Sunday, December 14, 2008

The sort of people involved in Thai politics pt.6

"I regret that I had supported a wrong person. Now I am well aware that he is the one who has corrupted throughout his term,"
February 2006

"Since I was born, I've never seen anyone who is as untrustworthy as Thaksin"
August 2006

"I think I can ask him not to phone in if I am on this mission"
December 2008

Snoh (also called 'Sanoh') Thientong is a petulant child, even by the standards of Thai politicians.

This old school, godfather type politician has always been the type who is low on any ideology or policies - apart from providing a few bits of scenery for his own province - and high on histrionics and argumentative rhetoric.

Snoh was a key supporter of Thaksin in the early days until he suddenly decided that Thaksin had not given him an important enough post (chief whip). Suddenly, Snoh felt enraged and made a string of public declarations that "who stays on as Prime Minister depends on me".

Thaksin ignored the dummy throwing and continued, so Snoh become more and more outspoken, eventually becoming an outright rebel. He assisted university students as a witness in a mock trial of Thaksin Shiniwatra. He even appeared on a PAD stage in the first wave of protests.

After the coup, Snoh formed his own party. There he bored the pants off of everyone by rambling for two hours - he didn't stop, he had to be "accidentally interrupted" in classic Thai style. Snoh lamented about Thaksin's corruption and claimed he had never been involved in a scandal in his whole career.

This could be partly due to the fact that Snoh, like Banharn, has such influence in his province. Still, it seems he forgot the saga of the Alpine Golf Club. In brief: in 1990 Interior Minister Snoh transferred land that had been donated to a temple to a foundation, the foundation sold the land the same day to a company in which Snoh's wife and brother were major partners. It was later made into a golf club.

And now in 2008, with The Democrats looking to take leadership in the house and Snoh's small coalition party looking stuck without gain, our main man has suddenly become obsessively interested in a 'unity government' with a 'small party leader as PM'.

Now I just can't figure out what he could possibly be getting at with that idea, can anyone shed some light? Sadly, his high profile dinner party to show his importance in the matter didn't go to plan.

Snoh apparently decided that his past feud with Thaksin meant nothing and loudly proclaimed: "I can ask to stop Thaksin's phone in the Saturday". Indeed, Thaksin's live phone was prevented, though it seems Thientong had little to do with it. If I didn't know better, I'd say Snoh knew the live phone in wouldn't happen and decided to preempt the credit for it, in a desperate bid to revive his image as a man of influence.

But, surely a man so interested in a 'unity government' wouldn't do such a thing.

No comments: