Yingluck Shinawatra - Tungsten Lady.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!