Spotlight: Thailand’s next crucible – A sunshine scenario

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yingluck_shinawatraThailand’s center-populist government has received its fair share of public slapping over the past few weeks, for its “brilliant” handling of populist, but extraordinarily costly subsidising measures that put a severe dent into the public budgets.

However, for many Thais this behaviour, including the fourth reshuffle of the cabinet since 2011, was a wake-up call. They have realised that the ruling Pheu Thai party’s policy is not balanced and far too much dependent on influence from the ousted former prime minister and his cronies.

The positive thing of the whole mess is that public participation in Thailand is rising. Normally, not many people like to talk or discuss about political issues, and real political discourse is subdued. But many know there are shortcomings that the country needs to overcome quickly to not to miss the boat of the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community.

(Don’t  agree? — Read our doomsday scenario)

A sunshine scenario would be that Pheu Thai gets their house in order, present their core voters, the rural farmers and northern middle-class people, a diplomatically-balanced revised rice pledging scheme after this year’s harvests up to the next election elections in 2015, stands up and fights against the prevailing corruption brought to light again with the rice scheme and shows that their ministers and public figures can do more than just create confusion and mistrust in the public.

The current Thai government clearly misses leadership figures. Building such figures would restore public confidence and give a leitmotif for the people. Interaction with the media also needs to be improved, and the somewhat sinister matrix in the Thai political landscape between populists, democrats, royalists and army figures needs to be made transparent and cleared.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, when she took on the role as defense minister on June 30 and took over a seat in the Defense Council clearly showed that the government would not rule out another coup led by influential generals. That way, she can now overlook the development until the army leadership gets reshuffled as planned in October 2013 and, at best, place some conciliatory figures there.

Ideally, and if the Thai leadership succeeds in creating transparency and restoring confidence, the country can swing itself up again to the role as powerhouse of the region, unless it gets caught in internal fights that have put it back in its development for many times in its tumultuous history.

 

Join Inside Investor’s live discussion via Twitter on July 5, 5pm Malaysia time (GMT +8) to add your thoughts of Thailand’s political situation. Mention us and use the hashtag #askii.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s center-populist government has received its fair share of public slapping over the past few weeks, for its “brilliant” handling of populist, but extraordinarily costly subsidising measures that put a severe dent into the public budgets.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

yingluck_shinawatraThailand’s center-populist government has received its fair share of public slapping over the past few weeks, for its “brilliant” handling of populist, but extraordinarily costly subsidising measures that put a severe dent into the public budgets.

However, for many Thais this behaviour, including the fourth reshuffle of the cabinet since 2011, was a wake-up call. They have realised that the ruling Pheu Thai party’s policy is not balanced and far too much dependent on influence from the ousted former prime minister and his cronies.

The positive thing of the whole mess is that public participation in Thailand is rising. Normally, not many people like to talk or discuss about political issues, and real political discourse is subdued. But many know there are shortcomings that the country needs to overcome quickly to not to miss the boat of the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community.

(Don’t  agree? — Read our doomsday scenario)

A sunshine scenario would be that Pheu Thai gets their house in order, present their core voters, the rural farmers and northern middle-class people, a diplomatically-balanced revised rice pledging scheme after this year’s harvests up to the next election elections in 2015, stands up and fights against the prevailing corruption brought to light again with the rice scheme and shows that their ministers and public figures can do more than just create confusion and mistrust in the public.

The current Thai government clearly misses leadership figures. Building such figures would restore public confidence and give a leitmotif for the people. Interaction with the media also needs to be improved, and the somewhat sinister matrix in the Thai political landscape between populists, democrats, royalists and army figures needs to be made transparent and cleared.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, when she took on the role as defense minister on June 30 and took over a seat in the Defense Council clearly showed that the government would not rule out another coup led by influential generals. That way, she can now overlook the development until the army leadership gets reshuffled as planned in October 2013 and, at best, place some conciliatory figures there.

Ideally, and if the Thai leadership succeeds in creating transparency and restoring confidence, the country can swing itself up again to the role as powerhouse of the region, unless it gets caught in internal fights that have put it back in its development for many times in its tumultuous history.

 

Join Inside Investor’s live discussion via Twitter on July 5, 5pm Malaysia time (GMT +8) to add your thoughts of Thailand’s political situation. Mention us and use the hashtag #askii.

 

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