Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Citizens Dream Wish for PM Abhisits Economic Rescue Package

The Nation's offered poll for Finance Minister got this remote citizen thinking beyond just who could be the new person running the fiscal and monitoring the monetary policy of Thailand.  This citizen's dream may seem as far removed from what could be possible as the distance she lives from Thailand.  Hence, these wishes may seem naive but adamantly wished for with hopes that they will be sportsmanly considered by some readers who are free to add their own thoughts and help these wishes find their way to their final destination. 
It is said that in complex systems (no doubt, our politics is such) when polarization occur the system has moved close to stagnation and eventual death.  It was frightening to watch how close to that abyss Thai politics has moved, so it is with cautious relief this hopeful element on the edge finds confirmation that strange mechanisms of complexity do reverse, allowing emergence of new agents such as our young new Prime Minister.  Hope is thus given that the edge may be heard, coupled with a gut feeling somewhat connected to the Ox rising with Obama, gives one a daring to dream.
So I say, Dear Prime Minister, please form and rule your cabinet with inclusion as opposed to exclusion.  Do not allow segmented short-sighted views of the economy which government ministries have pied out obscure your vision, do not set up ministerial panels that will take months to provide studies that will propose policies and plans only to set up further panels.  Do set up a crisis management team akin to the Baan Pitsanulok group, which Democrat runner for Bangkok Governor used to belong to. (Without installing the team there, don't forget the curse.)  Please include the younger generation to return the favor that gave you such a high reaching chance in politics so that we may have a new generation of politician that will see things differently from the old.
Please include among advisors not only prominent business people but also innovative entrepreneurs who are willing to put their venture capital in new sustainable energy, information technology, and appropriate financial engineering.  Include as well, some artists, poets and some wise village leaders.
Be mindful that Thailand is a medium-sized economy that was never really suited to lofty dreams of being a new "tiger".   A creative cultural policy may save tourism, create those extra jobs needed to carry us through the crisis, and rescue the badly damaged image of Thailand all in one coordinated dance.  Art festivals, street festivals, local celebrations, every village stop can be a cultural event that not only creates jobs on the spot, but leave our grassroots armed with SME initiatives that can absorb the many that will be laid off from factory jobs. You'd be getting great PR when you do your country circuit. Something to offer beyond the usual fiscal incentive of infrastructure investments are real strategic multi-modality transportation needed to link the greater peninsular market and support the closer movement of an ASEAN community.
Don't just host ASEAN, remember and push through the Asian financial institutional alternative.  While you're at it, have a good look at our national debt and follow the current wisdom of washing our hands off that IMF/WB sanctioned public robbery.  Create new instruments to pay off foreign debt with local money like a sovereign wealth fund. Why not repack that old rice surplus fund?  Re-invest in local companies and strengthen the local stock market so local business can raise funds in other ways apart from expensive loans.  Watch out closely that rising inflation, with such a low growth prospective, inflation may in fact make it seem like null.
So with this dream, I playfully place my bet on The Nation's poll and vote for Finance Minister, Mr. Prasan Trairatvorakul, President of Kasikornbank because all the others are old hands that have had their chances and didn't seem to be able to do much.  With this dream I also invite other Thai citizens, and even non-citizens who live under Thailand's umbrella as well, to dream also what they would wish from our new Prime Minister. 
A New Year wish I would place on any sacred shrine in Thailand would be the hope that while imagining a more peaceful and successful Thailand together we may achieve the near impossible and heal our wounds of anger and polarizing drama of this past year.

No comments: