS

Bangkok Post - - 7 DAYS -

Monar­chy

The gen­eral prime minister gave away only small de­tails, but an­nounced that a new royal corona­tion is com­ing soon. The date has not been re­vealed, but Gen Prayut said it would be af­ter the gen­eral elec­tion — as­sum­ing vot­ing oc­curs on Feb 24, the other date that is uncer­tain. The last corona­tion, of King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej, Rama IX, was on May 5, 1950. The gen­eral prime minister said some of the for­mal­i­ties of a corona­tion are be­ing or­gan­ised. There will be wa­ter col­lected from each prov­ince, for ex­am­ple. There is no doubt the corona­tion of His Majesty King Maha Va­ji­ra­longkorn Bodin­drade­bayavarangkun will be a uni­fy­ing event for the coun­try.

Sur­veil­lance

The gen­eral prime minister said to the Rev­enue Depart­ment, “Find ways to col­lect tax in a sus­tain­able man­ner”, and the tax man said, “On it!” The re­sult is a pro­posed (and 99% cer­tain to pass) new law that lets the tax col­lec­tor snoop into the com­pany records of ev­ery big firm and most medium-sized busi­nesses. The thresh­old is that you have a sus­pi­cious busi­ness if you have 3,000 money trans­fers a year. And if it’s big-ticket items, the Rev­enue Depart­ment has you un­der sur­veil­lance too — 400 “money trans­fers” a year to­talling 2 mil­lion baht or more. Run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness, fear the tax man walk­ing in at any mo­ment with po­lice to de­mand total, full ac­cess to all your records.

The One per­cent

A re­tired econ­o­mist, Bany­ong Pong­panich, went to work on the statis­tics of the Global Wealth Re­port just is­sued by Credit Su­isse. The stats show that Thai­land’s rich­est have over­taken their Rus­sian and In­dian coun­ter­parts, and now are the world’s most-priv­i­leged 1%. Yes, as the gov­ern­ment’s NESDB rushed to jus­tify and sow doubt, “statis­tics” can be mal­leable. But the 2018 stats stud­ied by Mr Bany­ong show that Thai hi-so (500,000 peo­ple) own 66.95% of wealth. The Rus­sian elite own 57.1%, the Turk­ish pam­pered have 54.1% and In­dia’s rich­est own 51.5%. There will elec­tion cam­paign plat­forms based on this.

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