11 July 2024

Civil Society for State Welfare is demanding clarification from the board of the Social Security Office (SSO) about its investment in the Sri Panwa Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust, while an opposition MP has demanded a probe into the land rights of the Sri Panwa Phuket Luxurious Pool Villa Hotel in Phuket.

Mr. Nimit Thian-udom, a core member of the Civil Society for State Welfare, said today that, although there is no law prohibiting the SSO from investing in a trust fund, its board should explain the rationale for its investment, the yield and take into consideration the good governance record of the businesses in which it invests.

Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok, Chirayu Huangsap, said the House Committee on Judicial Affairs, Independent Organizations and State Enterprises will invite the Labour Minister to clarify the SSO’s investment in the trust fund, worth about 500 million baht.

If there are any irregularities found, he said he would bring the issue to the attention of both the National Anti-Corruption and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption commissions.

Sri Panwa Phuket Hotel’s land rights, and the SSO’s investment in the trust fund, have become an issue after the owner of the hotel, Mr. Vorasit Issara, criticized the student-led protest over the weekend.

Political activist Veera Somkwamkid said he has been collecting evidence about the land rights of the hotel, to be submitted to the Department of Special Investigations.

Labour Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said that it is the responsibility of the DSI to investigate the hotel’s land rights, without waiting for a complaint to be submitted, adding that he does not yet know if the hotel was built legally on a hilltop overlooking the Andaman Sea.