I have been disappointed and surprised regarding corruption in Thailand. There is bribery and embezzlement everywhere you turn. Thailand ranked 88th out of 176 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International. (Admittedly, there are problems with that index because it is based on perceptions rather than actual corrupt transactions. But there are no actual records kept of corrupt transactions. And people aren’t usually jailed for it in corrupt countries, either.)
People bribe the government to get contracts. They bribe companies to get jobs. They bribe police officers to get out of jail (or whatever punishment). Not only this, but often those in power EXPECT a bribe. They are part of the problem.
A friend of mine recently applied for a job. They were told they were at the “top of the list” of candidates to get hired. About a week later, they were told that they were “third on the list.” My friend suspects that there was only one way that that happened: two people bribed their way to the top of the list.
Imagine the disappointment that someone feels when they didn’t get a job because they couldn’t pay a bribe! It’s completely unfair. I think there are a lot of people from rich, unscrupulous families that are in power.
People sometimes get away with murder in Thailand. Last August, a Swede named Andreas Ringvall killed a New Zealander with a knife. The Swede was arrested. Within a couple of months, he was granted permission to leave Thailand for “family reasons” and, of course, he never returned. It is widely assumed that he was “granted” permission to leave because of a huge bribe.