Thaksin and Potjaman in Sanoh's Perceptions
( Last edit 2009-03-14 )
Sanoh in his interview article "Choose Thaksin or Choose Thailand?" claiming that he had superficially known Thaksin since 1986 when Thaksin was an escort police officer of a minister.
"Thaksin always tried to build connections with any political party top leaders for his business sake."
"When I changed to be the secretariat of the New Hope Party (Kwam Wang Mai), Thaksin gave (financial) support through General Chawalit Yongjaiyuth, the leader of the New Hope Party then. That is why Thaksin later got the seat of Deputy Prime Minister (in Chawalit's cabinet)."
"Even more, before Baht Crisis (1997), upon Amnuay Weerawan, the Financial Minister then, resignation there was an idea to assign the seat to Thaksin. I approached some reputable people and Kosit PanPiamrat accepted to help in the Financial Minister post. Instead, it turned out to be Thaksin brought in Thanong Pitaya, the Thai Military Bank Executive then, to take up the post behind my back when Thaksin conspired with General Chawalit and Pokin Polakul, the ex-Minister of the Office of the Prime Minister to appoint Thanong."
"Before floating the Baht currency (Tom Yam Koong Financial Crisis started in Thailand in 1997) , I did not know because I was the outsider of their circle. There were four people who got involved in the Baht depreciation, i.e. Chawalit, Thaksin, Thanong and Pokin. How much they knew, I do not know. They said they did not know. There was no receipt. However, if you ask me what was the result of the Baht floating. I would say it was obvious that only Thaksin alone survived. The result is obvious. Buying a lot of currency hedging or buying a lot of dollars before the declaration of Baht currency floating is like setting fire to one's own house to get the insurance reimbursment. The nation's economics is damaged just for the sake of self survival from the reimbursement." Sanoh said.
Sanoh said,"If you want to know what Thaksin is up to, you have to understand what kind of person he is, because the characteristic and the self of Thaksin dictate the behaviours of power usage and Thaksin's administration which, as a whole constitute Thaksin regime, which has both the system of administration of power and (unlawfully) earning benefits coinciding together."
"Thaksin has educational qualifications but lacks of a mature leadership. He has no leadership particularly at national level. He has no experience in administration of the bureaucratic system. Although he used to work as a police; it was not long. He spent spare time with his personal business.
He was a gambler and careless. He used to have (debt) problems with his business when he had to cash some cheques and was sued for bouncing cheques. He prefers doing business management as a quick thinker and a quick doer with marketing as a tool."
"I advised him that the policy of registration of being a poor was not feasible. It could not be just an announcement. If it was just a plain registration then people who have debts but are not poor would also get registered as well. It would be a mess." " I do not agree. Only with common sense, I could see that it could not be done. It would be possible only as numerical figures to be advertised in the election, but otherwise, it would never be materialized."
"Thaksin replied..Alas!..Sanoh, my brother, would a blind be afraid of a tiger? If we do not talk like this, how would we win the votes?" "His words prove that he is not honest with the declaration of the policies. He just declared it first and would find the ways to market it afterwards. He put the future at risk but secure the votes first."
"He is not interested in bureaucratic operational processes including SML projects. I warned him that it might be considered as vote-buying because it was during a general election." "Thaksin replied...What a pity brother!...The power is in our hands. The Election Control Commission is ours. The people are ours."
"Recently, before the general election on April 2, 2006, there was a violation of laws by hiring people to attend speech rallies. It was definitely illegal but the Election Control Commission was ignorant.", said Sanoh.
Sanoh said, "Thaksin once told his cabinet ministers...Do not take anything seriously. Just do what you are told (by me)." "Any of Thaksin's ministers who are serious, careful, cautiously warning, will not last long. Any ones who want to stay have to say "YES" only. For example, Pinit (Jarusombat) used to say...Mr.Prime Minister, I never heard anybody's idea as good as yours.''...Or Newin (Chidchob) always says..."Good, Boss. Good, Boss".
"For such reasons, for some ministers in election periods, there were always plenty of ballot cards fraudulently printed in excess, fully packed in their cars (ready to commit electoral frauds) . They will be warmly and closely supported as well as closely supervised later (by Thaksin)."
"Moreover, there have been family businesses allowed to get an entirely absolute control of the government's deals, starting from placing a whole set of staff from some business firms into various government offices without formal official positions. Practically, however, everybody in the Ministry would know who these people belong to. What to be done must be approved by these people. Simply, two or three agents take control of any deals in every ministry."
"He is like a manager sending people to take positions in various committees of the House of Representatives. As well, with the cabinet, if any Minister wants any of his projects to be approved and financed by the hugely allocated central budget, he must complete a negotiation with Thaksin's agents first."
"Several Ministers are approached by Thaksin's agents offering an easy approval of any projects for no matter how many billions they may cost, only to pay (TRT party) a ten per cent commission. It means with such commission, the Minister is able do anything whatsoever with just a project plan."
Sanoh said, "If any Minister does not do it, he will not be able to stay. When planning a project, project consultants with connections (to Thaksin) only are allowed to win the consulting contract. The best stealthiest method is a special procurement which skips standard processes. If a deadline is set to be strictly on a certain date, like Suwannapoom Airport, this special procurement (without standard bidding) will apply."
"With the ten-per-cent policy, the Minister must set up a project, starting from the budget figure first, to cover the ten per cent commission for the party. Then, he would negotiate the deal with the agent of Madam (Potjaman) to get an approval. Having done that, a Minister's reliable collaborator would take over the project for submission into the cabinet in which the PM will both present and formally approve the project in a single stroke. Cabinet ministers do not have to think or question. Even today, nobody knows how much of ten-per-cent commission would total. We may have to ask Madam (Potjaman)."
Sanoh said, "The most unbearable is the interference with the Governor of the Office of the Auditor-General of Thailand as well as the interference with the (Constitutional) Independent Entities (The Check and Balance Authorities : National Counter Corruption Committee, Election Control Commission, Constitution Court, House of Senate) and lese majesty" This is the last straw which made me rise up to debate on June 8, 2006 to declare a break up in the House (of Parliament). I can say, If he could have taken my life, he would have done that. He is revengeful but has not got the gut."
"Afterwards, some of Thaksin's men approached me several times. I frankly told them ...As it has gone so far, without his self-restraint, into an publicly exposed breaking up, the most important issue is the PM must be able to resolve all of the allegations."
"I also said...If (Thaksin, you ask for) we are going to dinner together now, what is next, then?...I prefer being a man to being a (lying) dog...Please."
Sanoh said, "Before all these problems, I tried to warn (Thaksin) but it turned out to be conflicting with his benefits in all aspects. For example, I warned (Thaksin) about some ministers committing corruption because I thought he did not know. To my big surprise, Thaksin himself ordered all those. Any Ministers who did not follow the orders, later could not stay on."
"The current conflicts originated from the only single cause, that is Thaksin. This person cheated to get the power. With power in his hands, he remains cheating. He is extremely dangerous to the country because he has educational qualifications. He conspires to take advantage on others. It is so disgraceful of him in being the country's leader."
"I remember his words to me... Brother Sanoh, I am ready. Some assets are given to my children. Some are given to my parents. My wealth is so much abundant that till death, I cannot consume all. The rest of the assets will be for the country, a payback to the homeland."
"I was once lured by those words, and believed that it was possible for a person after getting rich, can turn back to payback to the homeland. Now, I know the truths. Being rich from cheating the country, daring to set fire to the country for the reimbursement, he would never be rich enough. Not paying back to the homeland is not enough for him, he still cheats on and betrays the homeland."
Sanoh said, "I used to warn Madam Aw (Potjaman)...Sister, if you get another 100 billion, what would you do?...They said...I know. But being in politics, we have to pay. So, it must be considered a business."
"I seriously warned them so badly that...In the future, if the worst may come, it is going to be the leaders who suffer most." She said... "I know. If Thaksin is to step down, Thai Rak Thai party must last for at least two terms to cover up for safety."
Who is Sanoh Tienthong "The Premier Maker" ?
Sanoh Tienthong is an old politician, now in his eighty, with life-long right-wing old style politics which possess no real political ideology apart from self interests. Through his personal influence and wealth, he could get hold of a lot of MPs which made him a powerful leader of political factions in the lower northeast. Before any general elections, if Sanoh had promised a good deal with any other parties' owners, he would turn his full support for that promising new deal by joining the promised party with his moderate-size faction which is called Wang Nam Yen.
In the past three decades, with Sanoh's support, several PMs of Thailand such as Chartchai Chunhawan of Chart Patana party, Banharn Silpa-archa of Chart Thai party, General Chawalit Yongjaiyuth of Kwam Wang Mai (New Hope) party and Thaksin Shinawatra of Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party, could all rise up to the PM seats.
After Sanoh joined Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT), Thaksin, through a direct undertable monthly 3,000USD payment to each MP, was able to get a strong grip on all the coalition factions to make a well consolidated TRT Party. Sanoh felt he was betrayed by Thaksin because Sanoh lost all his control on his faction as Thaksin stole all of the MPs from him. Sanoh, also deposed by Thaksin from all influential authority seats, then turned to viciously attack Thaksin and joined PAD's rally on the stage in early 2006. Definitely, Sanoh's speeches in that period gave the actual perspectives from one of Thaksin's collaborators on the real Thaksin and Potjaman.
However, after People's Power Party (PPP) under Thaksin financial support for vote-buying reclaimed the victorious majority in the beginning of 2008 and formed a coalition government, Sanoh with new but much smaller size Pracharat Party joined PPP to form a coalition government with PM Samak Sundaravej, Thaksin's proxy, Sanoh turned silent which would be a sign of reconciliation with Thaksin, interests-wise.