Book about Controversial Former PM of Thailand
|Subtitled; 'How Thailand was Won and Lost in the 1st Decade of the 21st Century' the text takes a cheeky view of the topsy turvy career of former Thai PM Thaksin. Guarded Conversations is a 100 page eBook by Putney Swope, (a pen-name used by a successful foreign writer residing in Thailand). It's political satire featuring supposed clandestine conversations (everything Thaksin does is 'behind closed doors') between the former caretaker-PM and his closest people. The all-dialogue parody listens in to intimate conversations with his former wife, his son, and his stable of hot-shot attorneys. Additional conversations engage Thai generals, foreign VIPís, and CIA operatives - in order to flesh out the self-aggrandizing rich and manipulative man at the center of divisiveness in Thailand. The reader can decide whether Mister ĎI am through with politicsí was ever out of the game, and to what extent he and his family and friends manipulated Red Shirt demonstrations which hamstrung Bangkok in 2009 and 2010.|
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subtitled: Why Thailand Should not go Nuclear.
Two sample chapters (of 21 altogether). . . . . . .
|Chapter 13. Two Bugs Meet
in a Bar, the First One Says....
Sintax enters the judgeís private office. Heís carrying a small sheaf of papers. He looks at the framed photos on the walls, some of which include himself and his family members. He recognizes nearly every one in the dozens of photos, who are posing with the dignified-looking female judge. He is also looking for Ďbugsí Ė listening devices and hidden cameras, and any clandestine ways that someone might be observing or listening to what goes on in that office.
Sintax: Your honor, Iíd like your permission to take a short leave.
Judge: Whatís this Ďyour honorí stuff? You can call me Judge Porn.
Sintax: Ok, Judge Porn, I promised my family I would take them to the Beijing Olympics, and Iíd hate to let them down. Theyíre really looking forward to it. Are there any bugs in this office?
Judge: I beg your pardon.
Sintax: You know; listening devices or cameras. Whereís your mobile phone Ė do you mind if I take a look around your desk?
Judge: I can promise you there arenít any bugs in this office Ė of the kind youíre referring to. There may be a cockroach sitting nearby, but there are no nefarious electronic devices, of that you can be sure.
Sintax: I saw a cockroach in the stairwell of my hotel last night.
Judge: Thanks for sharing. Now, to the real issue of why youíre here, my answer is: I donít believe I can grant leave for you. Both you and your wife have been found guilty of serious legal offenses, and there would be hell to pay if the wrong people found out I let you go off on a holiday.
Sintax: Now wait a minute. Ok, calm calm (speaking to himself). We go back a ways. You were sitting with me and the Finance Minister when we got word from him privately, that he was going to float the baht the next day. We both immediately bought lots of dollars, and we both got a lot richer overnight - when the baht lost half its value in the next few days.
Judge: Why are you telling me this? But yes, of course I remember, but you cashed out a lot more Baht than I did. Even so, I hope youíre keeping that little story secret, because it would trash both our reputations if it went public.
Sintax: My reputation has already been dragged through the mud, my dear. I donít have much face left to lose. You, however, have maintained an upstanding reputation through the years.
Judge: Well, voting to excuse you for hiding your assets with your chauffer Ė was a big jolt in the road for my reputation.
Sintax: Well, we won that one, didnít we. We successfully used the Ďhonest mistakeí line, and you got a big new house with a swimming pool. So Iíd say we all came away winners on that.
Judge: There you go again. I dearly wish you would not bring such things up that would tarnish my reputation.
Sintax: Donít worry, this conversation is just between you and me. What we say, stays here in this room Ė assuming you have no electronic bugs.
Judge: So, you want to trip on off to Beijing for a couple weeks?
Sintax: Yes. Me and my family.
Judge: As simple as that - as if youíre prancing off on a family picnic - and youíre promising to return to Thailand, when the Olympics are over?
Sintax: Thatís what Iím saying, yes.
Judge: Wait a moment. What do you mean, ďThatís what Iím saying.í? Are you, or are you not intending to return after your romp at the Olympics?
Sintax: Look, letís not beat around the bush here. You and I both know I donít want to return, and my wife is even more adamant about staying away. Iím saying I will return because thatís what Iím supposed to say in this situation. If I donít return, itís not going to look bad for you Ė it will only look bad for me. Iíve got a lot of enemies here in Thailand. A lot of people are gathered around salivating, and wanting to kick me while Iím down. Maybe theyíre jealous of how rich I am, I donít know and I donít really care. I just know that while I was in the PMís chair, I had a power structure around me, so I could keep my enemies at bay.
Judge: Didnít help you when the Army took over.
Sintax: Ok, you got me on that one. But I was consolidating power at every level, at every post. Given a bit more time, no one could have touched me Ė no police, no military,Ö.
Judge: Well, maybe the Yellow shirts.
Sintax: There youíve got it. Hit the nail on the head. It was the Yellows who represented the elite and powerful families. It was Sondhi and the others stirring up the dummies in the audience, all shaking their rattles. Thatís what I couldnít control. I tried dealing with Sondhi, but when I mentioned how he hadnít paid back a big loan, thatís when he went off the deep end. One minute he seemed to be alright, even praising me in public, the next minute he was stabbing me in the back.
Judge: Sounds like a Shakespearian drama.
Sintax: Well it is, in a way. So anyway, how can I convince you to sign this paper? Airport security says they wonít allow me out without a top judgeís approval.
Judge: What can you do to reciprocate the favor?
Sintax: Alright, there you go, talking my language Ė thatís what I like to hear. What do you need? Not a kidney, I trust. I need both of mine.
Judge: No, not a kidney. How about you pull some strings to get my son in to Rajpaj Medical school?
Sintax: Consider it done. I know the director there. Whatís her phone number Ė Iíll call her right now.
Judge: Well, be informed, that my sonís not the sharpest tool in the tool shed.
Sintax: No matter, he could have the IQ of a carrot, and I could get him in.
Judge: Plus, Iíd like a silver Lexus with a sunroof, and a second swimming pool Ė for my guest house in back.
Sintax: Look, if itís about money, donít worry about it. Just give me a ballpark number, and youíll get the money. Now donít squeeze too hard here, Iím only asking for a signature.
Judge: Youíre asking for freedom for you and your wife.
Sintax: Ok, whatís the magic number? Wait donít say it. Iíll get ten big ones to you by tomorrow noon.
Sintax: Ok Twenty, but donít push your luck. Is that guest house with the new pool going to be available for me, when I come back to Thailand in triumph Ė before moving back in to the Prime Ministers residence?
Judge: Donít bank on it.
|Chapter 14. With
Sintax: They got jail time?
Sintax: All three?
Papbong: Yes sir, all three, got six months Ė six months each.
Sintax: Thatís rough. Who sentenced them, we should give him a call.
Papbong: Sir, I donít think that would do us any good. Maybe theyíll get time taken off Ė leniency or something.
Sintax: How can they give six months for such a little thing like bringing money in to a Justiceís office and putting it on a table. I told them I didnít know anything about it. Why doesnít anyone believe me? Did we counter-sue?
Papbong: Sir, first off, it was your attorneys who got busted, not you. Plus, who would we counter-sue - The justice whoís secretary opened the cake box? Are we going to sue the lady secretary for opening a box and finding money inside?
Sintax: I guess youíre right. But we could sue them for framing it all up to make me look bad Ė a defamation sort of thing.
Papbong: Quite honestly sir, it wouldnít stick.
Sintax: Damn, why were those lawyers of mine so inept? Why couldnít they simply walk the box in to the judgeís office and lay it down on his desk. Why did it take so long for us to fire the lawyer who so stupidly put the box down in front of the secretary?
Papbong: We didnít want that lawyer to get angry at us and spill the beans Ė so we waited until he was dealt with.
Sintax: You mean shot? That would be a bit harsh.
Papbong: No sir, I donít mean Ďdealt withí in that way, I meant Ďdealt withí in terms of getting found guilty and sentenced.
Manpoj, who had been standing nearby in the room, leafing a magazine: You know theyíre calling this whole fiasco Pastrygate?
Papbong: Thatís not the worst of it. A comedian downtown is using this for material. Heís pretending the money was stacked on top of jelly donuts. He does a mime routine where he pretends to eat the donuts, while licking jelly off the paper money and trying to stuff it all in his pocket.
Sintax: Can we shoot the comedian?
Sintax, grinning: Just kidding, dear.
Papbong: The comedy routine is really rather funny, with the mime eating some of the money by mistake, and putting sticky donuts in his pocket. (Papbong canít suppress his chuckles).
- Both Sintax and Manpoj look sternly at Papbong, as he valiantly tries to curb his mirth -
Sintax: Now this divorce thing.
Papbong: Yes, I was going to ask you about that. How do you want to split things?
Sintax: Well you know itís all about financesÖÖ
Manpoj: Not really. Iím actually rather fed up with being Mrs. Sintax, and having to stand by you on everything. The press attack me because they canít always get to you. They expect me to know all about your businesses and political posturing and all that crap. I want some distance. I donít want to be hounded because of all the crazy things you do.
Sintax: You donít mind the money, though.
Manpoj: I beg your pardon. My family has plenty of money. I came in to this marriage with money, and I donít need you to provide for me, thank you very much.
Sintax: Oh, then you wonít care about getting a piece of the pie if we get divorced.
Manpoj: I didnít say that. Iím only going to ask for whatís rightfully mine as a divorced woman.
Papbong: People please. Letís try to keep this on track. Iím not concerned with emotional things. Iím only here to facilitate the money and custody arrangements. The more you two agree on those things, the easier my job.
Sintax: Weíve talked about custody, and thereís no big issue there. The kids are nearly independent now, so they can travel to and fro when they like. As for the money and houses and stock dividends, well, ummmÖ.
Papbong: And where do you plan to file this? You canít do it in Thailand.
Sintax: Not sure, but we can get someone to submit the divorce papers for us there?
Papbong: I have an idea. Since Thai embassies and consulates are like a little part of Thailand overseas, you could go hypothetically go to any of those places. Indeed, you could do it right here in Hong Kong.
Sintax and Manpoj look at each other, as if seeing one another in a different light.
Manpoj: You mean we could just walk in the local consulate and wrap this up?
Papbong: Yes, if you both so chose.
Manpoj: What if we got arrested?
Papbong: Arrested for what - wanting a divorce? Oh, I see what youíre saying. Because you both have warrants in Thailand, youíre concerned thatÖ.
Manpoj: Ö.yes, that some official, or security guard will get ordered to arrest us Ė if we are indeed on Thai jurisdiction when weíre at that place.
Sintax: Whoa, slow down. Nobody is going to arrest anybody. First off, weíre not going to give any advance notice. Weíre just going to show up. Secondly, who the hell is going to put cuffs on us? One of the staff? The sergeant at Arms? Come on, get real. A few months ago, they all worked for me Ė and even now theyíre all scared shitless of me. If I just looked at them sideways, they would cringe on the floor like naughty doggies. Not a worry in the world about that. We just walk in unannounced, Papbong and a couple bodyguards will be with us, we already have the papers filled out, Öwhatís next?
Papbong: Like you say, weíll have the papers filled out, and simply submit them.
Manpoj: Do my husband and I even have to go? Why canít you just walk in with the papers we filled out Ė and submit them?
Papbong: Because people might not believe it, or think itís a ruse. Itís best if we all go in together.
Sintax: How could anyone think anything I do is a ruse?
Manpoj: Ahhh, do you want an honest answer to that?
Sintax: No dear. I was only kidding.
Papbong: So back to the nuts and bolts. You two should sit down and list everything you own Ė then try to hammer out an agreement - with who gets what.
Manpoj: Actually, the divorce is mostly a show, and the money and assets wonít change much from when we were married. The divorce is mainly to give me a buffer, if my husband gets successfully sued or gets more assets frozen or gets thrown in jail.
Sintax: I beg your pardon?
Manpoj: Am just being realistic, dear. In case you forgot, thereís a whole government who wants to put you and me in the clinker. Meanwhile you keep sending money to those Red Shirt leaders, getting them to rile up the masses. I donít want to be all meshed up with that just because Iím your wife.
Sintax: Well, youíre in the thick of it whether you like it or not. Life is not like a remote control, where you can just tap it, and change the channel when it gets a little uncomfortable. If I get the PMís chair back, and get the billions unfrozen Ė whether the Reds shirts assist with that or not Ė if I get all that back, youíre sure going to want to be there by my side when that happens.
Manpoj: Maybe, maybe not. Donít push you pompous self-aggrandizing speeches on me. I know you too well.
Papbong: Folks, letís stay focused. Now this is your homework. Go sit down somewhere quiet together. Turn off your mobile phones, and focus on how you want to split things up. If you donít want to make any changes, thatís fine with me. Iím working for you, so you just tell me how you want the cookie to crumble.
Sintax: I donít think I like the sound of that, Ďcookie to crumbleí Ö.there is no cookie crumbling.
Manpoj: Just a figure of speech, Mr. hot head.
Sintax: Iíd rather you call me Ďhot stuff,í not Ďhot head.í
Manpoj: Why, is that what you call your little perfume pants who follows you around on the golf links?
Sintax: Oh ha. I knew you were jealous. I caught you being jealous. Ah hah.
Manpoj: You wish. I quit being jealous with you sometime before Elm was born. I could no more be jealous of who you get nasty with, than I could get jealous for, Ö.I donít know Ö..for dead Elvis.
Sintax: And what about the boy toy Serbian youíve been seen hanging out with at designer shops in Paris? I saw that photo of you buying him a satellite GPS thingie at Maximís. Is that so he can position your fat butt when you two get in to heat?
Papbong: People people people, letís keep it civil.
Manpoj: I would apologize for my husbandís potty mouth, but thereís no excuse for him. He wants to rule the world. If he canít get the world, heíll settle for Southeast Asia, and heíll burn heaven and hell to get it.
Sintax: Good thing youíre not my publicist.
Manpoj: Well, I wonít be your wife much longer, either.
Sintax: Well, you know what Churchill said.
Manpoj: What did Churchill say?
Sintax: When he was entering parliament, a feisty female adversary of his said, ďIf I were your wife, Iíd put poison in your tea.Ē And he came right back and said, ďMadam, if I were your husband, I would drink it.Ē
Manpoj: Tea time.
|Above are just two of the 21 chapters. Purchase this book, you'll enjoy it all! It's available in .pdf|
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