City’s New Directors; Thaksin Dispenses Political Advice to Old Allies

The official City website is listing the three new directors who have come in to accompany Thaksin’s takeover of the chairman’s role. These include his daughter Pintongta Shinawatra, recently a student at the London School of Economics, and his son Panthongtae Shinawatra, who has worked professionally as a photographer. Both siblings have been involved in the Thaksin family business before; Pintongta was reportedly the largest single shareholder in the Shin Corporation at the time of its sale in 2006, while Panthongtae was investigated and given a minor fine for previously erroneous reporting of his holdings. Panthongtae was also the centre of a controversy surrounding the awarding of a 2004 advertising contract with Bangkok Metro to his new firm; critics called the arrangement nepotistic.

Also joining the board is Sasin Monvoisin, desscribed by the Independent as the “wife of the former Thai ambassador Vikrom Koompirochana and a current director of the UK Sports Investments vehicle created to facilitate the deal.”

Meanwhile, it is being reported in Thailand that Thaksin has been dispensing political advice to some of his old Thai Rak Thai political associates as they prepare for eventual elections, via a 15-minute video shown at a meeting of supporters this week. The video reportedly urged the group to remind voters of Thailand’s good economic record on his watch as they contest the elections.

This hardly sounds like the words of someone determined to stay out of Thai politics, but Thaksin has insisted that he has no plans personally to return to public office in Thailand.

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