new law giving Thailand’s King direct control over royal assets worth billions
of US dollars went into force on July 17.
The law was approved by the Thai National Legislative Assembly last week and
published on the Royal Gazette on July 16.
The main change gives King Maha Vajiralongkorn power to appoint all members of
the committee that oversees the Crown Property Bureau (CPB).
Under the previous law, the committee’s chairman was the finance minister, a
move meant to ensure some semblance of government oversight. It is the
first time that law has been changed in 69 years.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn inherited one of the world’s great fortunes when he
ascended the throne in October 2016 following the death of his father Bhumibol
Since King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death, a series of legal changes have been
made. Among these was a provision allowing the king to travel overseas without
appointing a regent in his stead, and an end to the need for all royal decrees
to be countersigned by a government official.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn also took direct control of five state agencies
overseeing royal affairs and palace security that were previously under
government or military control.-VNA