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Yingluck Shinawatra - Tungsten Lady.

Updated on July 3, 2011
At her first public appearance as new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra; here fielding a potentially difficult questions and win all out.
At her first public appearance as new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra; here fielding a potentially difficult questions and win all out.


It is now a bit more than a decade that I call Thailand my home. I can still remember the first time I arrived, driving through Bangkok there was the ever present sight of semi-constructed buildings on every street block. The signs of a fast paces active growing economy that came to a sudden collapse. Sometimes it reminded me of a war zone; sometimes I had the notion of what life will be like when the biblical rapture might take place.

Thailand was engulfed in the deep disaster following the ASEAN economic disaster of 1997/1998. In February 2001 Thaksin Shinawatra became the democratic elected Prime Minister of Thailand; in effect taking over the country with a debt of more than 14 Billion US$ to the IMF. By 2003 he brought Thailand to the stage where a 'substantial' part of that loan was repaid and on 31 July 2003 Thaksin (In Thailand it is more common to use first name) announced the full repayment of the IMF loan by Thailand - two years ahead of schedule.

Since his coming to power Prime Minister Shinawatra walked a dangerous road - not that which he was accused of (I believe falsely accused) but he embarked on an upliftment of the poor and general population. Education, social security, medical care and above all to ensure a better life for the workers class of Thailand. This was the problem where Thaksin caused opposition from the elite society. Thaksin Shinawatra was the first ever political leader and Prime Minister in Thailand not only to stay in power for his full term, but to be elected for a second term. In the middle of his second term he was ousted by a military coup and the opposition (from Elite Thai society) was placed in government in Sept 2006. That was supposed to last for three months until a democratic election could be arranged - but it lasted five years.

A new election took place in 2008 and the Peoples Power Party, which was supported by Thaksin, won the elections. The military installed government somehow got this new democratic elected party to be 'Banned and disbanded by the Supreme Court and remained in power until July 2011.

The same leaders of the old People's Alliance for Democracy (By changes in Constitution dissolved), later formed the People's Power Party (Banned by Supreme Court) currently are the Pheu Thai Party - supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra. Finally a new election was held on 3 July 2011 and the PTP won by a landslide. Preliminary results shows the Pheu Thai Party 'For Thai Party' won at least 264 of the 500 seat government while the 'Democratic' Party of Abhist Vejjajiva only took 160 seats. Final results could be as high as 310 seats for Yingluck Shinawatra.

Yingluck Shinawatra - Tungsten Lady.

On campaign; so unique in her own way.
On campaign; so unique in her own way.

Not only is this the first ever for Thailand to have a woman leading the county, but now Thailand certainly has the most beautiful Prime Minister in the world - ever. Born on 21st June 1967 she is from Royal descent with her mother as Princess Yindee Shinawatara, daughter of 'Jantip of Chiang Mai Raminkwong'. Yingluck Shinawatra received bachelor's degree in Political Science and Public Admin from Chiangmai university in 1988 and went on to get a masters degree in Public Administration and Management Information from Kentucky State University in the USA; 1991. Yingluck Shinawatra had a successful business career in various family operations with her latest position as President of SC Asset Co. property development in Bangkok.

She refused to be involved in the politics and only when an overwhelming vote could not be declined politely anymore, on 16 May 2011 did Yingluck Shinawatra yield to accept the position as political leader in Pheu Thai Party to stand against the then government of Abhisit and the Democratic Party. That was an amazing 47 DAYS before the election day of 3 July 2011!

suai, ruai, keng AND respectful.
suai, ruai, keng AND respectful.

The electoral campaign of Yingluck Shinawatra was remarkable in a few concepts. Never did she attack the opposition or any person in any manner at all. Her focus was on telling the people that she is going to take care of the Thai people. Her first and foremost point is that of creating a unity and peace in the politically divided Thailand, to continue on the work of her brother to eradicate poverty, and make live for every Thai citizen a better life.

At present people see Yingluck Shinawatra as a proxy for her brother and just a 'stand in'. I think they are making a serious mistake. This woman has much more behind her than just a pretty front for Thaksin. I call her the Tungsten Lady because like Tungsten her appearance might be that of a common woman and pretty face - but there is a strength behind her that has not been seen in public - yet.

As President of SC Asset Co.
As President of SC Asset Co.

Carefully watching her TV appearances one can see she is absolutely in control - even of the less than complimentary news media and arrow pointed questions. I do expect a lot of surprises to come Thailand way from its new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. I am excited for the future of Thailand under this new leadership, a leader from the people for the people.

Yingluck embodies the “suai, ruai, keng” – a Thai description of “pretty, rich and smart” woman.
She looks youthful is confident and at ease; her face filled with ceaseless smiles.

On campaign.  She is rich, comfortable in any situation and not shy to be her natural friendly self in public.
On campaign. She is rich, comfortable in any situation and not shy to be her natural friendly self in public.

Behind the pretty smile is a steel hardened business woman. I am sure many a political opponent is going to feel the sharp pain of underestimating this lady!

Yingluck Shinawatra is one of those natural friendly people whom I think can even make a camera smile!


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    • Corrie Lamprecht profile imageAUTHOR

      Corrie Lamprecht 

      3 years ago from Thailand

      Thailand, Thaksin and the IMF.

      In retrospect on many issues that I always questioned.

      It has been a long question in my mind why Thailand turned so veraciously against Shinwatra Thaksin in 2006. After all, he did what no other leader or country could do. He pulled Thailand out of the sewerage hole in five years. Why? Yes, I know he was stepping on the toes of Bangkok elite but was that really the egg that broke under him. In review of some revelations I had in past few weeks, I reviewed, questioned and then went on a search...

      Thailand was - and still is - one of the strongest economies of South East Asia. In 1997 the South East Asian economies collapsed; with Thailand affected the worst.

      On 5 August the Thai Government accepted a US$17 Billion (Hmmm, Ukraine 2015 number??) from the IMF with a series of difficult economic measures. This followed with another $3.9 Billion on 20 August. Repayment was due in 2004. With these packages there were a lot of restrictions by the IMF and controls of the Thai Economy ceded to the IMF.

      On 15 August Thaksin Shinawatra became Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand. His approach was to run the country like a business – aimed at making a ‘profit’. This was exceptionally well done and on 31 July 2003 repay the final payment of $96 million. On 1st August 2003 Thaksin made this statement on National TV “Today we paid off the last batch of I.M.F. loans, lifting the commitment to the I.M.F. from our shoulders …”

      Thaksin’s continuing attacks on the IMF reinforced his popularity and consolidated support from large segments of the Thai Left. Describing the damage done to Thailand by IMF policies imposed through loan conditionality, Thaksin congratulated Thai citizens on this “victory” for the people and declared that: “We shall never go back to the days of the IMF again as long as I am in office.”

      He literally poked the finger at the IMF. THAT was his biggest mistake.

      Two years and four months later the coup against him was in full progress, eventually kicking Thaksin out on 19 September 2006.

      The full might of the IMF, backed by all their cronies like the News Media, International Banking, Reserve banks of the world came into play. Thaksin has to be pressed into the grave before he upend our groovy train. Sadly, they succeeded and today Thailand is finally back in the hands of the IMF and private owned Reserve banks.

      Very little known is that Thaksin served on the Asia Advisory board of the USA based Carlyle Group until he resigned in 2001. The Carlyle Group is suspected to be a Rothschild front and today their operational income exceeds US$ 110 Billion (Compared to Rothschild’s $40 million). Guess who are also on retainers of the Carlyle Group? Bush #1 and #2 and Tony Blair, and… Carlucci Dep. Dir CIA), Baker (Sec. State USA), Pres. Ramos of Philippines …Now there is a real Pandora’s Box to open, much worse than the Rothschild picnic basket. A later posting about them; for now than back to Thailand.

      Thus, I will agree that Thaksin was guilty of insider trading; but not as accused. He used insider knowledge from the Carlyle Group as counteroffensive – and pulled Thailand out from the IMF claws.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @Bud; it is only my adopted country, I am South African but happy to live in Thailand. Economy is very stable and strong.

      As for work - for foreigners - there is but usually very low income compared to Western world. I would say it is a matter of "You can not be paid to live in paradise" biggest problem is usually workpermits.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Wow... It's great you are so content in your country. I will have to visit one day. I imagine the people are quite welcoming to Canadians there, so it would be a nice place to travel to, I'm sure. What is the economic situation there as far as work goes?

    • Corrie Lamprecht profile imageAUTHOR

      Corrie Lamprecht 

      7 years ago from Thailand

      Thaksin will come back. He is likely to get an appeal, clear his name and get his money back.

      But the Shinawatra family are no fools; he will probably not come back for two or even three years. Hopefully Lingluck will be able to eradicate some of the division before that.

      I do agree and think (hope) the military will now stay out of politics, at least they also have new commands. Besides, the general Thai public got more educated too. Of course there is the other more serious issue pending.

      So who knows, but for the time being I am confident about remaining in this wonderful country.

      @Bud Gallant; Thailand is an amazing country and it has either one of two effects on foreigners. You love it or you hate it. If one can adopt and accept the local customs for what they are (i.e. not trying to make this like it is at your home country) then this is really a fantastic place to visit, stay, work, have holiday or retire.

      I am a pround South African but I am very happy to call Thailand my home. In more than 11 years I can honestly say there was not one day I wished I was back in South Africa or any of the other countries I visited nor resided in during this past 20 years of my life.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      This is very cool. I do not know much about Thailand, but I have an interest in it due to it being famous for Siamese cats. I did not know the political situation was so complex in your country.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image


      7 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Hi Corrie, I to am a resident of Thailand and my wife is Thai. The Isan people all loved Taksin and still do. I hope he keeps his promise to stay away if his presence will cause turmoil in Thailand. I believe you are right in that Yingluck can hold her own against the elite but it is the Military that is the power broker here. If she can win over the generals she will have done what her brother could not do. I agree that she can do it and for the sake of my adopted country I hope she does. Peter

    • Corrie Lamprecht profile imageAUTHOR

      Corrie Lamprecht 

      7 years ago from Thailand

      Here is a link to some more photo's showing the reason why I like this woman as new Prime Minister of Thailand.


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