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A very wealthy monarch grows wealthier

11 1 165

LONDON – On July 17, King Maha Vajiralongkorn once again intervened in Thailand’s legislative process by requesting a reorganization of the Crown Property Bureau, to pave the way for his total control of this financial wing of the monarchy. This could, in part, be perceived as the new king striving to consolidate his power in the early stages of his accession to the throne.

The new legislation was approved by the military government of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, which appointed Vajiralongkorn as the sole authority over royal wealth. This dismantled the traditional mechanism put in place by his father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who appointed a government official to manage the crown property. Instead, under the new bill, Vajiralongkorn will set up a board of directors to oversee his assets.

There are two key characteristics of the legislation. First, the king is entitled to appoint the board members, as well as to remove them, at his discretion. Second, the law prohibits the taking away of royal assets without the king’s approval.

This is the first time since 1948 that laws governing crown property have been amended. Under King Bhumibol, the board of directors for the royal assets answered to the finance minister. Now it is independent of the government. As a result, the independent status of the Crown Property Bureau augments Vajiralongkorn’s power in making decisions about the future of the royal wealth.

For years, Forbes........

© The Japan Times