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.
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.