Spoiled rice in parliament

There was nothing boring about yesterday's session of parliament after a Democrat MP Thursday sliced open a bag of the government's pledged rice, showing it was rotten.

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Warong Dejkitvikrom (left) and Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar held a spirited debate which ended with Mr Nattawut threatening to take police action against the Democrat MP. POST TODAY photo


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Democrats slam pledged rice quality

MP shows parliament ‘rotten' grain from Surin

Mongkol Bangprapa

A Democrat MP Thursday sliced open a bag of the government's pledged rice in parliament in a bid to demonstrate shoddy quality control of the stored paddy.

Warong Dejkitvikrom, the MP for Phitsanulok, said the rice, retrieved from Surin, was brown and rotten.

His display in the House drew protests from government lawmakers.

The government will not be able to maintain the quality of the pledged rice, Mr Warong said, questioning the Commerce Ministry's handling of the programme.

Alleged irregularities in the scheme highlighted the session.

The sack had all the necessary codes showing its origin and production year, but lacked details of the rice mill, Mr Warong said.

The rice came from a government warehouse, he added.

The Pheu Thai-led government had also failed to explain the details of its government-to-government (G-to-G) rice deals, he said.

The government had said it needed time to investigate the alleged irregularities involving the G-to-G contracts, but it has since provided no explanation, he said.

Only rice mill owners benefit from the scheme, he said.

He claimed many rice mills belong to people affiliated with the ruling Pheu Thai Party while warehouses storing the pledged rice are operated by the government.

He challenged the government to open up its warehouses to reporters so they could see for themselves.

Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar insisted the rice pledging scheme is run in a straightforward and transparent manner.

A committee is investigating the corruption allegations involving the scheme, Mr Nattawut said.

The committee had submitted its initial findings to the commerce minister, but the minister had told the panel to make additional inquiries and submit its findings within 90 days.

The committee has not provided an explanation because it has not yet finished its work, Mr Nattawut said.

The investigation is looking back over a three-year period, he said.

Mr Nattawut said the government is trying to maintain rice quality.

There are huge quantities of stored rice and it is impossible to ensure all the rice is in perfect condition, he said.

Mr Nattawut fired back at Mr Warong, asking how he gained access to the government's warehouse to take the sack of rice.

He accused Mr Warong of trespassing and said he would instruct the Internal Trade Department to lodge a police complaint against him.

deputy commerce minister – a minister assisting the Commerce Minister รัฐมนตรีช่วยว่าการพาณิชย์
spirited – full of energy, determination or courage ซึ่งมุ่งมั่น,  ซึ่งมีชีวิตชีวา
debate – a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
threaten – to say that you might do something bad or harmful ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
slam – to strongly criticise someone or something  วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง
rice pledging scheme – a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price,  is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice การจำนำข้าว
slice – to cut something easily with or as if with a sharp blade แล่นผ่า, ตัดผ่าน
quality – the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is คุณภาพ
rotten – spoiled; decayed  เน่า เสีย
grain – the small hard seeds of food plants such as wheat, rice, etc; a single seed of such a plant เมล็ดข้าว, เมล็ดพืช
bid – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
demonstrate – to show something clearly แสดงให้เห็น
shoddy – made or done badly and with not enough care คุณภาพต่ำ
store – to put and keep things in a special place for use in the future เก็บ
paddy – rice as it comes from the field after harvest ข้าวเปลือก
retrieve – to get something back ได้กลับคืนมา
display – an arrangement of things in a public place to inform or entertain people or advertise something for sale  การเปิดเผย, การแสดง
protest – a strong complaint or disagreement การประท้วง
maintain – to keep รักษา
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
irregularity – a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people  แผนการ โครงการ
highlight – to make something more noticeable  เน้น,ทำให้เด่น
session – a formal meeting of an institution such as a parliament or a court การประชุม
sack – a large strong bag for storing and carrying things กระสอบ, ถุงขนาดใหญ่
code – a system of words, letters, numbers or symbols that represent a message or record information รหัส
origin – the place where someone/something comes from ที่มา,  ต้นกำเนิด
lack – to not have something needed  ขาด
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
mill – a building fitted with machinery for crushing or grinding something โรงสี
warehouse – a large building for storing things โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ
deal – a formal agreement, especially in business or politics การตกลงซื้อขาย, ข้อตกลง, การซื้อขาย
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
benefit – to give an advantage to someone มีประโยชน์ต่อ
affiliated – connected with ผูกพัน
challenge – to invite someone to do something difficult or risky, such as to compete or fight ท้า
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you ยืนกราน
straightforward – clear and honest ตรงไปตรงมา
transparent – not keeping anything secret; open โปร่งใส
allegations – accusations ข้อกล่าวหา
submit – to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
initial – early; first  เบื้องต้น
panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
inquiry – the process of asking questions การสอบถาม
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
access – the ability to enter a building or place  การเข้าสู่
trespassing – going onto someone's land or enter their building without permission การบุกรุก,การรุกล้ำ
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
lodge a complaint – to make a formal statement to someone in authority that someone has done something wrong ยื่นคำร้อง

About the author

columnist
Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager