BETWEEN THE LINES
Unlike father, unlike son
The only thing that Anutin Charnvirakul pleaded for from his father, Interior MinisterChaovarat, was not money or to take care of his health, but to follow news or information of events happening in society.
Anutin has loved reading newspapers and political magazines since he was young. He reads every newspaper in Thailand. When he studied in the United States he bought weekly magazines "Arthit Wikroa" or "Sunday Analysis" every week.That would be one reason why the 42-year-old politician is obsessed with politics. Watching his father work with the late prime minister Chatichai Choonhavan 20 years ago, also pushed Anutin's interest in being a politician.Unlike his son, Chaovarat doesn't have the same interest in newspapers. Actually, Chaovarat does read English and Chinese newspapers but only the stock market listings. "I have to force him to read political news and articles from political columnists in Thai newspapers. I beg him to read the articles so he will know what's happening in this society,"Anutin said. However, the son has an excuse for his father. "My father is used to being an executive, who normally gives orders or policy [decisions]."Anutin is worried his father may fail to communicate with government officials as he isn't in touch with current situations.The father [Chaovarat] replaced the son [Anutin] in a ministerial post after the son was banned from politics for five years for electoral fraud when he was an executive in the now defunct Thai Rak Thai Party. Anutin was back into the political spotlight with Newin Chidchob, one of his political mentors, as the men behind the scenes backing Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva for Prime Minister.Despite saying he is not keen on politics, when Anutin started his political career he was invited by veteran and now banned politician Suwat Liptapanlop to join his team. He was immediately appointed deputy Public Health Minister in Thaksin Shinawatra government. "My desire is I want to be a minister in whatever ministry," he said. Anutin realised the meaning of the idiom "riding on a tiger's back" after five years in politics. As a top executive of Sino-Thai Engineering, one of Thailand's largest construction firms, he had to kow tow to politicians and government officials. But when he became a minister life was different.Despite being banned from politics, Anutin has still followed his dream and not give up his political career. He has three years left before being freed from the ban."For me, if you are first you are first. If you are second you are nothing," he said.