Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The man speaks

The Thaksin interview with Timesonline is a hot topic at present, and so controversial that looks like its being blocked in Thailand (what a surprise:)
UPDATE: Thaksin seems to be backtracking on some of the stuff apparently said/not said about the monarchy - IMO its a disgrace whats happening in Thailand regarding discussing the monarchy - people cannot speak their minds openly and it's turned into a sickening contest of who can show the most fawning loyalty to the great one.

These are the bits I found most amusing:

What would you say to the King?

I would say, ‘Your Majesty, it's time for Your Majesty to be kind to the Thai citizens, by giving them peace. Let them stay together peacefully through the blanket amnesty and pardons. So let everyone go back to their normal life and draft the new constitution.’

They [the enemies of Mr Thaksin] tried to kill me. They had a meeting in the house of Mr Pi [Malakul], who is close to Her Majesty… General Surayud [Chulanont, former Thai army commander, and prime minister after Thaksin was ousted by the military coup] asked General Panlop [Pinmanee] to assassinate me.

Hobby: Wow - A Privy Councillor ordering an assassination !
(that should be the most contoversial aspect of the whole interview as it's a very serious accusation)

Some people in Thailand seem to have worse fears than just economic and diplomatic stagnation. You hear people talking about some kind of economic collapse, civil war. Is that possible?

Thailand is near to being a 'failed state'. Because every institution almost cannot function because you don't allow the rules of the game to take their course. You don't allow the rule of law to prevail and you are biased against others. You don't shine before the whole world. You just want to control power regardless. That's why I'm saying Thailand has almost become a failed state, because no one trusts each other. There's no institution that's being trusted like before.

Hobby: Oh how the worm turns:)

What about the sale of Shin Corp [Mr Thaksin’s family telecommunications company which was sold to the Singaporean government for 77.3 billion bath (£1.14 billion) without paying tax, a cause of intense criticism of Mr Thaksin when he was prime minister]. You didn't pay tax. Putting aside the legal rights and wrongs, was that a misjudgement, politically?

Even if you want to pay tax the revenue department cannot accept your tax. Capital gains tax in Thailand is not tax payable. It's exempted by law. Some countries tax capital gains, but the Thai law has been there for many years as an incentive for a company to register itself in the stock market to exempt the capital gains tax.

Hobby: What about using nominees, maids, and tax havens - did the revenue department force you to do that?

So you don't have any regrets or misgivings about the way you handled that?

Well, you know, I’m in a difficult position to say anything as prime minister because it's a family affair, it's not my personal affair. I'm in a very awkward position as a prime minister to say anything.

Hobby: What a cop out!

But speaking now as a private citizen, it was a mistake, wasn't it?

No, because it's jealousy. I am one of the very few who have so much cash. It's the jealousy of the elite. I'm a representative of the rural people who grew up and had that much cash. [My] family wanted me to be free and clear from being criticised for conflict of interest. So they thought they'd better sell [the company].

Hobby: Very hard for me to trust people who cannot admit ever making a mistake.
(btw, Jealousy of the elite, or by the elite? - both IMO:)

And now for the important bit, here's the song:)

Debaser - by The Pixies (best band ever:)