Thailand’s Deputy Finance Minister’s educational credentials questioned

The educational credentials of Deputy Finance Minister Santi Prompat have re-emerged as an issue of public interest after he implied that he is qualified to become the new Finance Minister, replacing Mr. Pridi Daochai who resigned over a week ago.

Mr. Tortrakul Bunnag, President of the Engineering Association of Thailand, said in his Facebook post that a clarification was required from Associate Professor Kim Chaisaensook, Rector of Ramkhamhaeng University, about whether Mr. Santi was dismissed from the university.

In response to the speech in Parliament by Democrat MP Vinai Sompong in 2008, claiming that Mr. Santi was dismissed over alleged exam cheating, the Professor admitted that Mr. Santi was caught cheating in 1999 when he hired Mr. Somyot Meesawat to sit in the exam on his behalf.

Mr. Santi was asked by the university to defend himself, but he didn’t show up, according to the Professor in his clarification. Mr. Santi, and other students who were disciplined by the university, were pardoned on the occasion of the sixth cycle anniversary of then King Bhumibol.

Ramkhamhaeng University today issued a statement confirming that the Deputy Finance Minister had completed BA and MA studies at the Political Science Faculty of the university.
The university said that there was a misunderstanding about the name of the student who was caught cheating, claiming that the actual student who was caught cheating was Saanti Phrompat, not Santi Prompat.

Asked about the observation made by Pheu Thai Deputy Leader Yutthapong Charassathien about his educational credentials, Mr. Santi claimed that, besides his BA and MA degrees from Ramkhamhaeng University, he completed his PhD on electric cars at King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Lat Krabang campus about six months ago, adding that he is waiting for the graduation ceremony.

Asked whether he will produce his degrees as proof, he said that it is better for his doubters to ask Ramkhamhaeng University.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)