Everything is a puzzle nowadays

From Thairath, June 2, 2013
Cartoon title: Everything is a puzzle nowadays

Top left: Who’s responsible for the explosion at Ram Khamhaeng? A puzzle. [Reference is to the explosion in Ram Khamhaeng Soi 43/1 on May 26. Nobody is killed in the incidence. However, the authorities are unusually hesitant is assigning blame.]

Top middle: Four luxurious cars were on fire. Who’s the owner? A puzzle. [Reference is to the incident of four luxury cars that caught on fire while loaded on a trailer which was on its way to Srisaket Province on May 29. It is suspected these were these cars were illegally imported to avoid high taxes.]

Top right: Will the Airport Link have money to pay its employees next month? A puzzle. [Reference is to Prapas Jongsanguan, Governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), stating that the SRT has a policy to merge the SRT Electrified Train (SRTET) company, the operator of the Airport Rail Link, with the SRT. The merger, once done, will make all employees of the subsidiary become SRT’s employees. SRT is a notoriously ill-managed with organization with old-fashioned and out-dated equipment.]

Bottom left: Will the reconciliation bills bring Thaksin home, or will it lead to a fight not to let him back? A puzzle. [Reference is to the government’s attempts to submit various reconciliation bills to the parliament for approval. The attempts are criticized by its rivals as a move with a hidden agenda–to bring Thaksin Shinawatra back to Thailand free of all charges.]

Bottom middle: The Education Ministry purchases such expensive vans that it becomes a puzzle! [Reference is to the debate in the parliament led by the Democrat Party on the Education Ministry’s budget to purchase 1,000 16-seat vans of around 2 million baht per van which is much higher than the market price of around baht one million. However, the Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana replied that the size is a 12-seat van, and the average price per van is 1.2 million baht. This is a constant characteristic of Thai government procurement–vehicles are always about twice the market price. The assumption is that the extra are bribes that grease the system and enrich those who can arrange the contracts.]

Bottom right: Why does Lerm know everything better than Google? A puzzle. [Lerm is Deputy Premier Chalerm Ubumrung. Chalerm makes outspoken opi9ons on about every issue.]

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