Thaksin Shinawatra

#924
Most Popular
Boost

Birthday
Birth Sign
Leo

Thaksin Shinawatra is a Thai businessman who later went into politics and became the Prime Minister of Thailand at the start of the 2000s. In the middle of the 1800s, his family moved from China to Thailand, where they took the last name Shinawatra. By the time he was born, his family had become one of the wealthiest and most powerful in the province of Chiang Mai. He started out as a police officer and went on to become a successful businessman on his own. Later, he went into politics, and for two short times, he was the country’s vice prime minister. He was good at running things. During his time as Prime Minister, the number of poor people in the country went from 21,3% to 11,3%, and income in the poorest part of the country went up by 46%. He also started a system of free healthcare for everyone, changed the way schools work, and built up the country’s infrastructure. Even though Amnesty International criticized his policy against drugs, it did work to cut down on drug use. There was also a lot of corruption. But after a military coup in 2006, Thaksin was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to two years in prison even though he wasn’t there. He is now a refugee in Dubai.

Table of Contents

Early years and childhood

Thaksin Shinawatra was born on July 26, 1949, in the Thai village of San Kamphaeng, in the province of Chiang Mai. His parents, Loet Shinawatra and Yindi Ramingwong were from the country Burma. From 1969 to 1976, Loet was a member of parliament for Chiang Mai. Later, he left politics and went into business and farming, where he made a lot of money.

Thaksin lived in San Kamphaeng for the first 15 years of his life. At age 16, he moved to the city of Chang Mai. There, he went to Montfort College, which is one of Thailand’s best schools. At the same time, he started helping his father run one of the two movie theaters he owned.

Thaksin went to the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School after he graduated from high school. He then got into the Thai Police Cadet Academy. He got his diploma there in 1973 and went to work for the police.
Soon after that, he got a scholarship to study Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University (USA). In 1975, he got his master’s degree from that school. He went back to Thailand after that.

Thaksin now works at the Police Cadet Academy as a teacher. Later, he was given a special job in the office of the Prime Minister for a short time. After a while, he went back to the United States again. He got his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in 1978. (Texas).

Thaksin joined the police force again when he got back to Thailand. He was made the Deputy Superintendent of the Policy and Planning Subdivision. He also worked for the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the General Staff Division. When he left the police force in 1987, he was a lieutenant colonel.

As a businessman

Shinawatra started up different businesses while he was still a police officer. But they all failed, leaving him with a huge amount of debt. Later, he used his family and police connections to try to get into the service business, but that didn’t work out either. His luck started to get better at the start of 1986.

In April 1986, he started a business called Advanced Info Service to rent out computers. In 1987, he went into the entertainment business and sold a romance drama that was a big hit. He started his Shinawatra Computer and Communications Group this year. It went public in 1990.

Shinawatra began selling the PacLink Pager with Pacific Telesis in 1988. Later in 1989, he started IBC, a cable TV company, and Shinawatra DataCom, a data networking service that was later taken over by AIS and TOT. It is called Advance Data Network now.

Shinawatra changed his Advanced Info Service into a mobile networking business in the year 1990. He used his power to get a 20-year contract with the army that gave him a monopoly and made a lot of money from it. Later, he put all of his businesses under the Shin Corporation umbrella.

Thaksin Shinawatra got involved in politics in 1994. He was put in charge of foreign affairs right away by Chamlong Srimuang, the leader of the Palang Dharma Party (PDP). Later, when Chamlong’s popularity started to fall, Thaksin became the new leader of the PDP.

Thaksin was in charge of the PDP when it ran for Parliament in 1995. The party did not do well, even though he was elected from Bangkok. Later, it joined forces with the Chart Thai Party, which was led by Banharn Silpa-Archa, to form a government. Shinawatra was given the job of Deputy Prime Minister, which means he is in charge of traffic in Bangkok.

In August 1996, PDP left the coalition, which caused Banharn’s government to fall. Parliament was thrown out. In the fall of the same year, Thaksin Shinawatra and a few other MPs left the PDP. The next year, he was Chavalit Yongchaiyudh’s Deputy Prime Minister for a short time.

Thaksin helped start the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party in 1998. Right away, he started getting ready for the next election and started his campaign, promising to grow the economy, give everyone health care, stop farmers’ debt, take strong action against corruption, and other things.

When the next election for parliament was held on January 6, 2001, TRT won big with 40.6% of the vote. On February 9, 2001, King Bhumibol Adulyadej made Thaksin Shinawatra the Prime Minister of Thailand.

On April 3, 2001, an independent group called the National Counter Corruption Commission brought a case against him before the Constitutional Court for hiding his assets. But on August 3, 2001, he was found not guilty by a vote of 8-7.

By the following year, Thaksin had strengthened his position by taking over the Seritham Party. He also worked out plans with two smaller groups. Now that he had enough people in parliament, he could work without being stopped. He made a lot of changes to the economy that helped cut rural poverty by almost half in four years.

Thaksin also started the country’s first health care program for everyone and declared war on drugs. He also took on a huge plan to invest in infrastructure. When the tsunami hit in 2004, he helped right away. His was the first government-run by civilians to finish its full term.

In the general election of 2005, TRT won by a huge margin that had never been seen before. It then formed the government on its own. Thaksin Shinawatra got a second term as Prime Minister.

In 2006, he sold his company, “Shin Corporation,” to a foreign company for $2 billion. There was no capital gains tax on the deal. Also, it was against the law to sell a national utility company to someone from outside the country. Thaksin changed the law so that the sale could happen.

Because of this, protests broke out on their own in different parts of the country. Thaksin Shinawatra was also accused of corruption, authoritarianism, and putting a lid on the press.

Faced with these kinds of protests, Thaksin Shinawatra dissolved parliament in February 2006 and called for new elections in April. The big political parties didn’t run for office, so TRT won again. The Supreme Court said that the results were not correct.

Because of the court’s decision, Thaksin Shinawatra did not take over as leader. Instead, he stayed in charge as the interim leader. Then, in October, he asked for new elections.

In September, he went to New York with his family to speak at the Council on Foreign Relations and attend the United Nations summit. On September 19, 2006, there was a military coup in Thailand that got rid of him. Since then, he has been living away from home.

Thaksin Shinawatra first went to Britain, where some of his family lived after he was kicked out of power. He asked for asylum but was turned down. He moved around from country to country for a short time, and then he became a citizen of Montenegro through its economic citizenship program.

Thaksin says that he put millions of dollars into the country’s tourism industry so that he could get citizenship. But once he got his citizenship, he started spending a lot of time in London and Dubai.

In June 2007, Thaksin’s Thai assets were frozen by the Thai government after a court order. They also made it illegal for the TRT Party and most of its leaders, including Thaksin, to vote for five years.

Thaksin and his wife went back to Thailand in June 2008 to face charges of bribery. When his wife was found guilty of tax evasion, however, they were out on bail and left the country.

Thaksin was found guilty of corruption in 2008, even though he wasn’t there to defend himself. He was sentenced to two years in prison. In 2010, the government took the $1.4 billion in frozen assets that he had. Even though these claims were made, the Cambodian government hired Thaksin as a special economic advisor in November 2009.

At home, Thaksin Shinawatra still has a lot of fans. In July 2011, the majority of parliamentary seats went to the pro-Thaksin Phak Puea Thai Party, which was led by his younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. On July 3, 2011, she was named the Prime Minister.

His Personal Life

Thaksin married Potjaman Na Pombejra in 1976. He has three kids with her. Panthongtae is his son, and Pinthongtha and Praethongthan are his daughters. In 2008, they got a divorce.

Estimated Net Worth

According to Forbes, Thaksin Shinawatra has a net worth of $1.6 billion as of January 1, 2016. Thaksin Shinawatra started getting rich when, in 1986, he started Advanced Info Service, which became the most successful mobile phone company in Thailand.