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Pol Gen Surachate’s Bold Challenge: A Fight for Thailand’s Top Police Post Amid Scandal

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It was a day draped in dramatic irony and high stakes at the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok. Enter Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, known affectionately (and somewhat ominously) as “Big Joke”—although the matter at hand was anything but laughable. Dressed to impress in a suit and tie, ditching his usual uniform attire, Surachate was on a mission. His goal? To challenge his suspension head-on and to pave his way to becoming the next national police chief—a position he sees not just as a job, but as his destiny.

The corridors of power at the police headquarters buzzed with the whispers of officers and bureaucrats alike. Surachate, with the poise of a chess grandmaster making his opening move, sent a flurry of complaints to where it mattered: the Police Commission and an ethics committee of the Royal Thai Police. His contention? The suspension lacked legality, a maneuver he portrayed as being more about politics than policework. According to him, the rulebook was thrown out the window when the investigation committee, which was supposed to propose such suspensions, was convened on the exact day his suspension was announced—a curious coincidence, or a calculated move?

But Surachate wasn’t just playing defense; he was ready to take the offensive. Armed with legal briefs and a sense of righteous indignation, he planned to drag the matter into the legal arena, targeting the acting national chief, Kitrat Panphet, among others, with complaints filed with the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. His accusation? A conspiracy to sideline him, peppered with allegations of money laundering from online gambling—a narrative he vehemently denies and views as a thinly veiled attempt to block his ascent to the top echelon of Thai policing come October.

At 53, Surachate is no spring chicken in the force; rather, he is its most senior figure with eyes on the chief’s seat—a seat he nearly warmed last year, if not for it slipping through his fingers and into the lap of Pol Gen Torsak. Let’s just say, the plot thickens, for Torsak’s brother holds a significant position at the Crown Property Bureau, and the threads of loyalty and ambition intertwine and tangle in a saga rivaling any prime-time drama. The feud between the factions, akin to a modern-day retelling of ancient palace intrigue, has been simmering ever since.

In a twist of fate or perhaps strategic maneuvering, both Surachate and his rival found themselves relegated to the bureaucratic limbo of inactive posts, courtesy of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s reshuffling. Yet, in the chess game of Thai politics and policing, Surachate suggests a shadowy figure whispering in the prime minister’s ear—a puppet master orchestrating his suspension by ensuring his return to the Royal Thai Police, just in time to face the music.

But Surachate stands tall amidst the storm, buoyed by his faith in the judicial process and his own innocence. Charged with money laundering and released on bail, he walked into headquarters not as a man beaten but as one temporarily inconvenienced on his path to vindication and, ultimately, to the pinnacle of his career. As the saga unfolds, one thing is clear: The fight for the soul of the Royal Thai Police is far from over, and in the world of Thai law enforcement, “Big Joke” might just have the last laugh.


  1. TheRealist April 25, 2024

    Surachate’s boldness in confronting his suspension is admirable. It’s high time the Thai police force sees someone who doesn’t shy away from shaking the status quo. Corruption has no place in law enforcement!

    • BangkokN8 April 25, 2024

      You’re seeing this through rose-colored glasses. Surachate’s past is not exactly spotless; challenging the suspension could just be a power play. We need real reforms, not just a change of faces.

      • TheRealist April 25, 2024

        I understand your skepticism, but isn’t challenging possibly corrupt practices the first step towards reform? At least he’s making noise and not silently playing along.

    • JusticeSeeker April 25, 2024

      It’s naive to think one man can change this deeply rooted system of patronage and corruption. The problem is much larger than Surachate or any individual.

      • BangkokN8 April 25, 2024

        Exactly! This isn’t about one hero fixing everything. It’s a systemic issue that needs addressing at all levels, not just public confrontations.

  2. PeaceLover April 25, 2024

    Does anyone else think it’s just a big drama for public sympathy? Surachate is playing a well-scripted role in a political theater. We’re just the audience.

  3. PatriotPong April 25, 2024

    The whole situation reeks of political intrigue and maneuvering. Power struggles at the top are just distractions from real issues facing everyday Thais.

    • SiamWatcher April 25, 2024

      You hit the nail on the head. It’s the ordinary citizens who suffer the most from these power games. Necessary reforms are put on hold while they sort out their rivalries.

  4. LegalEagle101 April 25, 2024

    Surachate’s legal maneuvers seem solid. Taking the fight to the courts, if done transparently, could set a precedent for handling similar disputes in the future. The judiciary has a pivotal role to play here.

    • Clause4 April 25, 2024

      Wishful thinking! The courts are yet another battleground for these power players. The legal system itself needs a cleanup before it can play any ‘pivotal role’.

      • LegalEagle101 April 25, 2024

        Agreed that there are systemic issues, but I see this as a potential turning point. Every battle won in the courts against corruption is a step in the right direction.

  5. InsiderJoe April 25, 2024

    From an inside perspective, Surachate has a lot of support within the force. His track record speaks volumes, and many see him as the change needed. Don’t discount him yet.

    • SkepticalSam April 25, 2024

      Support from within the corrupt system doesn’t lend much credibility. His ‘track record’ might be part of the same systemic corruption he now conveniently opposes.

      • InsiderJoe April 25, 2024

        It’s easy to label the entire system as corrupt, but there are those within who genuinely strive for change. Dismissing Surachate’s efforts might be premature.

  6. grower134 April 25, 2024

    Let’s not forget, amidst all these accusations, that power tends to corrupt. Even if Surachate has good intentions now, who’s to say he won’t change once he gets to the top?

  7. Larry D April 25, 2024

    Thailand’s politics and its policing problems go hand in hand. Surachate’s challenge, whether genuine or strategic, highlights the need for widespread reform, not just in the police force but also in political governance.

    • BangkokN8 April 25, 2024

      Absolutely, Larry. This isn’t just a police issue; it’s a governance crisis. Without addressing the root causes in political leadership, these scenarios will keep replaying.

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