Tag Archives: Thai Politics

In decrying corruption, elites must show consistency

Another good op-ed in the Bangkok Post this clearly stating the inconsistencies in Thailand today.

So what does this mean for the market? Well my viewpoint is very simply how many more negative events can hit Thailand? Far and far less, yes there is a fear of the Red Shirts under Jatuporn creating more noise and protests in Bangkok, but thats really it, yes we know the thai economy is rubbish at the moment, but that’s now in the past, each and every negative factor that could’ve hit Thailand already has and now things can only get better.

One of the most ridiculous court cases in our history must be the Democrat Party’s attempted petition to have the Feb 2 election annulled on the grounds that the poll could not be completed in one day. The election could not be completed because firstly, the Democrats boycotted it and secondly, because anti-government protesters physically blocked polling booths. Therefore, it’s rather like an arsonist setting fire to their own house and then blaming the fire brigade for not putting out the fire in time.

Source: Bangkok Post

Revisiting recent history

I was just doing research looking for information on a property company in Thailand, which led me to reading about politicians and then inspired a phone conversation with a friend about how much under the table money had to be paid just for an energy project in Thailand and then somehow led me to this “old” (it is only 6 years ago) on Thai politics from the BBC (its crazy how the internet works)

The godfathers did not go away. Instead, recognising this new political phenomenon, they opted to move under the Thai Rak Thai umbrella. Newin Chidchob was one of them. 

Mr Thaksin’s wealth and personal popularity gave him a far stronger hand in dealing with the godfathers than any other party in Thailand’s history, so his governments were not crippled by the demands of coalition partners, as his predecessors had been.

So the question that comes to mind is Which side are the godfathers taking now?

 Article Source: BBC


Random Thoughts: Political Humour

I think we are all getting a bit tired of the politics here and talking about it. Will the election go ahead now or not seems to be the next question, meh, I don’t know, the best comment I’ve had this week about the protesters is how they resemble the Tea Party in the US and that in time they will just go away however a reset button is needed for the entire political gambit here.

The below image was passed around our offices recently regarding a discussion on politics locally, and its spot-on!


Silly politics continues

What happened now?

Yesterday the House President called for an early bill debate today with 2nd and 3rd readings and votes by the end of this week and early next week and who sold off the market? Local institutions and prop desks (something we’ve been watching closely)…

So whats the timeline of events now?

  1. If the lower house accepts the bill there are still two more steps left, Senate voting and Constitution Court ruling
  2. Democrats are going to try their best and hold rallies today with 4 deputy leaders including K. Korn (ex FM) resigning from their posts to protest against the blanket amnesty bill.
  3. If protests get messy then we expect the government to just delay things as usual

What can we take away from all this?

Mr. T has been gone since 3Q08, this is the 4th attempt to get him back into the country but all past attempts failed between the House readings and Constitution Court hearings. “His” party, Pheu Thai, have only really been attempting half-arsed attempts to bring him back to Thailand and we still think that the majority of them are quite happy when he’s out of the country and not interrupting their daily routines, but if you look at things from Mr T’s viewpoint, he barely has any opposition today in government, the democrats are still considered weak in terms of their ability to win votes, for him this is as good a time as any to really force through an attempt to return Thailand however he’s going to have to modify the law to do so, no wonder he’s becoming more antsy.

Market impact?

Well volatility until this all clears up, if it ever does, and without the passing of the infrastructure bill, we will have a sideways range bound market til the end of year, or until LTF’s from local institutions begin to come in.

Random Thoughts: Will Barcelona lower protestor outcome?

With traffic worse than normal given a few roads being blocked off around Bangkok and protestors making the walk from Lumpini to Government House as off the time of writing (mind you there doesn’t look like there are many at all) we’ve been thinking aloud for the past few months that August wouldn’t be a great time to be fully invested given the obvious political noise coming around Thaksin’s 2nd attempt to return back to Thailand.

Volumes have already dropped to nearly 50% to THB 20-25 bn over the past few days and the market has been in a relatively sideways trend

setchartSo what’s going to happen now?

  • The next week or so will be one of volatility should Pheu Thai attempt to push through its anmensty and reconicilation bills strongly.
  • How quickly will this be resolved? Please they are starting this hubbub right before the Queen’s birthday, do you really expect them to make a decision and then kiss and make up? This will take a while.
  • Anything positive thus far? Well they’ve pushed through some economic-stimulus measures (hurrah!) related to private consumption, private investment, state expenditure and exports that will have begin to have an impact by 1Q14 (boo!).
  •  Finally, will Barcelona’s game against Thailand tonight result in a lack of protestors @ rallies?

Comment: Politics – same rubbish but with a twist?

So politics is coming back to the forefront of the news headlines, its been building up over the past few weeks and with the Internal Security Act invoked a few days ago, market participants have become more worried. We’ve also heard that Mr. T is becoming more and more agigtated and desperately wants to return to Thailand so further fears are building that the push for the amensty bill will be far more aggressive than it was at previous parliamentary hearings.

The timeline is as follows:

Aug 1 – Nov 28  Parliamentary session opens.
Aug 1 – Aug 10  The Internal Security Act is invoked.
Aug 4 – Aug 6  The Democrats holds a rally in Bangkok.
Aug-04 Pitak Siam Group rallies.
Aug 7 (13:00)  House debates on the amnesty bill.
Aug 14 – Aug 15  The 2014 fiscal budget bill is on the agenda.
Week after The Bt2tn infrastructure borrowing bill and the constitutional amendment will be on the agenda.
Oct International Court of Justice is expected to deliver a ruling on the Preah Vihear dispute.

So whats going to happen out of all this?

Continue reading Comment: Politics – same rubbish but with a twist?

Reconciliation bill postponed by Yingluck government

The House of Representatives, at its special meeting on Wednesday, voted 272-1 to move 10 bills up to the top of the agenda, placing them ahead of the four reconciliation bills.

Source: Bangkok Post

Plenty of press over Yingluck’s government pushing the reconciliation bill further down the Things to do List for Thai parliament. This is short-term positive for the market as it removes the uncertainty regarding the potential political turmoil if the Pheu Thai party had attempted at changing the rewriting the constitution and pushing through its amendment bill. But it will be interesting to see what happens going forward and what strategies Thaksin will employ to attempt to return back to Thailand.




Constitutional Court throws out petition against charter amendment bills

Thailand’s Constitutional Court has today thrown out each petition case filed regarding the charter amendment bills.

On the proposed amendment of Section 291 to set up an assembly to rewrite the entire constitution, the court ruled that this cannot be done, because the 2007 constitution received the people’s endorsement through a public referendum.

Therefore, a public referendum is required to decide whether the constitution should be amended in the entirety.

The court suggested the charter be amended by sections.

On the argument whether the charter amendment bill could be seen as intended to abolish the country’s democratic administration and the constitutional monarchy, the court ruled that the proposed amendment to Section 291 to set up a constitution drafting assembly cannot be taken as having such an intention.

The petitioners merely raised fears out of concerns for the monarchy, the court said.

Therefore, there as no reason to further consider whether the proposed change would lead to the dissolution of the political parties which supported the bill, the court said.

The court also dismissed a petition submitted by yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy core member Chamlong Srimuang that it delay the verdict.

Now what does this all mean?

  • This does help to reduce political tension because the PT party party won’t be dissolved, no more politicians banned, and the charter amendment bill can go ahead. Only Thaksin seems to lose from this as his fastest route back to Thailand (via the reconciliation bill) may be taken off the House’s agenda (win for anti-Thaksin folks) and from what I’m hearing several of the current politicians in his camp are happier that he isn’t here.
  • The stock market did react extremely positively today ending up +1.44%.
  • Thus as we’ve written here before, politics here is simply the equivalent of the local drama shows. Meh.

Source: Bangkok Post

Thaksin – The Berlusconi of Asia?

Funny little article on Bberg over the weekend on Thai politics. The writer, William Pesek, puts forth an idea to allow Thaksin to come back and prove himself.

Thaksin has been extraordinarily successful at three things since fleeing to avoid prison: playing the victim, drumming up support overseas and distracting Thailand’s leaders from moving on.

It’s time to call his bluff. Let the man return and prove that he’s not the crook that opposition forces claim. Force him to demonstrate he’s about more than just recouping his wealth. Make him stand before the Thai masses and explain his vision.

Source: Bloomberg

We’ve written a couple of times on local politics here and find it akin to the silly Thai drama TV shows shown weekly. All in all I highly doubt he’ll come back anytime soon 1.) old military folks still say that they would shoot him the moment he comes back; 2.) he is a crook, yes its fairly obvious, then again so are most politicians, and a fair number of civil servants (how else can the head of police have a few Porsches in his garage?); 3.) He can try to come back via the court system which we had posted earlier here, http://ThaiCapitalist.com/?p=1869. Meh, zzz, we’re just enjoying the Thai politics show and doubt there is much to worry about the time being.