If Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were a housewife, she would rightly get mad if her cook went to the farmers' market and bought produce without inspecting it, for farm output varies as to freshness and moisture content.
So, I share Thai Rice Exporters Association honorary president Vichai Sriprasert's concern over the quality of the rice that the government is auctioning, for Ms Yingluck will not let buyers inspect the rice being sold before the bidding begins.
The bidders might as well be blindfolded.
Openness is especially key here because rice deteriorates with age, and the government's own inquiry committee, led by deputy permanent secretary for finance Supa Piyajitti, made the brave finding that there were many gaping holes for corruption in the whole rice purchasing and storing process.
Consumer groups have raised many questions about the safety, hygiene and freshness of the rice.
The prime minister is acting like someone who has everything to hide, but that will cause buyers to bid low.
Not only that, as Shakespeare said, ''The truth will out'' _ if not before the bidding, then shortly after delivery. Ms Yingluck should allow bidders to inspect and test each lot of rice well before each auction so that they can pay market value for verified quality and protect the reputation of Thai rice. Being blindfolded is a game that doesn't belong in an auction.
Runaways very different
Re: ''False equivalents'' (PostBag, July 23).
I agree with letter writer Somsak Pola that there is no comparison between Thaksin Shinawatra and the runaway monk.
The monk is accused of a felony and Thaksin is a convicted criminal who betrayed the trust of the country and broke his bond to flee abroad.
Mr Somsak is very selective with his ''facts'' on Thaksin. He gets his first button right: Thaksin was elected to office and endorsed by royal command to run the country.
Second button: he rewarded that trust by self enrichment in office by means of the satellite share scam and other schemes.
Third button: he called a snap election that he tried to win by fraudulent means and failed to do so.
Fourth button: he betrayed the trust of the country by deserting it when he was ''acting'' prime minister long before the coup.
Fifth button: he was rightly convicted in the land sale case.
Sixth button: he broke his bond after he was trusted to go to the Beijing Olympics. Last button, like the monk, he turned out to be well funded abroad. He is currently dictating government policy from abroad resulting in the current crises.
MPs have short memories
I commend Michael Setter on his response to Plodprasop Suraswadi's seemingly uncaring stance regarding dam work (PostBag, July 24). However, his statement: ''If you wish to be remembered fondly ...'' is not realistic.
How many of our politicians care about how they will be remembered more than what they can gain now by pushing through unpopular (and potentially destructive) programmes and legislation?
Bus design a menace too
Re: ''19 die as lorry driver falls asleep'' (BP, July 24).
What we need is a review of design and construction of bus bodies to ensure public safety. This especially concerns the height of the body, the weight and balance for traction and the steering mechanism; the strength of the body structure; the layout of the passenger cabin for easy access and exit; and fire resistant materials for interior furnishings. Of course, strict enforcement of safety regulations and drivers' training must also be implemented.
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