Royal Throne: Cambodia Builds A Toilet For Over $40,000 For A Thai Princess To Use For One Night . . . And Then Will Demolish It [Updated]

220px-thumbnail180px-toilet_370x580I have made no secret of my dislike for monarchies — an illogical and wasteful system of government, including the maintenance of “figure head” royal families as in England. The lunacy of such systems was brought home with the visit of Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to one of Cambodia’s poorest areas (where sanitation is virtually unavailable). The government will spend over $40,000 to build her a luxury toilet for one night with silver railings, tile roofing, and air conditioning. It will them be disassembled after her departure. This is taking the concept of a hereditary throne too far.

The visit of a Thai princess to one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces has sparked controversy after at least $40,000 was spent building an air-conditioned outhouse in anticipation of her arrival.

The luxury toilet has been built on the banks of the protected Lake Yeak Laom in Ratanakkiri province, where the princess will briefly stop to relax for a day. Local officers said that they believe the cost will be well above $40,000. Officials said that they may leave the structure but remove the toilet facilities, explaining that “If you have a king—well, just, normal people can’t use the king’s toilet.”

This is not a unique position. My late father, Jack Turley, built an award-winning modern factory in England, which was to be opened by the Queen. His office received detailed designs for a bathroom stall to be constructed for the Queen and a special toilet to be installed — despite a large number of brand new bathrooms through the facility. He balked at the stupidity of it all but his English counterparts carried out the construction.

The director of the Cambodian Rural Development Team, Channy Or, noted that the royal bathroom in Cambodia would cost around 130 times more than a standard public toilet for the region and the money could have brought sanitation to whole communities for the first time.

Update: The toilet remained unflushed and was then disssembled after the visit of the princess.

18 thoughts on “Royal Throne: Cambodia Builds A Toilet For Over $40,000 For A Thai Princess To Use For One Night . . . And Then Will Demolish It [Updated]

  1. I find this at once comic and grotesque.

    The only place for monarchy is in operetta (especially those operettas laid in the straitjacket of Old Vienna).

  2. Ok I get the point, but just to take a tangential spin-out, consider this.

    Somebody got paid for the work and materials. Monies or equivalents had to have been exchanged…otherwise how could the price tag be so stated. Even if kickbacks are involved, monies are in the system.

    Secondly, the facilities will be “disassembled” not “demolished” as claimed in the headline. If the former is correct, the material would be available for other uses and further expenditures for transportation and labor etc. Now, it’s probable that our fair wages would not be paid over there. The real travesty would have been if the whole thing was bulldozed and crushed. Then the author would have a lot more to complain about.

    And, has the author considered what it costs for any presidential stopover? I remember catching a ride on a small Navy Lear from New Orleans to Wash. D.C. From a last minute request, we were going to stop enroute to p/u a Navy Capt. But inflight calculations comparing his commercial costs to our flight’s let-down and takeoff and climb out dictated his hopping commercial and take a taxi. Difference was thousands. (The Captain was a popular guy and a personal friend of the Admiral. Would have been a good perk….having a Navy Lear land at a small municipal airport and taxi over and pick you up.)

    Divert AF-1 for a quick stop and the oil companies gets the money….way more than the toilet. Locals? Not so much.

    Scrooge McDuck and hoarding all the gold to swim in it…now that’s a travesty.

    Remember years ago the massive increase in taxes on yachts? My brother (owned an engine and transmission business) nearly went bankrupt as did cabinetmakers, and others who dealt with fiberglass, sails, specialty furniture makers, need I go on? Didn’t take long for that law to get slicked.

    My point? Lavish expenditures are in the eye of the beholder. Hoarding cash is the travesty.

    Yeah the civic works would have been better, if the work was done by the recipients and not just given. The New Orleans projects are good examples of what happens with not having the recipients working for the benefit.

  3. Is that a photo of the alleged princess? I was expecting to see some petite, beautiful, svelte Thai goddess–not a photo of a missing Teamster member. Turley, did you get your photos mixed up, again?

  4. It’s expensive constructing a building in a way that leaves the impression your shi* doesn’t stink. Can’t have the common folk getting any ideas the royals are one of them.

  5. It’s a callous and shortsighted assumption to think people were paid or paid fairly to construct this lavatory. Thailand enslaves a sizable population. And corporate America wants to put the American worker on the same footing.

  6. We need an artist’s interpretation of this. Too bad Piero Manzoni is no longer with us. He could can the royal feces and raise money for the poor.

  7. Karen

    We live under an oligarchy. The waste of the affluent few percent at the top who own and run everything makes this toilet story look like chump change. Royalty has nothing on us the US. I’m sure Trump’s crapper cost close to the same.

  8. Karen

    We live under an oligarchy, something like a dictatorship but worse, at least with a dictatorship you can identify the culprit. The waste of our corporate and royal few percent would make this Thai princess look like a charity case. But it is nice to point fingers. Try pointing fingers at our military and their $400,000 terlits.

  9. Issacbasonkavichi: agreed. I have to take issue with Prof. Turley on this one. You can always dig up some anecdote or another. Often they prove apocryphal, as in Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake.”

    Here’s the reality: hereditary monarchy is the natural form of government and all governments tend that way, including in the US where we have Adams, Roosevelts, Bushes, Clintons and on and on.

    The virtue of the democratic republic: it mollifies people by supposedly giving them a say in their rulers. The problem is that anyone who wants to be such a ruler has to basically be a conniving psychopath. The democratic republic produces awful rulers, by design.

    The virtue of a monarchy: it’s the more honest and natural form of government, so it’s more peaceful, less stressful. You may get a conniving psychopath as a ruler in a monarchy as well, but at least it’s not guaranteed.

    We may actually “elect” Trump. QED.

  10. Another update.

    The total cost was born by the Thai gov’t (not Cambodia) which isn’t actually mentioned even in the updated post.

    Only the toilet ( BTW what was the actual of the toilet) was removed and the building remains as built…see BBC latest.

    Attribution for the requirement/request is said to have been the princess. I’m often reminded of Henry II and Becket in these reports. Fortunately nobody died in this case.

    As monarchies are being pilloried here, how is it that the American public goes ga-ga (no not her) every time royalty comes to town, especially British..there are others in Europe, right? And then we have at least two fully outfitted Boeing 747s for our president.

    Now about that money spent on and by the monarchies, who’s buying spectator boxes at the gladiator (oops NFL) games? And who’s actually paying for the corporate ones? …come on take a guess stockholders. On the other hand who got the construction and outfitting work and how many are employed to serve the occupants?

    Just back to British royalty for a sec.. Have to say that Kate and kids are worth the ga-ga. Seems the British 4th Estate is as well, considering all the times they work to catch a shot of Kate’s sexy underwear.

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