Natee in the running for top job at NBTC

Natee in the running for top job at NBTC

Col Natee: Expressed strong interest
Col Natee: Expressed strong interest

Col Natee Sukonrat, vice-chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), is interested in applying for the post of secretary-general of the regulator once the recruitment process begins, according to a source close to him who requested anonymity.

The NBTC secretary-general seat has been vacant since July 2020 after Takorn Tantasith ended his term.

Trairat Viriyasirikul, deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, has been serving as acting secretary-general until the new board recruits someone for the position.

The source said Col Natee has expressed strong interest in the secretary-general position and is confident he would be chosen by the new board.

"See you in three months in the NBTC management role," the source quoted Col Natee as saying.

Col Natee has a close relationship with Torpong Selanon, president of the Thailand Association of the Blind, one of the five candidates chosen by the Senate in December to become new NBTC board members, according to the source.

Col Natee and Mr Torpong worked together as commissioners in the now-defunct National Telecommunications Commission.

The five chosen candidates are this month expected to receive royal endorsement to become commissioners. After being royally endorsed, they can start work.

According to the source, Col Natee also has a good personal relationship with military figures as well as those in the business sector, particularly the broadcasting field.

"Although the recruitment process for the secretary-general seat must be done through the decision of the new board, the name for the position is always picked by the government's top management," the source said.

Contacted by the Bangkok Post, Col Natee said he was not able to comment on the matter as he was travelling in the US.

The existing six commissioners will end their role once the new board members are royally endorsed.

They are working under a special extension term granted by the previous military regime, as the board's working term officially ended in October 2017.

The five chosen new board members comprise: Air Marshal Thanapant Raicharoen, deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, in the broadcasting field; Pirongrong Ramasoota, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Communication Arts, in the TV field; Dr Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck, a medical specialist and a former member of the defunct National Legislative Assembly, in the field of consumer protection; Torpong Selanon, president of the Thailand Association of the Blind, in the field of people's liberty and rights promotion; and Suphat Suphachalasai, director of Thammasat University's Institute of Area Studies, in the economic field. Dr Sarana is expected to be elected board chairman.

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