Published on January 10, 2008
Chaired by Auditor-General Jaruvan Maintaka, the auction began at 8.30am. People lined up to take part in the two-day affair.
Quite a few former Thai Rak Thai officials showed up, as they apparently couldn't let go of items they'd once used during the glory days of the party.
Old hands included Songsak Thongsri, now with the People Power Party. It is not known whether he will be a successful bidder.
The crowd was enthusiastic to see the assets of Thai Rak Thai, the richest party when now-deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was still around.
If the owner of the party is a zillionaire who didn't seem
to be affected by the Asset Examination Committee's order to freeze his assets, then Thai Rak Thai property must include luxurious
with the tycoon's financial status.
But potential bidders were disappointed by the items up for auction. More than 700 were worth only Bt1.3 million in total.
The cheapest item of all was a calculator, with a starting price of Bt10, while the most expensive were two six-wheeled Hino trucks which were modified for election campaigns, with a price starting at Bt450,000.
Thai Rak Thai's assets also included other office supplies: tables, chairs, ceiling fans, electrical appliances, TV and audio sets, DVD players, slide projectors, a surveillance camera and an outdated computer notebook.
If you want to put on an auction, you have to do it right. But the Auditor-General's Office could only find a giant red-and-green plastic toy hammer,
as it would be too expensive to buy a proper wooden
Despite the tonge-in-cheek hammer, the auction kicked off in a serious manner as Jaruvan assured the participants that the bidding would be duly conducted in a transparent manner.
Her office apparently didn't want to create more controversy over its dealings with Thaksin assets.
And we are curious to
know if any bidders, apart from former Thai Rak Thai people, will be interested to collect the party's memorabilia.