A Thai hero's remarkable contributions get an airing

Next Wednesday will be the centennial of the late Puey Ungphakorn, known as the founding father of modern Thai economy and recently named by UNESCO as one of the world's most important people for his "impeccable ethics".

A scene from the series.

To celebrate his remarkable contributions to Thailand, ThaiPBS will run a documentary series recounting his momentous life.

Puey Ungphakorn: Jark Kan Manda Theung Cherng Takorn (From Womb To Tomb) will air every Saturday throughout March, starting tomorrow night from 9.10pm.

The series is divided into four episodes. The first retells the story of his early life as the industrious son of a poor Chinese immigrant family, whose academic excellence and work ethic led to him receiving an elite education from Assumption College, Thammasat University, and a scholarship for master's and doctorate degrees at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He then played an eventful role during World War II, when he joined the Seri Thai Movement, providing resistance against the Japanese.

The second episode illustrates how Puey helped to change the Thai economic system from a military-dominant oligarchy to a more liberal system, when he started working at the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand, where he was responsible for maintaining integrity, and for working with a number of junta leaders like Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat and Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn.

The third episode follows his transformation from economic tsar to rector at Thammasat University during the 1970s. The last episode will capture his life of exile in the UK, and conclude with the legacy he left for Thailand in economic, political, educational and social development. 

Apart from interviews with his family, friends and colleagues, the series will show unseen footage, including that recorded by Puey's wife, Magaret Ungphakorn, and footage showing Puey with his kids during his exile in the UK, provided by his family members. The voice of Ajarn Puey will be dubbed by Seksan Prasertkul, a student activist during the 70s and a national artist and writer. 

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