Shinawatra family meets in S’pore after defeating govt that ousted them, enjoys dinner & ice cream sandwich

Thaksin has promised to return to Thailand soon, regardless of legal penalties he might face.

Tan Min-Wei | May 28, 2023, 05:35 PM

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Three members of the Shinawatra family were very likely to have met one another in Singapore over the weekend of May 25 to 27, in the wake of Thailand's general election and subsequent coalition negotiations.

The group included two former Thai prime ministers, Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, as well as Thaksin's daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, prime minister candidate for the Pheu Thai party, the second largest after the recent May 14 general election.

Family gathering

Paetongtarn, also known by her nickname Ung Ing, was reported by Khaosod to have flown to Singapore on May 25 in order to meet her father and aunt, although it could not be verified at the time.

Since then, she and Yingluck have posted several times on their social media accounts, showing the family in Singapore, shopping and dining together.

One video posted by Yingluck showed her trying out a mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, bought from a sidecar vendor outside Ngee Ann City.

The clip was a Facebook reel posted on May 27.

Paetongtarn posted a picture of her and her father Thaksin shopping in what appears to be Metro at Paragon, just across the road from where Yingluck was.

The three also had dinner together at Jaan in Swissotel.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paetongtarn Shinawatra (@ingshin21)

Menu and meal at JAAN. Screenshot via ingshin21/Instagram

Paetongtarn with here father Thaksin. Screenshot via ingshin21/Instagram

Screenshot via ingshin21/Instagram

The first time that Thaksin met his daughter in Singapore, as seen in a video posted six weeks ago, showed him holding hands with a young child, likely his granddaughter, and escorting her across the street towards Ngee Ann City, as well as sitting by the Merlion.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paetongtarn Shinawatra (@ingshin21)

Imminent return?

Both Thaksin and Yingluck were ousted from their role as prime minister by military coups — Thaksin in 2006 and Yingluck in 2014.

Both have been living in self-imposed exile since the coups that ousted them.

Thaksin has been in exile for over 17 years, but has said that at 73, the time has come for him to return to Thailand.

Paetongtarn is one of three prime minister candidates for Thai opposition party Pheu Thai.

Pheu Thai did not do as well in the election as expected, handily beating all government allied parties, but narrowly losing to fellow opposition party Move Forward Party (MFP), 141 seats to 151.

Both have now co-signed a memorandum of understanding to form a government together, with MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat to be the prime minister.

But according to Thai PBS, there is some uncertainty as to whether this coalition could be derailed over which party will hold the role of Speaker of Parliament.

The MOU was signed on May 22, the ninth year anniversary of the coup that ousted Yingluck's government.

Thaksin faces 10 years imprisonment should he enter Thailand, but he has said he will follow all legal processes upon his arrival.

He also said this would occur while the incumbent government of Prayut Chan-Ocha was still in power.

According to the Bangkok Post‘S timeline, this would be before August 2023.

With him being virtually on Thailand's doorstep, this could mean his return is imminent.

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Top image via Yingluck Shinawatra/Facebook & ingshin21/Instagram