Thaksin Talks Economy, Jobs, Avoids Politics in Podcast Launch

A screencap of Thaksin Shinawatra taken from his Facebook video in July 2016.

BANGKOK — Ousted and fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra plays the role of a business, life and development coach in a new podcast that debuted today.

Thaksin, mostly based in Dubai since he was ousted in the 2007 coup, said the program called “Good Monday” will seek to be a weekly or bimonthly chat.

Thaksin mostly avoided politics but weighed in on the world economy, the future of the job market and human longevity.

Aired before noon Monday, his first 12-minute episode had been retweeted more than 2,300 times by 2pm and met a warm response from his followers.

In the tweet, Thaksin made a swipe at what he perceived to be lost opportunities for Thailand, however.

“I feel sorry for the 12 years that I spent abroad and saw much progress, as well as the backsliding of many countries so I would like to talk to Thai brothers and sisters every Monday,” Thaksin tweeted from his account @ThaksinLive which has 619,000 followers.

Thaksin predicted a possible global economic slowdown in 2019 and 2020 that may start in Europe’s former Eastern Bloc countries, calling on Thais to improve their labor skills to cope with new robot automation. He predicted that new medical technology – particularly the abilities to produce and transplant organs other than the brain – will see humans living until they’re 120.

The podcast comes as various parties are busy campaigning amid a likely fifth election delay.

The post attracted more than 110 comments on Thaksin’s Twitter, some mocking junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha in comparison.

“What Thaksin said in 12 minutes makes what Prayuth has said over the past four or five years look stupid…,” wrote Twitter user @Nookiiiya on Monday.

Most of the comments were from fans.

“Much better than listening to the dumb uncle speaking every Friday,” Twitter user @knoate wrote in a reference to Prayuth’s weekly Friday monologue broadcasted on all free TV since 2014.

Not all were impressed, such as Twitter user @Akchaturon:

“You may be good at thinking, but for everything you think there must be money going into your pocket…. How many people who think like you, Thaksin, are in prison now?”

Correction: The earlier version of this article misspelled Thaksin’s podcast name.