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Vice Admiral in NLA Employs Wife in Three Roles and Daughter in Fourth, Documents Show

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
PHUKET: A vice admiral who commanded the Royal Thai Navy 3 until last year when he was appointed to the National Legislative Assembly employed his wife in three jobs and his daughter in a fourth, according to contractual documents published in the Thai media today.

Vice Admiral Taratorn Thinsuwan is one of about 70 NLA members who have employed family members at public expense. NLA whips are calling on members who have appointed relatives as aides to retroactively end their employment effective from March 1.

According to documents reproduced online today by isranews.org, Vice Admiral Taratorn (113,560 baht a month) employed his wife as a secretary (15,000 baht a month) and in two separate specialist's positions (20,000 baht a month and 24,000 baht a month) taking her total earnings to 59,000 baht a month.

The couple's daughter was also employed at 20,000 baht a month.

National Reform Council president Thienchay Kiranandana told the Bangkok Post today that lawmakers faced no legal restriction on hiring family members as personal aides, but said it was an ethical decision they had to make.

The NRC president was responding to the storm of public criticism aimed at about 70 NLA members who employed family members at public expense.

Vice Admiral Taratorn is believed to be the only member of the NLA to have one family member filling three separate positions and a second family member in a fourth role.

Surachai Liangboonlertchai, NLA deputy president, told the Bangkok Post he hoped members would agree to heed the call to retroactively remove family members to set the standard for future politicians.

He said several NLA members have already terminated the employment of their relatives.

Some of the family members employed at public expense are based overseas and others are still students.

Royal Thai Navy 3 oversees the Andaman coast from bases on Phuket and in the neighboring province of Phang Nga.

Declaration of Interest: In July, Phuketwan journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian face the continuation of a trial over criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act charges brought by the Royal Thai Navy, citing a 41-word paragraph from a Pulitzer prize-winning Reuters special report on the Rohingya boatpeople. Reuters and other news organisations in Thailand that published the same paragraph have not been charged. The charges were laid before the military takeover in Thailand.

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