Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Casino? What casino?

Was Premier Yingluck Shinawatra caught by surprise when she read reports in the press this morning that the Government Lottery Bureau will propose reviving the casino project?

She said this was the first time she heard about it. And she was prompt to say that the concept of a multi-billion-baht "entertainment complex" to be located at Kula Ronghai Prairie in the Northeast "isn't on my government's agenda."

Why then did the bureau's chief, Mr Vanchai Surakul,make that public statement to reporters without having consulted the prime minister?

Nobody knows the answer. Perhaps, he is a quick thinker, a visionary who knows what former Premier Thaksin would like to see soon. After all, that's the controversial project that was first matched when Thaksin was premier. It never took off because of strong opposition from many quarters.

Or perhaps Vanchai was talking to Thaksin? Again, nobody knows for sure. It's not likely that a bureaucract, however well-connected and innovative, would raise this issue so soon -- just a month or so after the new government took office and amidst the frenzy of trying to work out how to implement the main election promises.

Now, the casino scheme wasn't even a Pheu Thai Party's election pledge. To float this hot and risky balloon is simply asking for more trouble.

Yes, Premier Yingluck has every reason to be puzzled over this "bright" but premature idea.

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