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Bangkok Fitness Equipment Scandal: Governor Chadchart Sittipunt Faces Corruption Allegations

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Local residents were seen making the most of the fitness equipment at Wachirabenjathat Park, known affectionately as Suan Rod Fai, in Chatuchak district on June 6. The scene, captured vividly by Pornprom Satrabhaya, depicts the serene environment of the park in stark contrast to the brewing storm behind its serene facade.

Rumblings of corruption have stirred within the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), prompting a deeper dive into the recent procurement of exercise equipment for public parks across the city. In a press conference following the BMA’s board meeting on Monday, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, along with BMA deputy permanent secretary Nathapong Disayabutra, laid out plans for a broadened investigation, hinting at a possible malfeasance scandal.

Mr. Nathapong divulged that initial probes have unearthed several suspicious activities that point towards possible corruption in the city’s exercise equipment procurement processes. These revelations cast a shadow of doubt over some projects which, it appears, were not executed in accordance with the strict guidelines governing bid submissions to government agencies.

The BMA’s strategy involves amassing all relevant evidence and presenting it to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for meticulous evaluation. The gravity of the revelations has also led to considerations for establishing a special panel dedicated to probing the affair and ensuring the integrity of future transactions.

In light of the findings, Mr. Nathapong disclosed another crucial step: forming a panel to scrutinize the pricing of equipment slated for procurement in the upcoming fiscal year. This move aims to stave off any future inconsistencies and irregularities in the procurement process.

Governor Chadchart is taking a hands-on approach to restore trust and transparency within the administration. He has instructed Deputy Governor to reassess the prices quoted in tenders and has mandated BMA officials to establish standard pricing guidelines for exercise equipment. This step aims to guide future projects and reduce the potential for graft.

Further intensifying the situation, former Democrat Party MP Watchara Petchtong filed a petition with NACC secretary-general Niwatchai Kasemmongkol. The petition demands a thorough investigation into the BMA’s recent expenditure on exercise equipment, amounting to a hefty 77.73 million baht. Aligning with his fierce allegations, Mr. Watchara accuses Governor Chadchart of conspiring with other officials, including members of the Move Forward Party (MFP) within the Bangkok Metropolitan Council, to orchestrate corruption in the procurement process.

Watchara’s accusations extend beyond mere allegations; he has called for Governor Chadchart’s resignation and urged Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to take charge and oversee the BMA’s procurement activities moving forward.

As the winds of scrutiny blow harder, the path to transparency seems littered with challenges. The unfolding scenario is a vivid reminder of the importance of accountability in public office and spells out a clear message: corruption, once suspected, must be promptly and meticulously investigated. Whether Governor Chadchart and his team will emerge unscathed or not remains to be seen, but one thing is certain—Bangkok’s fight against corruption has entered another crucial chapter.


  1. Jane D June 10, 2024

    It’s so disappointing to see corruption allegations in something as community-centric as public park equipment.

    • Rick J. June 10, 2024

      I agree, Jane. It really makes you wonder how deep the corruption goes in other city projects.

      • Sarah Park June 10, 2024

        Right, if they’re willing to cut corners on something like exercise equipment, what else are they hiding?

    • Kevin84 June 10, 2024

      At least they are investigating it. Better now than never.

  2. John Carter June 10, 2024

    Is anyone really surprised by this? Politicians and corruption go hand in hand.

    • Merlyvonne June 10, 2024

      Cynical much? Some politicians actually care about their communities.

    • John Carter June 10, 2024

      I’ll believe that when I see genuine change and accountability.

  3. Anna Thompson June 10, 2024

    Governor Chadchart should resign if these allegations are true.

    • Paul June 10, 2024

      Why jump to conclusions? Let the investigation play out first.

    • Anna Thompson June 10, 2024

      A leader should step down to ensure transparency and avoid influencing the investigation.

    • FinanceGuy22 June 10, 2024

      Never understood why people always call for resignations immediately. Due process matters.

  4. Andrew P. June 10, 2024

    Regardless of the outcome, this situation looks terrible for Bangkok’s public image.

  5. Kathy Mills June 10, 2024

    I’m curious about the specific suspicious activities mentioned. Transparency is crucial.

    • Theo Student June 10, 2024

      Agreed! Detailed reports would build public trust in the investigation’s authenticity.

    • Kathy Mills June 10, 2024

      Exactly, and it would set a precedent for future incidences of potential corruption.

  6. Derek June 10, 2024

    If Watchara Petchtong’s accusations are backed by evidence, more heads will roll.

    • Sam W. June 10, 2024

      So far, it’s just accusations. People often make claims without substantial proof.

    • Derek June 10, 2024

      True, but the fact that an official petition was filed indicates there’s something serious at play.

  7. Ahab T. June 10, 2024

    Creating a special panel to oversee the investigation is a step in the right direction.

    • CodeMaster June 10, 2024

      Yes, but let’s hope it’s independent and not just another bureaucratic facade.

  8. Sophie June 10, 2024

    BMA officials need to establish those standard pricing guidelines ASAP to prevent future graft.

  9. Hannah Lee June 10, 2024

    It’s not just about exercise equipment; it’s about the integrity of the entire procurement process.

  10. Jacob June 11, 2024

    Why is this news? Corruption in local governments happens all the time.

    • Patricia June 11, 2024

      That’s a defeatist attitude. Awareness and action can lead to real change.

  11. Matt R. June 11, 2024

    Watchara Petchtong’s call for Chadchart’s resignation feels more like a political maneuver to me.

  12. history_buffs June 11, 2024

    This scandal might remind some of the corruption cases in NYC’s Tammany Hall era.

    • C. Watson June 11, 2024

      Great comparison! Institutions often have to fight deeply ingrained corruption.

  13. Ben June 11, 2024

    The fact that they spent 77.73 million baht on this equipment is mind-blowing!

    • Elaine June 11, 2024

      We need to know how those funds were allocated. There should be a public audit.

    • Ben June 11, 2024

      Absolutely! Transparency would clarify whether prices were inflated.

  14. Richard Roelofsen June 11, 2024

    If the words accountability and consequence could only be translated in Thai ( and Thai culture) then people might actually start to think ahead and stop before getting corrupt. But as almost every where in the world ” the needs of the rich outway the needs of the many”.

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