Archive for September 2008
Article appeared 18 September 2008
by Kok Sap
The Nation bet its journalistic ethics and impartiality over PAD-Democrat Party shady politics. It shouldn’t have sniffed the tree the monkeys weren’t on.
For the real history of the so called border dispute, it was then Siam-Franco commission that imposed upon Cambodia from 1904-1907 on up that Dangrek Range was a divide. In spite of historical legitimacy and against its will, Cambodia had no say in it but its rulers recognized and accepted the so called Siamese- Franco border reality.
So the problem was not coming from Cambodia but Siam now turned Thailand that kept denying and questioning own past competence. Apparently Thailand is still mired by ethnocentrism and colonialism as the world begins to witness its internal Yala- Pattani deadly situation.
The 1962 International Court of Justice ruling said the Khmer Preah Vihear compound and nearby patch is belonged to Cambodia. In 1967, after arm clashes over Preah Vihear ownership,dictator regime Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman maneuvered agendas to create ASEAN bloc.
Up to now with chips on shoulders, Thailand seems to justify its position from habitual offence to croc tears-defense. To date it dangerously sends its armed forces to occupy Khmer old monuments along the so called border.
Thailand thinks it is Ok for it to assault others .Yet it is inappropriate for Cambodia to seek competent third party intervention to prevent arm clashes which most likely causing by Thailand politics.
The recurrence of faux pas politics to endanger neighbor in Thailand behalf is a violation of the ASEAN One vision, one community, one identity Charter.
The Nation said the dispute must be solved bilaterally in the spirit of good Asean neighborliness. I agree. But the neighborliness in ASEAN way seems constituting only ONE way.
The Nation said the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission is the proper mechanism to handle the issue. It might take time but it could end the border disputes peacefully and fairly. Well I like to say so and agree on this.
Through observations in behavioral patterns, ASEAN is not quite ready to bake the cake without biting it.
To me if Thailand via ASEAN is so conscionable and moral, why it keeps crying foul and throwing tantrums at Cambodia for bringing unresolved problems to the competent International body for help.
Speaking of leadership and exemplary, Thailand is in much more of “you go” I follow “you” later posture all these times. May be it is time for ASEAN to mean what it says on papers. That is the only way to curb criticism.
The Nation is a respected voice in Thailand press but it shall never allow its just journalism and ethics to be exploited by the shady political ego trips.
In this inflamed matter, The Nation should be more sympathetic with the poorly and weakly Cambodia in comparison to too affluent and powerful Thailand.
So I say it is not Cambodia fault for not trusting ASEAN or Thailand in that matter. Cambodia is striving to do the right thing to protect its interests. Thus it should be credited in its attempt to erect the fence before the white elephant raiding its paddies, again.
(BangkokPost) The ruling People Power party (PPP) picked acting premier Somchai Wongsawat as its official candidate as prime minister as expected on Monday – but not unanimously.
The executive committee of the PPP agreed to nominate Mr Somchai when parliament meets on Wednesday. Various committees still have to meet, but the five coalition partner-parties also said they were on board with Mr Somchai.
The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), of course, rejected the nomination and vowed to continue their protest. Anyone from PPP or other coalition parties is unacceptable, the anti-governmnent group said.
But more serious opposition came from inside PPP.
“Friends of Newin” Chidchob, the banned but still powerful Thai Rak Thai party executive, threatened to break the party’s ranks and vote for caretaker deputy prime minister and finance minister Surapong Suebwonglee on Wednesday, instead of Mr Somchai.
The Friends of Newin held their own press conference on Monday, calling for the party to reconsider its resolution to nominate deputy leader and acting PM Somchai.
The group presented the signatures of 73 MPs who support this stance.
This same group supported the selection of disqualified prime minister Samak Sundaravej back as premier, but now that he has declined the nomination, they’ve switched to support deputy leader Md Surapong as PM.
Songsak Thongsri, a key figure of Newin’s Friends faction in PPP, stated that Md Surapong is the most suitable person and is capable of running the country.
Caretaker agriculture and cooperatives minister and deputy leader of Chart Thai party Somsak Prissanananthakul stated that his party members will vote in support of the PM candidate proposed by the ruling PPP.
Caretaker natural resources and environment minister and Matchima Thipataya party leader Anongwan Thepsuthin also said her party will support the person nominated by PPP as the next prime minister.
Phnom Penh (dpa) – Last week, Cambodia said it was content to be patient with Thailand over disputed border areas, but claims Thai troops had moved into a third border temple area over the weekend have freshly irked Cambodia, the government said Monday.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said by telephone that claims Thai troops had moved into an area close to Ta Krabey temple, close to the Ta Moan temple complex which is also in dispute, had angered the government and Cambodia was preparing to appeal to a “third international party” to intervene.
“We are preparing our documents. We will see if Thailand changes its character or not. If not, we will go to an international agency to mediate,” Kanharith said.
Thai troops moved into what Thailand says is disputed territory and Cambodia says is sovereign around the 11th century Preah Vihear temple in July, just a week after UNESCO awarded the temple World Heritage listing over Thai objections.
Ta Moan, 150 kilometres to the west, soon also drew Cambodian complaints, with claims of Thai encroachment, and now Ta Krabey.
Thailand says the claims are baseless and it has always had troops stationed near the latter two temples.
Last week Kanharith said Cambodia was prepared to give Thailand time to sort out its turbulent political affairs before delayed bilateral border talks, several rounds of which have so far failed to reach an agreement, were resumed.
However local media, including Khmer-language Rasmei Kampuchea daily, reported over the weekend that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s patience has been tested over the latest developments and he had called for all relevant authorities to prepare a case to take to an international mediator which Cambodia has not yet identified.
Samak withdraws his bid to become prime minister
Samak Sundaravej, leader of People Power Party, expected to resign from the party soon. : source
PPP leader Samak Sundaravej has decided to end his bid to become prime minister after witnessing the parliament session on Friday which saw many MPs disagreed with his nomination to be prime minister.
Somsak Kietsuranont, PPP executive member, said that now it is understood that Samak who is disqualified for violating charter earlier this week, has decided not to accept his party’s nomination for him to be prime minister again.
“It is understood that Khun Samak will no longer want to be reinstate as prime minister again after the Parliamentary session on Friday morning,” Somsak said.
Meanwhile a well-informed source in the PPP said that Samak is highly likely that Samak will resign from the party in the near future.
House speaker Chai Chidchob postponed the meeting on Friday morning after failing to meet the quorum of the House seats.
Most of the coalition parties as well as part of his own PPP boycotted the session, citing Samak should not be reinstated as the premiership again.
Japan claims finding ‘tainted’ Thai rice
Tokyo (dpa) – The Japanese government plans to return imported rice to Thailand and other exporting nations if it is found to be inedible, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Seiichi Ota said Friday.
Japan’s decision followed recent cases in which a Japanese company sold rice imported from Thailand, Vietnam and China which the government now claims was tainted with mould or contained pesticide beyond a legal limit for edible use.
Mr Ota’s statement on Friday contained no details about the allegedly bad-quality Thai rice.
The firm bought the rice from the Japanese government for industrial use but sold it to make sake rice wine, distilled liquor or sweets.
The farm ministry’s decision Friday banned trading in tainted rice.
Japan imports the minimum amount of rice required by the World Trade Organisation.
The farm ministry had been selling about 2,000 tons annually of rice tainted with mould, damaged during shipment or with high levels of pesticide but only for nonedible industrial use, such as making glue or for animal feed.
Submitted by Kok Sap
By Kok Sap-10 September 2008
Back in 1967, Prime Minister Thanat Khoman was one of the 5 regional dictators. He was the ruthless absolute ruler of the 35 year old new nation Thailand. In that period Thailand was marred by military abuses in human rights and people political rights. Also the other four founders: Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were also ruled by known dictators as well.
So what’s the fuzz? Well, if you are familiar with the street corner fast flipped three card game, you shall see how slickly Thailand is pulling its means justified the ends.
I have to admit, what a TKO in diplomacy for Thailand in light of its habitually domestic abuses in UN human rights charter, violation of International Court of Justice and ASEAN charter responsibility and obligation plus bullying Cambodia over its Khmer temple, Preah Vihear.
Squarely, as one of the ASEAN bloc leaders, Thailand, is miserably failing to uphold its honor and pledge to ASEAN charter. Not only that, at least, it seemingly violates the following articles (2), (5), (20), (21), (22), and (24).
On 8-09-2008 ASEAN lecture, Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan thundered,” The world is watching ASEAN very, very intensely. They are watching the way which we are establishing our community. They are waiting to see if the ASEAN Charter will be ratified by all ten Member States so that we can celebrate the full ratification of the Charter at the 14th ASEAN Summit here in Bangkok under the Chairmanship of Thailand in the middle of December this year (2008). I have full confidence, that the three remaining members of ASEAN, including Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, will ratify this sacred document in time for full implementation by the time all Leaders assemble here in the city of Bangkok in December.”
I wonder, if Charter is a sacred document, why such god fearing Thailand drags its feet?
Dr. Surin continued, “At the Opening Ceremony of the First Meeting of the 42nd ASEAN Standing Committee, ASEAN colleagues were informed that Thailand will focus on 3Rs under her leadership of ASEAN. The first “R” is to realise the purposes and visions of the Charter. The second “R” is to revitalise ASEAN as a people-centred community. The third “R” is to reinforce ASEAN cooperation to better contribute to the quality of life of our 570 million people. I would like to add one more “R” this afternoon, that is, to reaffirm the spirit of our founding fathers 41 years ago here in this city when they signed the Bangkok Declaration (or ASEAN Declaration) on 8 August 1967.”
3R plus R, of course, it is a sound bite for media consumption. But Dr. Surin failed to mention over 80 million folks of Thailand and Cambodia combined are in danger of war in behalf of Thailand over the International Court of Justice already decided territorial dispute ruling in 1962. It is urgent for ASEAN action to prevent tragedy. So far it seems taken aback while Thailand pumps more problems for Cambodia.
One also note it was Thanat Khoman of same Thailand who waged war with Cambodia during that period. Because of his faulty foreign policy, he hoped to lure USA to navigate his agendas through ASEAN formation over both defunct ASA then SEATO. That’s the truth, but yet Dr.Surin bemused me as he went to call those dictators including tyrant Thanat Khoman from the 60 era his founding fathers.
Is this his sincerity or a silvered line of diplomacy?
Also to a sensible mind, it is incredibly to hear Ex Prime Minister Thao Samak Subdaravej eulogizing such dictator Thanat Khoman as the revered visionary founder. This raised some eyebrows.
Thaan Nayok Samak lamented,” When Dr. Thanat Khoman first proposed the idea of regional integration back in 1967, I could not help but wonder how it could be possible during the Cold War, and with bilateral disputes between countries in the region still fresh in memory. But he and his colleagues from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were so determined to make it possible. Together, they addressed previous shortcomings to create a regional organization. However, with sheer determination and political will, as well as trust and sincerity, they succeeded and now we have all seen ASEAN evolve into a major and vibrant organization.”
Now I can see why they said watch for hands that caressed, those killed too. I am flipped out literally.
I do have suspicion since both Ex-Prime Minister and Secretary General are rivalry in Thailand domestic politics, but they echoed one another like cheek and tongue,” ASEAN has gradually evolved and is now on course to realise the vision and dream of the Founding Fathers. From five member countries in 1967, it now has ten countries. From a small forum focusing primarily on security issues, it is now an emerging ASEAN Community that will touch people’s lives. It was an unknown entity in Southeast Asia, but is now an internationally recognized and respected regional grouping.”
In this juncture, what Thao Samak should say now ASEAN has only 3 likely democratic out of 10 member states in the same room. It is an achievement that bended human decency and laws.
I also want to raise Chair and Secretary General Role to scrutiny, both positions should not be filled by representatives from same origin of nationality. Thus next ASEAN Summit shall re-examine these articles (11), (14), (25), (26), (29) and (32) too. It should state clearly the roles of Chair and Secretary General in the event of oddity of both are from the same legitimate nation.
Presently Secretary General and Chair are from Thailand where it is unclear why the formerly Malay people in southern region are waging war against Bangkok rule. Besides, Mr. Samak himself has just fell out of the democratically majority elected government by his foes, the anarchists, who are endangering Cambodia and Thailand state of peace.
Many experts know ASEAN is synonymous of dictatorship and diverse ancient cultures. It remains much the same throughout decades. Unlike European Union where the entire bloc is dominated by same Romanized culture, civilization and religion. Therefore, it is tough to sell ASEAN wishful one vision, one community and one identity, which, in reality, are impossible based on culture, language, and religion not politics for the majority of 570 million folks.
As it seems 2008 will be much likely a Thailand showcase of real democracy and transparence in laws abiding in own affairs and good governance first. So it must bow out of responsibility as ASEAN next Chairman.
Like he said, indeed, the world and members are watching Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan more intensely than Thailand uncertain future of government. Best at time, what he should do is to motion that shall be deemed consensus and excuse from the Summit for Thailand to wait out until next round. It is the right thing to do to by pass Thailand chairmanship in this rotation .
See Charter at www.asean.org
Introductory Remarks by Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN at the ASEAN Lecture 2008
Bangkok, 8 September 2008
Your Excellency Mr Samak Sundaravej, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Chair of ASEAN,
Your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister,
Your Excellencies Ministers,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me a great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 2008 ASEAN Lecture – held here for the first time in Bangkok. The occasion is both timely and significant as Thailand has just taken over the Chairmanship of ASEAN in July 2008 from Singapore.
This year marks the sixth year that we hold the ASEAN Lecture series. When the idea of the ASEAN Lecture was mooted back in 2003, the intention was to invite an eminent person from the ASEAN Member States to deliver a lecture on ASEAN on the day ASEAN was born – 8 August. This would serve as a key platform to bring wider attention to strategic issues of vital importance to ASEAN as an organisation.
Mr Prime Minister, you will add to the list of eminent speakers who had delivered the ASEAN Lecture in the previous five years. The first was Her Excellency Megawati Soekarnoputri back in 2003, then the President of the Republic of Indonesia. The next year in 2004, it was the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, His Excellency Phan Van Khai in Hanoi. In 2005, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Republic of Indonesia delivered the lecture. This was followed by His Excellency Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia in 2006. Last year, under the Chairmanship of Singapore, His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore, kindly delivered the ASEAN Lecture.
The world is watching ASEAN very, very intensely. They are watching the way which we are establishing our community. They are waiting to see if the ASEAN Charter will be ratified by all ten Member States so that we can celebrate the full ratification of the Charter at the 14th ASEAN Summit here in Bangkok under the Chairmanship of Thailand in the middle of December this year.
I have full confidence, Mr Prime Minister, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the three remaining members of ASEAN, including Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, will ratify this sacred document in time for full implementation by the time all Leaders assemble here in the city of Bangkok in December.
Mr Prime Minister, Distinguished Guests, under the leadership of Thailand, we are very much confident that ASEAN will become more people-oriented. At the Opening Ceremony of the First Meeting of the 42nd ASEAN Standing Committee, ASEAN colleagues were informed that Thailand will focus on 3Rs under her leadership of ASEAN. The first “R” is to realise the purposes and visions of the Charter. The second “R” is to revitalise ASEAN as a people-centred community. The third “R” is to reinforce ASEAN cooperation to better contribute to the quality of life of our 570 million people. I would like to add one more “R” this afternoon, that is, to reaffirm the spirit of our founding fathers 41 years ago here in this city when they signed the Bangkok Declaration (or ASEAN Declaration) on 8 August 1967. The spirit they espoused that day was the spirit of hope, optimism and a sense of shared humanity, among them and among us all.
Mr Prime Minister, thank you very, very much on behalf of ASEAN for your kind agreement to deliver the ASEAN Lecture for the year 2008.
Thank you very, very much.
ASEAN Lecture 2008 by H.E. Samak Sundaravej, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
‘ASEAN: A New Era with a People Agenda’
Bangkok, 8 September 2008
Your Excellency Dr Sahas Bunditkul, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs,Your Excellency Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN,
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to address this distinguished gathering today. The ‘ASEAN Lecture Series’ is a well-established annual regional forum with high-level participation from various sectors of the ASEAN community. This year’s Lecture is convened at a very crucial juncture in history after the signing of the ASEAN Charter last November.
I, personally, have fond memories of ASEAN. As the Governor of Bangkok eight years ago, I had the honour to welcome Foreign Ministers from both ASEAN Member Countries and Dialogue Partners participating in the 33rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Post Ministerial Conferences. This year, I am pleased to have a chance to welcome ASEAN and East Asian Leaders to Bangkok once again as Thailand is hosting the 14th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in December.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When Dr Thanat Khoman first proposed the idea of regional integration back in 1967, I could not help but wonder how it could be possible during the Cold War, and with bilateral disputes between countries in the region still fresh in memory. But he and his colleagues from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were so determined to make it possible. Together, they addressed previous shortcomings to create a regional organisation. However, with sheer determination and political will, as well as trust and sincerity, they succeeded and now we have all seen ASEAN evolve into a major and vibrant organisation.
ASEAN has gradually evolved and is now on course to realise the vision and dream of the Founding Fathers. From five member countries in 1967, it now has ten countries. From a small forum focusing primarily on security issues, it is now an emerging ASEAN Community that will touch people’s lives. It was an unknown entity in Southeast Asia, but is now an internationally recognised and respected regional grouping.
In the political and security area, ASEAN political instruments, such as the Declaration on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN); the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC); and, the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) have all been instrumental in building trust and confidence as well as enhancing Preventive Diplomacy within the region.
On the economic front, the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1992 providing a boost to regional economic growth. Last year, intra-ASEAN trade amounted 404 billion US dollars which accounts for 20% of total ASEAN trade. ASEAN foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow also reached 52.4 billion US dollars in 2006, 28% higher than the previous year’s total inflows. Intra-ASEAN FDI showed a strong 66% surge from 3.8 billion USD in 2005 to 6.2 billion USD in 2006, accounting for 10% of total FDI inflows to ASEAN.
More importantly, the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint adopted by ASEAN Leaders last year will serve as an important roadmap for the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community by the year 2015. The Blueprint will make ASEAN a single market and production base through free flow of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and freer flow of capital.
But even with liberalisation of trade in goods and services, it would still be a challenge for us to fully utilise ASEAN economic integration if much of the region remains disconnected from global markets. Therefore, regional cooperation in infrastructure development has been strengthened so that ASEAN will be connected with networks of roads, rail, air and sea linkages which will facilitate trade, tourism and people-to-people connectivity.
When I spoke to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers during my term as Bangkok Governor back in the year 2000, I spoke of how Bangkok could serve as the crossroad between Europe and Asia, the halfway point from Germany to Japan or Australia. ASEAN is more of the same. The main difference is that ASEAN is not only the crossroad between two regions, but has become the centre of activity in the Asia-Pacific region.
ASEAN is the central force and architect of important regional frameworks such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Community or APEC; the Asia-Europe Meeting or ASEM; and, the ASEAN Regional Forum or ARF. Through the cultivation of external relations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN is also serving as the link between the Eastern and the Western hemispheres.
Most recently, when Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in early May 2008, causing losses of more than 80,000 lives and immense damage to the country’s economic growth, ASEAN once again proved its relevance.
The ‘ASEAN-led mechanism’ under the ASEAN-UN partnership framework, has been instrumental in coordinating relief efforts from all across the continents to the cyclone victims. Thailand is proud to have contributed Don Mueang International Airport as a UN staging area for relief flights.
Despite ASEAN’s impressive track record or past successes, ASEAN is not a perfect organisation. ASEAN needs to re-position itself to be more active and competitive by intensifying regional integration. ASEAN should aim to be an even more outward-looking regional grouping and a community of caring and sharing societies.
The signing of the ASEAN Charter in 2007 was a significant milestone in ASEAN community-building process. Once it enters into force, the Charter will provide a legal and institutional framework to make ASEAN a more rules-based, people-centred, effective and efficient organisation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
From its inception, ASEAN has always been the cornerstone of Thai foreign policy. Being the birthplace of ASEAN, Thailand is determined to see a relevant and dynamic ASEAN – an ASEAN that has the support and active involvement of its peoples. We want to make sure that ASEAN embarks on this new era with peoples at the heart of our agenda.
Let me reiterate once again that under Thailand’s Chairmanship, we will give priority to realising our commitments under the ASEAN Charter and to revitalising a people-centred community. Efforts will be made to ensure that all the details necessary for the establishment and implementation of new ASEAN organs as envisaged in the ASEAN Charter will be in place. The establishment of the ASEAN human rights body, in particular, is expected to be completed by the end of our Chairmanship.
We also want to make sure that ASEAN is able to address and alleviate issues affecting the people’s well-being in a concrete manner, thus reinforcing human development and security for all peoples in the region. To this end, cooperation in the field of food security, energy security and disaster management will be strengthened.
I personally believe that a community could not be a real community without its own peoples having a sense of belonging and ownership. We will therefore reach out to our peoples to make sure that they are on board with the ASEAN community building process. My first ASEAN function after assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship in late July was to launch a series of promotional activities to raise ASEAN awareness. Priority is given to the youth as they will be the ones who will carry the ASEAN torch into the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
One and a half years may be the longest term of Chairmanship in ASEAN’s history. But it will not be long enough for us to realistically think that we can achieve all the necessary elements for the future ASEAN community. We will therefore do our utmost to chart out a course that will lead to ASEAN’s ultimate goals.
As time and tide waits for no one, we have to be action-oriented and try to make things happen as much and as soon as possible. With the cooperation of people such as yourselves who represent all sectors of society, we are confident that by the end of our Chairmanship in 2009, we will have been able to lay a solid foundation for an integrated people-centred ASEAN community.
Thank you very much for your attention and I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening
By BangkokPost Reporters
People Power party MPs have promised to rally behind Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and vote him back in as leader of the government if the Constitution Court disqualifies him for hosting cooking shows on commercial TV.
The court will read out the verdict today on whether Mr Samak violated the constitution by hosting the Chim Pai Bon Pai (Tasting and Grumbling) and Yok Khayong Hok Mong Chao (All Set at 6am) cooking programmes.
The first show is still running on Channel 5 but Mr Samak is no longer involved. The other has been withdrawn from Channel 3.
The charter prohibits a prime minister from holding any position in a partnership, company or an organisation carrying out business with a view to sharing profits or income, or being an employee of any person.
Mr Samak attended the court’s final hearing on the case to defend himself.
If he is found guilty, he will be stripped of the premiership. But he would retain his political rights and be allowed to hold political positions.
Roi Et MP Nisit Sinthuphai, a member of the Newin Chidchob faction, the largest and most influential group in the PPP, admitted it was likely the PPP leader could lose his position as prime minister. However, northeastern MPs agreed they would nominate Mr Samak as prime minister again, Mr Nisit said.
Suthin Klangsaeng, a PPP Maha Sarakham MP loyal to Mr Newin, said Mr Samak is still suited to be prime minister, given his political experience and ability to coordinate with others.
In the two-hour hearing yesterday, Mr Samak defended himself in the case brought against him by a group of senators and the Election Commission.
Mr Samak said he never demanded remuneration from the producer of the two shows made by the same production firm, Face Media.
He said he usually received travel expenses and money to buy food ingredients for use in the shows but insisted he did not receive a monthly salary from the producer because he did not do the shows on a regular basis.
Mr Samak said before he ran for election on Dec 23 last year that he had sought legal advice over whether he could continue with the shows.
The lawyers confirmed he could continue as a guest on the shows and not a company employee, he said.
But Mr Samak said he told the company to find a replacement for him as he thought it inappropriate for him to continue with the shows after he became prime minister.
“When I quit [the shows], they did not give me [remuneration] and I did not demand it. When I took office as prime minister on Feb 6, I quit completely after criticism,” Mr Samak said.
Face Media managing director Sakchai Kaewwanneesakul told the court that the remuneration was calculated and paid in the same way as for other freelance show hosts.
Mr Samak stopped hosting the shows for a time when he was city governor.
When his tenure as Bangkok governor expired, he resumed hosting the programmes, Mr Sakchai said.
Before the Dec 23, 2007 election, Mr Sakchai said he wrote to ask Mr Samak if it was legal for him to continue with the shows and Mr Samak confirmed it was, citing advice from legal experts.
But Mr Sakchai said Mr Samak rejected any remuneration, although the company made payments for travel expenses and cost of food for use in the shows to Mr Samak’s driver.
Mr Sakchai said that when Mr Samak became prime minister, the two cooking shows were recorded a couple of times.