Thaksin, the idea man

As usual, foreign prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was full of ideas and advice during his interview with our sister newspaper Post Today in Brunei recently. Listen to it in Thai and read the English translation at the same time.

Thaksin outlines his vision for a new Thailand

Thaksin Shinawatra spoke recently with NHA-KRAN LOAHAVILAI, editor of our sister newspaper Post Today and senior reporter WISSANU NUNTONG in Brunei to discuss his thoughts on the Thai economy and his advice to the Pheu Thai Party. You can see and hear it below.

The interview was in Thai, so it will be no problem for our Thai viewers. I have also included the loose (not word for word) English translation that appears with the video. I've included some definitions of important vocabulary at the end.

The disputes of the past five years can't be solved overnight, but there has to be a starting point.

The government has to serve as a leader for the reconciliation effort and fully support the work of the national reconciliation committee.''

The government also has to have a clear position that reconciliation must happen.

''[The government] needs support from all stakeholders, and it can't allow those parties with differences to stage a confrontation.

And what's most important is that everyone has to be willing to forgive, and work together for the cause of reconciliation, especially since December 5 is an important day [the 7th cycle birthday of His Majesty the King].

Everyone needs to lower their pride and join together. How can people of all colours, all sides, come together and offer our blessings [to His Majesty] to commemorate this auspicious occasion?

This is an important target for the reconciliation effort.

Our next target will come next year with the 80th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

A good beginning [to reconciliation] is important. The government has to start this process well, to give the public confidence.''

At this time, Yingluck is holding meetings every day, as far as I know. They are moving quickly to address the short-term problems, namely the high cost of living. They will enact measures to help reduce the cost of living.

Medium-term, the people's income and the country's economic fundamentals need to be strengthened.

Long-term, megaprojects need to be implemented to help support economic growth over the next, say, 10 years.

These projects including the new city to be built from the ocean dam project, water resources development, new Bangkok mass transit routes and the nationwide high-speed rail programme. They are considering the issues, including finding experts to help set up a plan with the civil service.

What is this new city project?

In the Gulf of Thailand the water level is relatively shallow for some 15 kilometres from the shore. We will build a dam 10 kilometres out. Beyond the dam land will be reclaimed out to another five kilometres to help deepen the waters, which will in turn help clean the ocean.

Beyond the dam, land will be reclaimed to essentially create 200,000 rai or 300 square kilometres of new land. This will become a new city. Whatever Bangkok lacks now, we can build there. For instance, we can build a modern Asian financial centre, or a global software development centre, or a film development centre similar to India's Bollywood.

Beyond the dam we can build new ports. Power will come from new wind farms. It will be a modern green city.

The high speed trains will include Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Korat and Bangkok-Hua Hin. These will be the first three routes. And then there will be a new route running from China, through Nong Khai and going down to the Malaysian border. New double-gauge tracks also need to be laid down since our existing rail system is outdated and has only a limited carrying capacity.

In terms of water management, we need to develop our assets to accept more water. Flood control systems have to be improved, and rivers will be linked to improve waterflow.

It might take seven years to complete this project.

Don't worry about financing. There are several methods. For example, the mass transit projects, we can pay with earnings from our agricultural goods – rubber, rice, sugar or tapioca. These are all products which are needed on the international market.

So those who want to sell their goods to us will in turn also become our customers.

We also need to develop the land around mass transit routes into little communities that can help generate revenue to help offset the investment costs.

Elections are based on rules. If the rules are fair, the referees are fair, then there aren't any problems.

It's like a football match. We might cheer for one team. They've played well, but lose on penalties. You can't blame the referee. You have to respect the results.

''The loser simply goes back and practises, and tries to do better next time.

''You don't lose and quit, and you aren't always going to be the champ. Things move in seasons.''

''For anyone afraid I will seek retribution, they can come and see me and I'll gladly treat them to a meal in Dubai.''

I forgive everyone. There aren't any ill feelings. Now, this doesn't mean that we will have to work together. There are a lot of things involved in working together. But that doesn't have anything to do with ill feelings.

For Khun Abhisit, he's seen a lot already in politics. [The election] was in line with the rules. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose, and prepare for next time.

Regardless, every party is working for the country, so let's help each other.

The rules are clear: it's the public that chooses. Whoever they choose, they then go and perform their duty. The losing party goes and performs a different duty.

I've always said that I don't want to be part of the problem – I want to be part of the solution, or part of the process in helping solve the problems.

I return and it helps things improve, then great, but if it makes things worse, then I won't return. I can continue to pursue my interests abroad.

dispute – a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
overnight – suddenly or quickly, e.g., in one night ในเวลาอันสั้น, ข้ามคืน,อย่างรวดเร็ว
reconciliation – the process of creating a new and friendly relationship again with someone you argued with or fought with การปรองดอง
position – stance; an attitude or view about an issue that you state clearly; position จุดยืน
stakeholder – someone who has an interest in the success of a plan, system, or organization, for example a worker in a company or the parent of a child at a school ผู้ถือผลประโยชน์ร่วม
stage – to organise an event or activity จัด, ก่อให้เกิด
confrontation – a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting การเผชิญหน้า
forgive – to stop feeling angry with somebody who has done something to harm, annoy or upset you ยกโทษให้, อภัยให้
cause – an aim, idea, or organisation that you support or work for  วัตถุประสงค์ อุดมการณ์
pride – the feeling that you are better or more important than other people ความภาคภูมิใจ, ความทะนงตน
commemorate – to remember someone or something officially การระลึกถึง
auspicious - suggesting a positive and successful future ที่มีฤกษ์ดี
occasion – a special event, ceremony or celebration โอกาส, งาน
target – a particular number or amount that you want to achieve เป้าหมาย
confidence – the quality of being certain ความมั่นใจ
address – to deal with a problem จัดการปัญหา
enact –to pass into law ออกกฎหมาย
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
civil service – the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action ราชการพลเรือน.
economic fundamentals – basic economic measures such as interest rates, government income and spending, exports and imports), inflation, confidence, the inflation rate, employment, home prices, stock prices, etc. ปัจจัยพื้นฐานทางเศรษฐกิจ
implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำ แผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ
resources – things such as water, coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากร
mass transit – the system of moving large numbers of people around in a city, including buses, trains, subways, etc.  การขนส่งมวลชน
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
shallow – not deep ตื้น
reclaim – to make land that is naturally too wet or too dry suitable to be built on, farmed, etc  ถมทะเลหรือคลองให้เป็นพื้นดิน
essentially – the true, important or basic nature of somebody/something เป็นหลัก, อย่างตามความจริง
gauge – the distance between the rails of a railway/railroad track or the wheels of a train
outdated – old and no longer suitable or useful ล้าสมัย, ที่พ้นสมัย
capacity – the total amount or number that can be contained or handled ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
assets – things owned by a country, person, company etc. ทรัพย์สิน
link – to connect เชื่อม
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
generate – to produce ก่อให้เกิด
revenue – income from taxes or business activities รายได้
offset – to balance the effect of something, with the result that there is no advantage or disadvantage ชดเชย
referee – a person who is in charge of a sports game and who makes certain that the rules are followed ผู้ตัดสิน, กรรมการตัดสิน
respect – to accept the importance of something; to act according to a rule or law เคารพ
retribution – severe punishment for something seriously wrong that somebody has done การแก้แค้น, การจองเวร,กรรมสนอง
ill feelings – anger between people, especially after an argument or disagreement ความไม่เป็นมิตร, การมีเจตนาไม่ดี
in line with – following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with สอดคล้องกับ
regardless – paying no attention, even if the situation is bad or there are difficultiess ไม่ว่าอย่างไรก็ตาม,
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
pursue – to try to achieve something ดำเนินตาม, พยายามเพื่อให้ได้มาซึ่ง
interests – good results or an advantage for somebody/something ประโยชน์ส่วนบุคคล
abroad – in or to a foreign country  ในต่างประเทศ

Related search: Thaksin Shinawatra, interview with Post Today

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager