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Majority agree with bill to regulate NGOs: poll

Activists and Songkhla residents rally outside Government House on Dec 14, 2021 to demand the government delay the industrial complex in Chana district of Songkhla. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Activists and Songkhla residents rally outside Government House on Dec 14, 2021 to demand the government delay the industrial complex in Chana district of Songkhla. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

A majority of people agree with a draft bill aimed at regulating the operations of non-governmental organisations, requiring NGOs to reveal sources of funding, the amounts of foreign funds and their purposes, according to the result of an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on Jan 10-12 via telephone interviews with 1,314 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on the bill.

On the requirement for NGOs to reveal their sources of funding, 52.36% strongly agreed with it; 27.78% were in moderate agreement; 11.26% totally disagreed; 7.69% somewhat disagreed; and 0.91% had no answer or were not interested.

On the requirement for NGOs with foreign funding to reveal the amounts received and the purposes of the funds, 58.14% strongly agreed with it; 26.03% somewhat agreed; 8.45% totally disagreed; 6.92% somewhat disagreed; and 0.46% had no answer or were not interested.

Asked to comment on the NGOs being prohibited from certain activities, the answers varied as follows.

1. For activities which might affect national security, 34.70% were in total agreement; 25.50% in total disagreement; 22.22% in moderate agreement; 15.83% in moderate disagreement; and 1.75% had no answer or were not interested.

2. For activities which might cause divisions in society, 44.52% were in total agreement; 21.31% in total disagreement; 19.86% somewhat agreed; 12.79% somewhat disagreed; and 1.52% had no answer or were not interested.

3. For activities which might be construed as seeking to acquire state power or benefit certain political parties, 46.95% strongly agreed with it; 23.52% totally disagreed; 19.03% somewhat agreed; 8.75% somewhat disagreed; and 1.75% had no answer or were not interested.

Asked whether they thought the bill to regulate NGOs would affect the people’s right to and freedom of assembly, 31.28% said it would be somewhat affected; 22.83% it would not be affected at all; 19.63% it would be greatly affected; 19.03% it would be little affected; and 7.23% had no answer or were not interested.

Reference