Politics: From “Erasing Memory” to “Rekindle Memory” Thailand shows “Reconciliation of the Mind”

Kitirat, quantifying politics as what is best for Thailand?

  • By Ranger, Thai Intel‘s political journalist

When people, of any country, focus on their differences, what usually results, is division. But there are times, that a people of a country, can raise above their differences, and focus on their shared similarities, and that is when countries, typically start to move forward.

In Thailand, for what ever reason, the Thaksin issue is very divisive.

And it had been that way for a long time. When  the Thai military put  together the Abhisit Democrat Party into governing Thailand, one of the first thing Abhisit did, was to start “Erasing” Thais “Memory” of Thaksin.

So many of the “Populous” program, that Thaksin started and blamed for causing Thailand’s political problems, began to be “Re-Branded.” For example, the 30 Baht health scheme and the village fund, was change to something else.

Then apart from changing the names, there were also others, that was so identified with Thaksin, like OTOP, a grassroots based arts and craft scheme, there was no re-branding it, and so they were entirely, “Stopped” and did not get Abhisit’s attention.

But under Abhisit, came a marvel of an idea, and that was “Creative Thailand.” While, the program, was mostly a copy of Indonesian’s “Creative Indonesia” that came first, few Thais cared. Then if Thai Intel’s readers were to trace back the Thaksin government, Thaksin indeed established units such as the highly popular Thailand Design Center.

But there is no doubt, Abhiait took Thailand’s focus on “Creative Economy” to new heights.

And thus Abhisit, was on a “Dual Track” of erasing Thais memory of Thaksin and putting into place, a program that will make his mark on Thailand’s history, being again, “Creative Thailand.”

While many such as Thai Intel, have always doubted Thailand’s ability to turn on the “Creativity Light Bulb” because of an education system that mostly teach Thais to be a humble servant of the establishment and also because of the censorship culture here-there is no doubt, just having Abhisit talking about how important a “Creative Economy” is to Thailand, is already “Remarkable” in itself.

But to some Thais, what is good for Thailand, no matter who came up with the idea, and no matter how it impacts politics, what is more important to Thailand, is just a fact that can not be denied.

Yingluck‘s Finance Minister, Kittirat, just told the Thai press, that “Creative Economy” is important to Thailand.

  • The following is from the Bangkok Post”

Creative economy backed

    Published: 27/03/2012 at 02:35 AM

    Newspaper section: Business

The government will continue to foster a creative economy by supporting entrepreneurs in adding value to their products with a Creative Economy Fund.

After the Pheu Thai-led government took office last August, the fate of the project remained unclear, as it had been championed by the previous Democrat-led administration.

But yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said the government will allocate 300 million baht from the fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wanting to add value this year.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office will take over supervision of the project from the National Economic and Social Development Board.

The Intellectual Property Department will also encourage more entrepreneurs to tap the fund, which is expected to receive a larger budget next year.

Speaking at the International Creative Economy Forum, Mr Kittiratt said Thailand, as a middle-income country, must cope with rapidly changing conditions. Thai entrepreneurs must change their business mindset from one of reducing costs or making use of others’ ideas to using design and technology to strengthen cultural legacies for innovation in producing value-added products, he said.

Creative industries have provided significant value to the economy such as the digital content, printing and publishing, information technology, lifestyle, fashion and film production sectors, as well as service endeavours such as hospitals and education.

For example, exports of gifts and lifestyle products rose to US$4.1 billion last year from $3.95 billion in 2010.

Mr Kittiratt said Thailand’s economy has relied too much on export, which depend on several uncontrollable factors such as exchange rates.

Attempts to enhance the sustainability of national prosperity will need to emphasise local economies, and the government should shift its focus to communities, he said.

 Kittiratt insisted the creative economy can help to solve poverty through creative solutions such as the One Tambon One Product scheme.

At the regional level, establishment of a competitive single market and production base under the Asean Economic Community from 2015 and the master plan on Asean Connectivity recently adopted by the grouping will help to achieve the goal.

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