VIEW: The challenge for Yingluck is to addess issues about Thaksin

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra chooses her exposure to the press very carefully. She rarely gives "exclusive" interviews to the media, and when she does, it can be quite revealing, especially on sensitive issues about her elder brother Thaksin.

It's important that when she does speak to a newspaper on an exclusive basis, she is certain that probing, follow-up questions will not be posed. She can then make statements that don't necessarily answer the questions. The absence of pressure from the interviewer is probably the main reason behind these kinds of "scoops".

The "Thaksin question" is duly asked, of course. And the queries are "duly" responded to. You don't get clear answers, though. You get the typical Yingluck's responses that may or may not satisfy your curiosity. But those are the kind of answers that have, strangely enough, become the acceptable norm, at least for some reporters covering the PM's beat.

A Thai daily published an exclusive interview with the premier on December 28. At least four questions were directly related to Thaksin.

Q: The government is still attached to the name of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister. How will the government "cross over" from Thaksin?

Yingluck: I must say it's a part of the political problem. It stems from a conflict [in which] people are on opposite sides. It is not possible to make people with different opinions see things the same way in one day. It takes time to adjust the tune. That means mutual sympathy. They must talk to one another. His Majesty the King's advice on December 5 is what we would like everyone to adhere to.

Q: [On the proposed constitutional amendments] Police Lieutenant Colonel Thaksin Shinawatra has already phoned in (to tell the party and government) what to do in the new year.

Yingluck: Thaksin is just one voice, just like the rest of the people. Today, the red shirts have their own position. The opposition has its own stand. Political parties have their own positions. Then there are the people. There are also academic groups. What I would like to say is that whatever is called representing the most people should be proposed.

Q: The name of Thaksin seems to be the crux of the problem. How do you overcome or reduce pressure from the friction?

Yingluck: Here, we should talk to one another to clarify the issues. We should clearly specify the people's interests, then we will see the government's clear intention to make a move that benefits the majority of the people.

As I have always said, the movie hasn't even started to run; we can't possibly say how it will end. So, let the middle part of the movie be screened first, so that the people can watch the movie from the beginning. Then, we can say how it will end. As to the view that the [movie] director hasn't replaced the characters, the viewers' feeling remains the same. I only believe in the facts, and perhaps the director may be more sympathetic.

Q: Are you concerned about the "invisible hand" that once created trouble for the Thaksin government?

Yingluck: Today, there are only two hands. Today, we have duties to perform. I believe the people can see that. I am not concerned about anything, be it politics or economics. We believe we have duties to perform; we must do our best. As to the corruption issue, we will have to move ahead vigorously. We will get down to details to block gaps at various levels, by using IT and computer systems to check on them to reduce duplications and to close the corruption gap as much as possible. Anyhow, we are ready to come under inspection.

The interviewer let the PM go at that. There were no follow-up questions. Neither was there any attempt to get clarifications on the ambiguous statements.

She then gave a television channel another "exclusive". The questions weren't all that tough and her answers were slightly clearer.

But it was at a year-end press conference that the premier actually said something more specific. She was asked more or less the same question: How does she react to criticism that her government is only serving one person - her brother Thaksin.

She probably knew that, in the presence of an army of reporters, she couldn't just swing it with a stereotyped statement again. So she said: "If I did that, then the people wouldn't vote me back in the next time."

That, at least, was more like it. The standard response to the most sensitive question for the premier has now been upgraded to a new level. Of course, we will need reporters to follow up with further questioning to that reply.

The PM has perhaps "graduated" - from denying all, to confronting the difficult questions, to facing the sensitive ones. She might have, along the way, found her own answers to those previously "unanswerable" queries. It's time for her to be her real self and face up to the challenge.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a movement in the West Valley Fault. The West Valley Fault has moved four times in the past 1,400 years at an interval …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options