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Mor Lam Carnival 2019 Organizers Accused of Kickbacks and Corruption

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It will take some time before the truth comes out; however, there would be no surprise if kickbacks were involved in Khon Kaen’s Mor Lam Carnival

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BANGKOK – The president of the Citizen’s Anti-Corruption Network has petitioned the Khon Kaen Governor to suspend payments to organizers of Mor Lam Carnival 2019.
The Anti-corruption President Tul Prasertsilpa alleges spending irregularities and possible kickbacks of the Bt27.4-million Mor Lam budget.He said if the network’s request is ignored, they would petition the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in Bangkok.

Prasertsilpa submitted the request to the governor through policy analyst Chamnan Thongdee at the Khon Kaen Damrongtham Centre, Tuesday.

The group wants the governor to suspend payments for the organizing of the controversial event pending the result of an audit.

The suspension of the payment would be in the Provinces best interest Prasertsilpa said. Until it became clear who or which organization was responsible for this “unworthy budget spending”.

He also revealed that he had previously urged the regional offices of the NACC; and the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission to suspend the officials who approved the project. Including the governor, because they could tamper with any evidence, which could affect the investigation.

The Khon Kaen Provincial Cultural Office took charge of Mor Lam Carnival this year.

“Throughout the three-day festival, I observed that the facilities and work didn’t match the budget” he said.

It will take some time before the truth comes out; however, there would be no surprise if kickbacks were involved. It is an open secret that such malpractice is deep-rooted in the bureaucratic system in our society.

Sanyalak Donsri, a renowned Mor Lam master said we are seeing before our eyes is that the powers-that-be are gleefully sharing the state budget cake.

This is probably because we are approaching the end of the fiscal year and they still have an enormous budget left to spend while scrutiny is weak. The Mor Lam saga is only one example of how the state money can be misused.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand was the agency responsible for organizing the previous two carnivals. However, this year the Khon Kaen cultural office took charge.

Source: The Nation, Bangkok Post

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Mor Lam Carnival 2019

Mor Lam Carnival is a popular singing and dance performance which originated in the Northeast. The three day festival was a gathering for; Isan stars and entertainers and featured contests, workshops, and panel discussions.