His "white lies" admission has drawn heavy criticism, but PM Yingluck yesterday defended Finance Minister and Deputy PM Kittirat Na-Ranong, saying he had good intentions.
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His critics are going after him non-stop but Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong (left) still enjoys the support of his boss, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. THITI WANNAMONTHA
Kittirat gets a powerful defender
After days of heavy criticism for admitting he tells "white lies" about the economy, Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong finally got an important defender: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra herself.
The premier said Monday that while she had never ordered or given permission for cabinet ministers to tell lies to the public, she said she believed Mr Kittiratt, also a deputy prime minister, had good intentions for the country.
Mr Kittiratt has been bombarded with criticism since he conceded that this year's export growth would likely not reach the government-set 15% target, a target he admitted he knew was unrealistic from the start.
On Tuesday, the government officially cut its export target for 2012 to 9% growth, a figure many economists still believe is overly optimistic.
"The finance minister can lie about some things, such as export targets," Mr Kittiratt said last week. “But these are white lies," he said, meaning they are intended to be beneficial – in this case to boost investor confidence in the Thai economy.
As expected, Mr Kittiratt's admission drew an immediate response from the opposition.
"I cannot believe that such statements [by Mr Kittiratt] will result in stronger confidence in the economy," said Korn Chatikavanij, who served as finance minister under the Abhisit Vejjajiva government.
"Quite the contrary. This can only cause confidence to decline."
Mr Korn was soon joined by three other former finance ministers, Pridiyathorn Devakula, Surakiart Sathirathai and Thanong Bidaya who all shared the view that a finance minister cannot lie to the public.
With the prime minister on his side, however, Mr Kittirat's position as finance minister seems secure, but the criticism is likely to continue for some time.
Yesterday Senator Kamnoon Sitthisamarn said he believed Mr Kittiratt could have breached the PM's Office code of ethics for civil servants and politicians by lying and said he must resign to show responsibility or at least apologise to the public.
Adapted from stories from Bangkok Post reporters.
critic – a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
defender – a person who defends and believes in protecting something/someone ผู้ป้องกัน,ผู้ปกป้อง,ผู้พิทักษ์
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
lie – to say or write something that you know is not true โกหก, พูดเท็จ
white lie – a harmless or small lie, especially one that you tell to avoid hurting somebody คำโกหกเล็ก ๆ น้อย ๆ ที่สุภาพหรือให้อภัยได้
permission – allowing someone to do something การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
cabinet minister – a member of the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy รัฐมนตรี
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
intention – a plan in your mind to do something ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
bombard – to ask someone so many questions, give them so much information etc that it is difficult for them to deal with it all ระดม (คำถาม ความคิด คำวิจารณ์) เข้าใส่
concede – to admit that something is true ยอมรับว่าถูก
export – the selling and transporting of goods to another country สินค้าออก, การส่งสินค้าออกไปต่างประเทศ
target – a particular number or amount that you want to achieve เป้าหมาย
unrealistic – based on hopes or wishes, and not on what is likely or possible ดูไม่สมจริง, ไม่เป็นความจริง
figure – a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข
optimistic – expecting good things to happen or to be successful โดยคาดหวังสิ่งที่ดี
beneficial – helpful or good มีประโยชน์
boost – to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
investor – a person or organization that invests money, i.e., uses money with the aim of making a profit from it, for example by buying property or buying shares in a company นักลงทุน
confidence – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future ความมั่นใจ
admission – agreeing that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it การยอมรับ
drew (past of draw) – attracted ดึงดูด
immediate – happening or done now, without any delay ทันทีทันใด
response – a reaction to something that has happened or been said การตอบสนอง
the opposition – the elected politicians who belong to the largest party which does not form the government พรรคฝ่ายค้าน
contrary – completely different or opposed to something else ตรงข้าม
decline – to become less or worse ลดลง
on his side – supporting him
secure – safe from attack or harm ปลอดภัย
breach – to fail to follow a law or rule ละเมิดกฎข้อบังคับ
code of ethics – the rules of morally proper behaviour ประมวลจริยธรรม, ระเบียบวินัย
civil servant – someone who works for a government department ข้าราชการ
resign – to leave a job permanently ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
responsibility – deserving to be blamed for something that has happened ความรับผิดชอบ
apologise – to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem ขอโทษ
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