Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Fall of Thaksin

This week has been a rather chaotic week for Thailand and the rest of the World. We saw the military under General Sonthi Boonyaragtlin overthrowing Mr Thaksin and placing Thailand under military control.

No doubt many opposition parties had alledged in the past that Mr Thaksin was corrupt or favours his cronies, but his pro-farmer policies had the support of many people in Northern Thailand, where rice is the main produce.

I think the bubble was burst when Thaksin sold Shin Corp to Temasek. He sold a "National Asset" to a foreign company which as links to a foreign government (Singapore), and did not have to pay a single cent of tax to the country despite the size of the transaction. It led to the people boycotting Shin Corp, a call to investigate Temasek's intentions, and ultimately the boycotting of the whole General Elections in Thailand, leading to a landslide victory for the Thai Rak Thai Party. The independent commitee has since ruled the election as unconstitutional and called for new elections.

Thus, the buying of Shin Corp served as a catalyst for stroking the flames and indirectly led to his ouster.

In future, we should think of all possible implications of any investment, not just restricted to economic factors but including political and national sentiment of the people.

Side note: Do read this article http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2006/yax-655.htm

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