One of Andrew’s recent posts discussed the electoral importance of “support” in the northern Thai village of Baan Tiam. The implications of dispensing local strategic largesse to facilitate national political success was the focus of that essay. This is a crucial, ongoing issue, and one that requires further reflection.
In the same week, junta-installed Prime Minister, Surayud Chulanont, announced a 10 billion baht splurge on “sufficiency populism“.
And now, The Nation, reports that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s “populist” generosity has not ended with the military coup. According to its coverage:
In a video clip on the website hi-thaksin.net the former prime minister said he had learned some overseas students on scholarships had problems with money.
The scholarships were funded by proceeds from the controversial two- and three-digit lotteries, which were scrapped recently after it was revealed that they were set up without a proper legal basis.
Thaksin met some of the students during his travels. He advised them to apply for help from the Shinawatra family’s Thaicom Foundation.
“If any students are in financial difficulty – they have to really be in trouble – then I will ask the [foundation] committee to consider their applications,” he said.
In addition, Thaksin said he wanted Thailand to return to be a democracy.