The future of Thailand is more young, new-gen forces in politics.
Pasakorn “PK” Vanasirikul, 25—model, artist, and actor who majored in psychology, philosophy, and religious studies with a minor in art history—is the latest (and youngest) member of the Kla Party. He competed in a Thai TV modeling contest, The Face Men, when he was 20, represented Thailand in Faces of Asia in Korea, and starred in a few TV series. We spoke to him about his new role now as a politician at a Democrat Party spin-off led by former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij.
Why did you leave the entertainment industry?
I was unhappy. I was very young and I didn’t recognize how lucky I was. I asked myself some very difficult questions, one of them being: “is being a celebrity my only job?” I don’t regret it but I wouldn’t do it again.
What inspired you to become a politician?
After a long break and a lot of introspection and self-reflection, I asked myself, “Why am I still not happy?” I realized that I just wanted to be a part of the change. I want to make good changes. So, what’s the career path that has a high probability of making a change? A politician.
Yea, but why? Why does a young, rich Thai model want to work for the people? Why do you care about making changes?
Why not? Because I care. It’s human nature to want to help. Yes, it seems selfless, but part of it is also selfish, because I also want to be remembered.
Given your resume, why should anyone take you seriously?
I will simply let the work speak for itself. Academically, I’m the least qualified person, and I might be the first person in Kla Party without a PhD, but take a look at how Google hires; they hire very few academic people.
Why the Kla Party?
I think people are right to think that they are isolated as they are a bunch of finance people. But I think that’s what my role is in the party, to bring some reality to this party a bit. To be a voice of the young, new-gen people. I’m the youngest person in the party, but it’s needed. They need to hear this. I think [the party] needs to be a place where a young person can say to an old man in power what needs to change.
What are you hoping to bring to the Kla party?
I focus on the creative side of the economy. I would like to push for a niche community. Being an artist, I realize how hard it is to find work in Thailand, and we need to find a platform for artists. There needs to be infrastructure, we need a better platform for people to be creative. I hope that one day we can export creative talent like Korea. That’s my role for now, as Korn recognizes the importance of that. Considering I majored in psychology, I also want the government to recognize mental health. The youth want to go to therapy and not be judged.
What do you think Thailand needs right now?
I think people just want their dreams to come true. The government, they’re not required to do it, but they should at least provide a platform or a safety net for people. Whether your dream is to have a family, or to open a small restaurant, or to make your own craft beer, the government should provide some tools or access, because dreams are difficult to achieve [without any help]. It’s important for the people to get back up and do it again when they fail, with support from the government.