Thaksin organisation behind locked door

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 March, 2009, 12:00am

When former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra spoke to Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club yesterday, he did so under the banner of his Building a Better Future Foundation.

Based in Hong Kong and Dubai, the foundation appears, at best, to be a work in progress - despite the promise of its website to create 'an incisive think-tank group of rising stars'. The foundation wants to 'nurture the next generation of Asian business and financial leaders' and 'seeks to provide support to stimulate development in Asia'.

With no published phone numbers or addresses, the South China Morning Post relied on the foundation's registration documents to pay it a visit. On four trips to its registered headquarters, a tiny office in a commercial building in a Sheung Wan back street, we were greeted by a locked door. It carried the sign 'HighLink Corporation Limited'. HighLink also carries no listed phone number.

However, registration documents do suggest a link. Foundation acting director Sam Alfred Moon and HighLink director Samuel Michael Adams are listed in separate filings as having the same address in a Robinson Road residential block.

Efforts this week to reach Mr Moon, a conference producer and manager, through the foundation's website to inquire about progress of the foundation proved fruitless.

The foundation did surface during Thaksin's video appearance, with one questioner asking about Mr Moon's efforts in Hong Kong to recruit 'with your [Thaksin's] money' a writer to produce a Thaksin biography, Untold Story.

Thaksin said he was waiting for the right time to produce the book. 'It might be interesting,' he said.

Mr Moon's own entry on the website states he has known Thaksin for 16 years. 'Having seen Dr Thaksin work with media, handle challenges and 'work' a crowded room, Mr Moon feels Dr Thaksin is one of only a handful of a new generation of Asian leaders who could become a 'Clinton from Asia',' the website says. 'Dr Thaksin's leadership ability, vision, charm and media savvy puts [sic] him in a league all to his own.'