Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The art of saying not knowing what you know
It must really take a lot of courage and getting used to for Premier Yingluck Shinawatra to have to answer reporters' questions that relate to her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.
She isn't supposed to be getting instructions from him in how to run this government. She isn't supposed to do anything that could be construed as helping him. But then, she can't say she doesn't know what he is up to either because the press and her Cabinet members and her party's MPs have been in direct touch with him.
Again, even if she knows what he is actualy doing,she, as PM, can't make that known to the public either.
Today, reporters asked her whether she knew Thaksin was coming to Cambodia. Yingluck couldn't say she didn't know because everybody else had read the morning papers, seen the morning TV reports. So, she said: "Yes, I know that."
Does he represent her government on this trip?
Yingluck couldn't really say so because he isn't officially part of her government and Thaksin's legal staus in the country is still tricky.
So, she said: "No. He is perhaps on a private trip."
But everybody else was saying that Thaksin was to meet Cambodian PM Hun Sen and the question of joint petroleum exploration in the disputed area in the Gulf of Thailand might be raised.
How can he be on a private trip if he is supposed to be talking about such a public issue that involves the government's deliberations?
The question, of course, wasn't asked and the PM didn't have to respond.
It has been like this since the day she was named No 1 of Pheu Thai Party's list. And she has played along magnificantly.
Last evening, on Channel 3, anchor Sorayudh asked her: "How many of the Cabinet members did you pick by yourself?"
She replied: "All of them."
Perhaps, a lot of people may want to be the country's PM. But who would want to be in Yingluck's peculiar position?