Young engineer commits suicide over road construction corruption


A 27-YEAR-OLD engineer who was found dead in his pickup truck revealed in his suicide note that he had been pressured by higher authorities in Nong Bua Lamphu province to collect bribes from a contractor who built sub-standard roads, said today (Nov. 28).

A police team from Mueang Khon Kaen police station who found Mr. Panumet (surname withheld), or Eh, a native of Udon Thani, dead in his pickup truck also found a three-page handwritten letter revealing that the municipality he worked for forced him to collect a bribe from the contractor despite the road he had built having cracks in them.

He had started working here on June 1 this year but on October 31 resigned, however this was effective from Dec. 1. There remained three more road projects to be approved by him.

He added that he had been stressed and could not sleep for a month and apologised to his parents and older sister for killing himself but explained that he was stuck in a dilemma. 

“The provincial system, I don’t know whether it is just the municipality or not, is terrible. Technicians are like tools to make money for administrators who keep looking for scraps in projects. Their bad karma is an unending story and may they all get what they deserve for cheating. My body, if it is still in good condition, is donated,” he wrote.

Reporters attended Poramet’s funeral at his hometown in Udon Thani where they met his mother, Mrs. Pu, 54, who said both her husband and her could not come to terms with this loss. 

They had lost their only son, who was their youngest child, and good in studies having graduated in civil engineering from Khon Kaen University. He sat for exams at several government agencies but chose this job to be close to home.

Before he died he had sent his vehicle ownership book and a gold ring that she had given him and told her to go collect his belongings. She wondered what it was about and called him several times but he did not answer. 

Her husband is so distressed he has hinted that after the funeral he is going to follow their son, she added.


The pickup truck where the civil engineer killed himself. The Thai headline says, “Exposed corruption before ending his life.” Photo: Matichon

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