Boonchu Rojanastien

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Boonchu Rojanastien
บุญชู โรจนเสถียร
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
September 29, 1992 – October 25, 1994
Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai
In office
March 12, 1980 – March 11, 1981
Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda
Minister of Finance
In office
March 17, 1975 – April 20, 1976
Prime Minister M.R. Kukrit Pramoj
Personal details
Born January 20, 1921
Chonburi, Thailand
Died March 19, 2007
Bangkok, Thailand
Nationality Thai
Political party Democrat Party
Palang Dharma
Social Action Party
Alma mater Thammasat University
Profession Accountant
Religion Buddhism

Boonchu Rojanastien (Thai: บุญชู โรจนเสถียร; rtgsBunchu Rotchanasathian, Chinese: 黃聞波, Huang Wenbo[1] born January 20, 1921, Chon Buri Province, Thailand, died March 19, 2007, Bangkok)[2] was a Thai banker. Touted as Thailand's first "economics tsar", he served in the government of Kukrit Pramoj in 1975 and 1976. During his tenure as finance minister, he initiated a policy of "ngern phan" (money allocation), which distributed several billion baht of government funds to 5,000 tambon, or local government, councils.[3] His populist policies would later be embraced under the administration of Thaksin Shinawatra.


Early life and business career[edit]

Boonchu was the eldest of five children born to a Thai Chinese carpenter of Hainanese origin in Chon Buri Province.[4] He married Renu Rojanastien, and had two children Krip Rojanastien and Ora Rojanastien. He excelled at school and entered Thammasat University, graduating with a degree in accounting. He then opened his own accounting firm, and shortly after that joined Bangkok Bank. He eventually became president of the bank, from 1977 to 1980,[5] and led the institution through expansion and the establishment of branches across Thailand.[2][3]


He became involved in politics in 1973 under the administration of Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti. Boonchu was appointed a senator and he played a role in drafting the Constitution in 1974.

He joined Social Action Party and was elected as a Member of Parliament from Prachin Buri Province. This was during the short reign of Seni Pramoj, who was succeeded by his brother, Kukrit Pramoj.

Under Kukrit, Boonchu served as deputy prime minister and finance minister, and he initiated his populist "ngern phan" program of doling out billions of baht to local governments.

He left politics in 1983 and returned to banking, serving as chairman of Siam City Bank, only to return to politics in 1986 as the head of the Kijprachakhom Party. The party later consolidated with other parties to form the Ekaphap Party, of which Boonchu served as deputy. He later led the Palang Dharma Party.

Boonchu eventually joined the Democrat Party and served as a cabinet member and then adviser to the first government of Chuan Leekpai.

"The future of a political party hinges on its policies. Any inappropriate policies will just simply fade away," was Boonchu's famous motto.[3]

Boonchu left politics in 1998 after serving on the House Budget Committee.[6]

Later years[edit]

Boonchu's family weathered the 1997 East Asian financial crisis. He then started the Chiva-Som International Resort and Spa in Hua Hin, which at its peak, became one of the best Resort and Spa and was awarded the top resort and spa of the world.

He suffered from leukemia,[6] and was treated at Vichaiyudh Hospital in Bangkok, where he died on March 19, 2007.[3]


  1. ^ [泰国] 洪林, 黎道纲主编 (April 2006). 泰国华侨华人研究. 香港社会科学出版社有限公司. pp. 185–6. ISBN 962-620-127-4. 
  2. ^ a b Influential banker, politician dead at 86, Bangkok Post, 2007-03-20.
  3. ^ a b c d Boonchu, first 'economic tsar', dies, The Nation, 2007-03-20.
  4. ^ Chris Baker, Pasuk Phongpaichit. A History of Thailand. Cambridge University Press. p. 280. ISBN 0-521-81615-7. 
  5. ^ History of Bangkok Bank Archived September 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b Long-time economic czar dies of leukemia Archived March 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., MCOT, 2007-03-19.