Thaksin Shinawatra has been relatively quiet recently but he did meet with the Bangkok Post to suggest a plan for solving Thailand’s water problems
Many people still believe Thaksin Shinawatra is Thailand’s real prime minister behind the scenes.
That perception was strengthened by his video conference with the cabinet of the official prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, his younger sister.
Perhaps seeking to dispel that perception, Mr Thaksin has been relatively quiet recently, but yesterday he was back in the news after a dinner interview with the Bangkok Post at a fancy restaurant in Dubai.
As usual, Mr Thaksin was full of ideas, particularly on how to solve Thailand’s chronic water problems.
During the interview, he called for the government to invest in an integrated water management system to permanently solve inundation and drought problems.
Thaksin estimated such a system would cost up to 400 billion baht, but the huge investment would be worthwhile.
“This year alone I estimate that damage from the current flood will be more than 100 billion baht.”
Thaksin said an effective system would retain water in the rainy season and then release it in the dry season for agriculture.
Once the flood crisis is over, he will raise the idea with his sister and recommend she implement it as soon as possible.
“Looking at it from a positive perspective, the current flood crisis provides a good opportunity for the government to think about an integrated water management system and I believe all parties would agree with it,” he said.
Thaksin said the government might not have to pay for the project in cash as a barter trade deal could be reached. “We can pay for the project with our agricultural produce,” he said.
He pointed to countries with expertise in water management such as China and some Middle Eastern states. However, he said China could be a perfect choice as the offer of a deal involving farm produce would interest the Asian giant.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Pattnapong Chantranontwong and Soonruth Bunyamanee. You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/oSIVsV