Tasty Thailand

Everything you need to know about Thailand

Kittirat Says He Didn’t Lie About 15% Export Growth for Thailand – No, Wait, Maybe He Did


Kittirat Na-rong (in grey silk shirt) at World Economic Forum in July 2012


Having lived in Thailand for a decade, I can absolutely 100 percent guarantee Thais are the world’s worst liars. Some of them lie as just a matter of course as, in Thailand, it’s often seen to be better to lie than to tell the truth — especially if it causes someone to lose face (and that “someone” can be the liar or anyone else). But, you can always tell when most Thais are lying as they’re just not good at it. So, to hear Thai Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong yesterday try to explain why the “white lie” he originally told about Thailand’s projected export growth wasn’t a lie at all (or maybe it was?) really was hilarious.

A few months ago, Kittirat made a statement that there would likely be a15 percent growth in Thai exports this year, a figure that the Thai news media and many foreign news agencies latched on to and reported. At the time, many in Thailand didn’t believe that figure, myself included, as with Thailand’s massive flooding last year and the European economic crisis, it seemed highly unlikely.

Then two days ago, Kittirat himself admitted he’d actually told a “white lie” when he’d made the statement about a 15 percent growth in exports, as he wanted to encourage people to work harder. Which, of course, the Democrats jumped on. Kittirat then spent a good amount of time yesterday in parliament explaining why he really didn’t lie at all.

Well…he lied, but it was a white lie. So it wasn’t really a lie. But he only lied to encourage people to work harder so the goal could be achievable. So, in reality, he didn’t really lie at all. Because that kind of growth may be achieved. Even though it now looks like it will be closer to 5.9 percent growth. But, no, it wasn’t a lie. Because he doesn’t lie. Well….maybe he does?

He finished off his explanations about why he didn’t lie by saying “”I, Mr Kittiratt Na-Ranong, deputy prime minister and finance minister, didn’t lie, have not lied, and did not intend to lie,”

You really feel like buying the man a bigger shovel. After all, he obviously doesn’t feel the hole he’s dug himself is quite big enough yet.