23 May 2024

Former deputy prime minister Plodprasop Suraswadi has criticised a large group of senators who are planning overseas study trips before the end of their terms in office and has urged them to cancel their plans for “the sake of their dignity”.

In his Facebook post today, Plodprasop said that the European study trips, planned by several Senate committees, whose terms in office are due to end on May 10th, have come under heavy public criticism because the trips will cost an estimated 81 million baht of taxpayers’ money.

In justifying the study trips, the Senate committees claim that they have not been abroad for a few years, thanks to the COVID pandemic and, therefore, have saved the budget earmarked for overseas trips for Senate committees.

They claim that now is the right time for them to conduct the overseas trips, to gain knowledge which will be “beneficial to the people of the next generation”.

Plodprasop said that some of these senators have, in the past, criticised other officials planning overseas trips as wasting taxpayers’ money and have summoned them for questioning.

“Now, they are doing it themselves, which is disgusting, “ said the former deputy Prime minister, adding that several of these senators are retired senior police and military officers who had good service records while they  were still in the services.

He admitted to being shocked at learning that these senators have jumped on the same bandwagon with those who want to waste taxpayers’ money to fund their overseas junkets.

“Believe me, for once, as an old friend, cancel the travel plans for the sake of your honour, which has been accumulated over a long time. Why throw it away now?” asked Plodprasop.

Asked by reporters about the matter, president of the parliament and House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha said that it is the affair of the Senate and the responsibility of the Senate Speaker.