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Sam Moon : The PR Man

The man who has been helping ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra with his latest gimmicks is not an unfamiliar face at all. Sam Moon, a member of the board of advisers to Thaksin's Building a Better Future Foundation, was in Bangkok three years ago to attend the "Asia Leadership Forum" organised by Thailand Elite and Thaksin's AIS.

Moon was also spotted at the "CEO Forum", held in the City of Angels in May 1997, which he attended in his capacity as managing director of Business Week (Asia). Besides his magazine organised the event.

This might explain why Moon is the only one listed - as acting executive director - in the Better Future website. According to the website, eight or 12 high profile personalities are being approached personally by Thaksin, and the final names will be announced in February.

Why Moon qualifies

Moon, an American citizen, has been based in Asia over the past two decades with stints at The Economist, Dow Jones newswire and then went into a business partnership with Business Week. He first met Thaksin 16 years ago and remembered to keep in touch - after all Moon had to network, network and network some more because one of his many duties was producing and managing high profile conferences.

So when Thaksin asked Moon to help him with his Better Future vision, Moon immediately cleared his schedule and got involved in the initiative from the very start.

In search of a perfect man

Having worked with people like Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Tony Blair and Zhu Rongji among others, Moon has long believed that Asia needed a leader who could become an icon for the new generation. And Thaksin was just the man for the job, because he knew how to deal with media, handle challenges and "work" a crowded room.

According to Moon, Thaksin was one of the very few who can be called "Clinton of Asia". It must be that "leadership ability, vision, charm and media savvy that puts him [Thaksin] in a league all his own" that Moon has been heard talking about.

Clearly, since he's been so up close and personal with other leaders, Moon feels he is in a unique position to make this decision. After all, Moon has been working hard enough to make Thaksin's star shine bright again. Perhaps this is why the former PM has been appearing so frequently on the cover of certain foreign magazines.




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