13 June 2024

Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has vouched for Sirikanya Tansakul, the Move Forward party’s policy director, as Thailand’s next finance minister, as he praised her resourcefulness and all-rounded knowledge of government policies and budget spending.

As the party’s policy chief, she reads every bill before it is presented to parliament for consideration and explained, in detail, the intricacies of each bill to other members in the party, said Thanathorn in his Facebook post on Tuesday.

The former leader of the now defunct Future Forward party, the predecessor of the Move Forward party, Thanathorn recalled that Sirikanya was introduced to him by an academic friend when the Future Forward party was still looking for a qualified policy chief, after having interviewed several candidates.

During the initial stage, he said that his working relationship with her was a little frought, as both of them often disagreed on issues but, after several months, they adjusted and could get along quite well, but they still engaged in frequent debate.

Thanathorn said he was impressed with Sirikanya’s resourcefulness regarding state policies and budget spending and, every time there was a meeting about budget policy, everyone in the party looked to her for an opinion.

“She was a voice of reason,” said Thanathorn, as she would advise some party members, who sought political expediency, to justify financial policies.

Having worked with her for two years on the House budget committee, he recalled that Sirikanya regularly attended committee meetings and delved into details of the budget of every ministry, which won praise from many government officials.

When the Move Forward party won the most House seats and became the core party in the formation of a new government, Thanathorn said many people expressed doubt about Sirikanya’s ability to generate revenues for the state.

State revenues come from taxes, from economic activities undertaken by humans, said Thanathorn, adding “to build a strong economy, people must be made to feel secure in their lives so that they can plan for their future, learn new skills, to take risks, to invest, to chase their dreams, dare to seize opportunities and dare to fail.”

“Sirikanya is fully aware of these things, as she presented to me and her colleagues in the party her ideas for creating atmosphere and environment in the country that will induce people to invest rather, than letting the state play the key role in economic development,” said Thanathorn.

To build a strong economy, he said, is to nurture people to discharge their capacities, to distribute resources fairly, to reduce monopolies, to maintain fair competition and investment in technology, to create an atmosphere and environment that is conducive to investment.