By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PRIME MINISTER Chuan Leekpai today (Sep.12) tacitly advised his current successor Srettha Thavisin to never follow in the footsteps of one of his predecessors who had been given jail sentences for convicted misconduct charges and consequently taken self-exile abroad.
Though Chuan did not name names during the second day of debate on the Pheu Thai-led government’s policy statement at parliament, the former prime minister/former House speaker apparently referred to de facto Pheu Thai boss/former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra whose sister/former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra had successfully pushed for the naming of Srettha for prime minister following the May 14 election.
Known for his occasional speeches virtually compared to a ”razor coated with honey”, Chuan gave his unsolicited advice to Srettha that the current prime minister practically never get himself involved in any misconduct in office which, he said, could possibly land him a jail sentence or prompt him to seek self-exile abroad as had been the case of the de facto Pheu Thai boss over the last 17 years.
”My advice for the prime minister is that you should never cross the line or else you might land yourself a jail sentence which might only prompt you to flee to a foreign country for a wrongdoing which may have been perpetrated at any time,” Chuan told Srettha during floor debate.
The former prime minister/former Democrat leader had earlier taken the Shinawatra family to task over alleged misconduct in office and joined Bangkok street protests against the Yingluck government which culminated in the coup staged by de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/former prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in 2014.
Yingluck, known as personally associated with the current successor, is more or less speculated to follow suit of Thaksin returning from self-exile overseas since her brother did so on Aug.22 without being literally put behind bars and has been instead admitted to Police Hospital for ”illnesses.”
However, Thaksin’s eight-year jail term earlier delivered in his absentia has been already curtailed under royal pardon to only one year with the probability of being released on parole around the end of this year.
Srettha said he was ready to accept criticism, suggestions and the warning given by Chuan while pointing out that it is because he loved the country that took the helm of government and aims to improve Thai people’s lives.
“Personally I am sure the government that comes from the people will give importance to bringing peace to the three southern border provinces.
“This is no less important than stimulating the economy.
“Discrimination has been debated for a long time but action speaks louder than words on how this government will run the country,” he said.
Srettha added that over the next two weeks he will again go to Phuket with the idea of using the name Andaman International Airport rather than Phuket International Airport so that this airport covers Phuket, Phang Na, Krabi and Ranong provinces.
Srettha pointed out that the Pheu Thai Party does not have a single MP from these four southern provinces with this underscoring his intention of being the Prime Minister and leading a government for all Thai people.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, left in above photo and right in Front Page photo, and former prime minister and MP Chuan Leekpai. Top photo: Matichon, Front Page photo: TV Channel 7