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Thailand Mourns the Loss of Veteran Politician Thawee Kraikupt at 84: A Legacy Remembered

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In the intricate tapestry of Thai politics, a thread that wove through its rich history for decades has come to its end. The illustrious and veteran politician Thawee Kraikupt, a figure whose career spanned several eras and cabinets, breathed his last at the venerable age of 84, within the hallowed walls of Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok. His passing marks the turning of a page in the political narrative of Thailand, leaving behind a legacy of service and dedication.

The saga of Thawee Kraikupt wasn’t just a chronicle of political achievements and milestones; it was a vibrant narrative of resilience, wisdom, and a relentless commitment to his country. As the patriarch of a political dynasty, with his daughter, Pareena Kraikupt, following in his formidable footsteps, Thawee’s story is interwoven with the fabric of Thailand’s political landscape. On a quiet April day, the elder Kraikupt, after a tragic fall in his home in Ratchaburi province that led to severe head injuries, was rushed to the bustle of Siriraj Hospital, a beacon of medical excellence in Bangkok. Alas, the injuries proved too grievous, and on the following day, a chapter in Thai politics closed forever.

The news of his departure reverberated through the corridors of power and into the hearts of many, especially within the Kraikupt family. Paisal Puechmongkol, a stalwart in the political arena and former senator, was among the first to extend his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, a sentiment echoed by many who had crossed paths with Thawee. The announcement of his passing, however, was shrouded in a veil of privacy, as Pareena Kraikupt disclosed that the family chose a moment of quiet reflection before sharing their loss with the world, out of consideration for her mother’s ongoing battle with illness and her treatment’s concurrent timing at the hospital.

Thawee Kraikupt’s journey began on May 29, 1939, a period that saw the world on the brink of momentous changes. Yet, amidst the shifting sands of time, Thawee stood as a beacon of consistency, serving as Ratchaburi’s representative in Parliament for seven incredible terms. His tenure saw him navigate the complexities of commerce as a deputy minister in the era of Gen Prem Tinsulanonda’s administration in 1981 and later, the intricacies of transport in Chuan Leekpai’s government in 1992. His roles were not just positions; they were platforms from which he sought to bring about tangible improvements in the lives of his constituents.

Thawee Kraikupt leaves behind not just a bereaved family, with his son, Seehadet Kraikupt, continuing his public service as chairman of the Bang Tanod tambon administration organisation, and his daughter, Pareena, who herself has navigated the turbulent waters of Thai politics as a Ratchaburi MP. His legacy is also etched in the memories of the people he served, the lives he touched, and the indelible mark he left on the political landscape of Thailand. In the end, Thawee Kraikupt was not just a politician; he was a visionary, a mentor, and above all, a devoted servant of the people.

As Thailand moves forward, the memory of Thawee Kraikupt will remain, a reminder of the dedication, resilience, and commitment that are the hallmarks of true public service. His story, from the halls of power to the quiet finality of his passing, is a testament to a life lived in the service of others, a beacon for future generations to follow.


  1. Nattapon April 20, 2024

    It’s definitely the end of an era for Thai politics. Thawee Kraikupt’s contributions to our country can’t be overlooked. His dedication and service have marked a significant part of our political landscape.

    • SuraKi April 20, 2024

      I find it hard to praise someone from such a controversial dynasty. Sure, he served a long time, but let’s not forget some of the more questionable policies and decisions.

      • Nattapon April 20, 2024

        Controversial or not, his impact was undeniable. Every politician has their flaws, and it’s no secret that Thai politics isn’t perfect either. The man dedicated his life to public service.

  2. PrayuthJ April 20, 2024

    While many mourn, let’s also remember this opens a discussion on political dynasties in Thailand. Is it healthy for our democracy to have families dominate politics for generations?

    • DemocracyAdvocate April 20, 2024

      Absolutely agree. Political dynasties can stifle new leadership and fresh ideas. While Thawee did contribute to Thailand’s political scene, it’s worth questioning the dynastic shadow over our politics.

      • PareenaFan April 20, 2024

        I think you’re both overlooking the good his family has done. It takes experience and a deep understanding of our country’s politics to lead effectively.

      • PrayuthJ April 20, 2024

        It’s not about denying their contributions, but about ensuring that our political landscape remains dynamic and open to all. Experience is crucial, but so is diversity in leadership.

  3. ThaiPatriot April 20, 2024

    Rest in peace, Thawee Kraikupt. Regardless of politics, losing a public servant is a loss for the nation. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

  4. BangkokPostReader April 20, 2024

    This article paints a rosy picture of Thawee Kraikupt. While respecting his death, we shouldn’t ignore the controversies that marred his and his family’s political careers.

    • Realist101 April 20, 2024

      History should remember all facets of a person’s life, the good and the bad. Only then can we learn and grow.

  5. YouthInPolitics April 20, 2024

    What legacy does he really leave behind? Another politician passes, but what about the youth? We need more young voices in politics, not more of the same old.

    • OldGuard April 20, 2024

      Youth in politics is important, but so is experience. Thawee’s long-standing service brought stability. We need a balance.

      • YouthInPolitics April 20, 2024

        Stability is necessary, but without innovation and new ideas, we risk stagnation. We can honor past politicians while still pushing for change and growth.

  6. NeutralObserver April 20, 2024

    Everyone’s so quick to judge. Let’s not forget that in politics, it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t faced controversy. The man served for decades and did what he thought was best for his country.

    • Skeptic April 20, 2024

      Doing what one thinks is best and what is actually best can be two very different things. Good intentions don’t always translate to good policies.

      • NeutralObserver April 20, 2024

        True, but my point is that we should also recognize the burden that public service carries. It’s a complex game, and perfect outcomes are often unrealistic.

  7. FutureForward April 20, 2024

    This gives us a chance to reflect on what type of leaders we want for Thailand. Do we continue to follow the old guard, or is it time for new leadership to address modern challenges?

    • TraditionVsChange April 20, 2024

      A mix of both, ideally. Experience informed by tradition, guided by modern principles and fresh perspectives, could be what Thailand needs to navigate future challenges.

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