Mass Transit Nationalization Cancelled
Premier Thaksin stuns Suriya by revoking the plan for Skytrain-Subway
nationalization - translated and summarized from Than Setthakij, November 4-6, 2004
Premier Thaksin has made Minister Suriya lose face by revoking the
nationalization plan on the Skytrain-Subway
Premier Thaksin tells OTP and MOTC that they should never apply the
coercive measures to force the private sector to sell their stocks
to the government. Otherwise, the government will have very a bad
image with investors. The government will consider the nationalization
only when both BMCL and BTSC have come up a consensus to sell their
stock to the government--such as when they are in trouble.
This nationalization plan is just a proposal by MOTC, but not the
central government. The government should never meddle with BTSC unless
the company has committed a serious crime that hurts public interests.
Same can be said about BMCL. The government should only exercise their
rights to purchase 25% of BMCL stock instead. Other measures are the
negotiation as well as the purchase of stocks from minor shareholders
until the government becomes a major shareholder. Premier Thaksin
has pointed out that the system can be expanded and a joint ticket
can be implemented without the nationalization process. Even legal
experts said the nationalization process has no law to back it up.
OTP also said that they have never applied coercive measures on the
private sector to sell stock. They are trying to negotiate with both
The system interaction can be the purchase of basic structure and
keep the old concession holder or the new private concession holders.
Another option is a joint venture between the public and private sectors
to form a single operator without applying a nationalization process.
OTP and MOTC will have to review the plan if the government is not
opting for nationalization. Same can be said about the joint ticket
It would violate the constitution if the government have come up with
the law to apply only to a particular group of people or legal entity.
Furthermore, it would be very unfair to use the money from nationwide
taxpayers to nationalize both systems that please Bangkokians and
The nationalization board also gets no clear sign from MOTC about
the nationalization plan, dragging the project down further. The Board
got more information form the media than from MOTC about the right
price to purchase from both companies.
Minister Suriya felt so upset after getting the response from Premier
Thaksin on Nationalization Plan that he refused to speak to the press.
Super K [nickname of Kasem Jatikawanit, the Chairman of BTSC Board
of Directors] also said that BTSC is not ready to negotiate with MOTC
and they prefer to wait and see what the government is going to do