Good evening, dear Thai citizens. We meet again for the 13th time and today I speak to you in different roles and capacities. It is a pleasure to inform you that this morning the Government already delivered its Policy Statement to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) which means the Cabinet, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Ministers can fully assume their duties in issuing orders, signing documents, and mobilizing policies into practices. As Prime Minister, I have more peace of mind now, as we have proceeded according to regulations and in existing traditions – which is to announce policies for national administration to the NLA and the people of Thailand. This means we, the Cabinet and Thai people, will join hands in mobilizing the country for the sake of the people’s happiness and well-being, and to build confidence among foreign nations in all aspects.
The Government’s Policy was drafted with one important condition, that is, to assume the work of NCPO which was implemented during a time of urgency and abnormal security conditions. People still face many difficulties. Some have been resolved, some have not, while others were solved immediately or temporarily but still need more time for sustainable resolution. We are entering the 2nd phase of Roadmap which is crucial to the country’s stability and sustainability.
This Government is different from those in the past. We have 3 missions to achieve. Apart from national administration, we also have duties on national reform, and restoration of reconciliation and harmony for public safety.
We are aware that these are difficult challenges which may involve crises as well as opportunities. However, we will take every effort to turn crises into opportunities. It is the challenge for us to accomplish our objectives even under time constraints.
We will not be a Government that works on a day-to-day basis, waiting for national reform or an election. We will perform our duties in the manner of taking immediate action for a sustainable future. In ‘future’ it does not mean the following year or the next Government, but a strong foundation for the democratic processes of the country as mentioned before. We will join forces in strengthening this structure with “brick, stone, sand, cement, and steel” to prevent further destruction. Let all Thai people be the architects and builders.
If we, the Government or NCPO, do it by ourselves, nothing will be achieved. I would like all Thai people to think about it. Even those who think differently should contemplate how we will live together without conflict and violence. Whether who is innocent or guilty will depend on strict legal and judicial process, as well as impartiality and indiscrimination of officials. We have limited time. At this moment, domestic and international resistance movements have evolved both openly and secretly. Slanders are widely spread through social networks. I would like to ask you to look carefully, contemplate, and reflect on what each of us should do to move the country forward. I have been informed that some groups of people are waiting for an ending of the martial law, so they could politically mobilize public for further unrest and call for a general election without proper reform. These slanderers and defamers will only hinder efficiency in our work and can even prevent us from performing duties. Let me raise an example about my own case. There have been false documents spread in social networks complete with forged headers and footers as well as content, about a request to a bank to conceal the alleged assets of mine and my brothers. Who in his right mind would do so? It would be nice if I had that much amount of money so I would use it to pay off the debts of fellow Thai citizens or do something good for national interests. The bank is also aware of the case and has come out to clarify the truth. I am afraid there are some people who still believe in this fake document. I have to speak about thus matter in order to prevent this kind of slander from being circulated again. We are commanders; we perform our duty to be role model for our subordinates. Otherwise, we would not be able to command such a large number of subordinates with weapons in their hands up until now. I have said it before that wickedness must be defeated by good deeds. People with good deeds will always be blessed and respected.
On the subject of false messaging, especially those on social media, to attacking the NPCO and myself – there was a case the other day where the suspect told the police that they did it simply out of fun. I wonder why there are so many slanderers who wrongly believe that posting such false content will make them heroes. I beg you not to forward or repost these hate speeches which are unfounded and cause social unrest violence. And when they are arrested, these people often claim they are innocent and abused by officials. You should perceive and choose to believe news with your own judgment. If you have any questions, just ask the NCPO, the government, or even me. Some people do this and go abroad to make further allegations. If you are not in the wrong why do you need to run away? The best solution is to come back and go through normal legal proceedings and let the courts decide instead of taking the matter onto streets, discussing in secret, or starting movements abroad. I am aware that such movements still persist and beg for reconsideration of your action for the sake of our nation. We are trying to reform our country and its image perceived by the international community. Therefore, we should refrain from spreading false defamations or better ignore them altogether. If we choose to ignore these false claim, the media won’t pursue and try to make news that invoke breach of peace and order. I wonder how actions like those would help bring peace, happiness, economic growth, and long-lasting democratic solution to our country.
I would like to inform you about the use of violent weapons, whether they were M79 and M16 shootings or other bombings, which took place in 2010 and during 2013-2014. Many suspects are under arrest and being investigated by the police. Progress has been made. You would be shocked and surprised if I reveal names of those who provided support on the acquisition of such weapons, including their financing. I assure you that the authorities responsible will conduct the investigation with justice. Those who fled abroad were mentioned during testimonies. Some are still in the country. Be prepared. When all evidences and witnesses are ready, you will be prosecuted. You’d better turn yourself in, perhaps to plead your chances for the court’s mercy.
This Government’s policies are based on His Majesty the King’s principle of “Understanding, Reaching Out and Development”, and the Royal philosophy of sufficiency economy. Things that have been problematic, outdated, without international standards, or have caused people difficulties will be prioritized into 3 timeframes of action. In order to achieve concrete results, urgent issues will be dealt with right away, while the intermediate issues need about a year. The next governments will be responsible for the sustainable issues. The 11 areas of government policy will cover security, economic affairs, social and psychological affairs, foreign affairs, legal and judicial process, and more.
Government policies in the past have been more intangible than concrete. They were not efficiently put into practice and mobilized as they lacked unity, collaboration, and integration. As a consequence, the policies could not yield long-term results and continuity.
We have now clearly determined policies and assignments for each ministry. As for budgets, whether they be functional, integrative, personnel, or administrative – all will be properly assigned to ensure effective expenditure with transparent monitoring processes at the central, regional, and local administrations, and also at the policy, policy to practice, and execution levels. The people must be informed of what their community would be like in the next 5-10 years, and how it will be developed to ease out conflicts and resistances. Every citizen should be aware of the country’s future, and know how to contribute and sacrifice.
National administration will then be in accordance with the Government’s policy. I have required for each government office to submit quarterly reports on budget spending. Results must be concrete. Operation plans must be well prepared and prioritized based on urgency of work so the people could immediately benefit. There will not be rushing in budget spending towards the end of fiscal year.
Our government today does not come from political parties. We do not need to care about canvassing votes, maintaining our majority, our constituents, or our popularity. We only care about solving problems and enacting sustainable reforms. This process will not be easy. The problems have existed for more than a decade – it did not arise from our taking control of the administration on 22 May. Therefore, we have to think together, cooperate and assist each other in taking action.
I am deeply sympathetic to the plight of those with low incomes, especially those who have been exploited so that you are stressed and cannot take it anymore. When there are people who come along to provoke and incite you on this issue, you cannot control yourselves and that is when problems start. You should compose yourselves, consult and talk with others, and tolerate. Please help us first – don’t force us to constantly resort to the law. Please be open-minded to us and do not throw away our good intentions. We do not want power nor are we here to protect anyone’s interests. However, you must know that in our work, there are many levels and agencies involved. There will be a chance that bad-intentioned people will infiltrate and block the system. Time must be given for investigations in accordance with the law, while the country moves forward – do not allow the country to stop. All the troubles come from the wrongdoing of only a few people, who usually claim injustice. Please allow time for issues to be clarified – do not overly criticise each other. If you were in a position to take action, you will know that it is not so easy. But do not worry – the guilty will always be punished. They will not be able to escape anywhere. The cases will stay with them. They will be unable to find any happiness and will always be anxious. So why should we join them in their anxiety? I think that it is best to allow the law and the process of justice to take their considered course. Nobody will dare risk aiding the guilty, if the people do not put pressure on them. Please do not bring lawsuits upon yourselves. If you do not have any lawsuits against you, then that is good. Some people are already poor/in trouble and, on top of that, they have to deal with lawsuits too. Your children and wife will be very troubled. Today our nation, civil servants, police, and military are much stronger now; otherwise we would have been unable to steer the country’s development in the past 4 months. So please try to go back and reconsider your positions.
In the past week, I had the opportunity to participate in an event held by a private organisation involved in the prevention and elimination of corruption. This issue is a national agenda. I was gladdened by the activeness of the people. Everyone is aware that in the past, corruption was one of the causes of the disturbances in our country, leading to divisions in our society, and the diminishing of foreign countries’ confidence in our nation. Therefore, the government’s priority is to deal with this problem in a concrete way, while being cautious, just, and fair in our approach. Please do not use your emotions or your hatred to judge cases; allow the process of justice to continue.
We have to reach every group, everyone, every side, and every system. If there has been an incident, then it must be carefully investigated. If it has not happened yet, then there must be sustainable preventative measures. Please do not judge cases by yourselves; otherwise we may as well not have the law. We will return to the past, where there will only be trouble, confusion, and violence in our future. If there is a problem, we will correct it. If something needs to be moved forward, we will move it. Please remember my words. Please do not denounce me. Too much pressure will restrain our work, and working under pressure cannot be such a good thing.
Regarding the overall picture of the economy, problems with income and cost of living, the NCPO and government gives great importance to these issues. Last Wednesday, I invited economic agencies including the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Bank of Thailand, the Bureau of the Budget, the Ministry of Commerce, and other experts to discuss together on the present Thai economic situation and future trends for Thailand. This discussion involved in-depth discussions of economic statistics. The meeting found that confidence among foreign investors and domestic consumers was on the rise. However, the Thai economic recovery is still vulnerable to domestic and external factors, such as our competitive capacity and foreign conflicts in various regions.
The development of the competitive capacity of the Thai economy through measures such as promoting investment in industries that involve the use of modern technology, the production of goods that meet market demands, the development of transportation infrastructure, the reform of measures facilitating business owners and investors, the reform of laws / regulations / processes that will facilitate trade and investment, the modern management of agriculture – all of these will require time to implement. The current recovery of the economy may have positive effects only on certain people / business owners. The effects of the recovery have not been felt by many people on low income in various localities / regions across the country. I am concerned for this group of citizens. Apart from expediting budgetary measures for the first quarter, which are designed to spread money through the economic systems into the hands of the people as quickly as possible, I have also delegated the Ministry of Finance, the Bureau of the Budget, the Ministry of Interior, and the Comptroller General’s Department to formulate measures to look after the people in those localities and regions. I have asked them to consider using excess budget, such as left-over budget from the previous budgetary year, budget from the local administration, and budget from the Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) projects, to fund a stimulus programme for the economy of communities. This measure should help to create jobs, generate income, and respond to the different needs of the people of every group and every region in a fair, equitable, and thorough manner as quickly as possible.
Regarding the recent work of the Damrongtham Centre and the Peace and Order Maintaining Command, I must express my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Interior, the Provincial Governors, civil servants, the police, the military, and the private sector for their cooperation and facilitation in past activities. Our services to the people has succeeded with concrete results in many areas, including the gathering of information on problems, the needs of the people, receiving complaints, and solving problems / reducing bureaucracy / giving information etc. Examples include farmers in Bang Pla Ma District who had not received 70 million baht that was owed for their rice. The private sector was invited to find a solution to this problem. The end result was that the farmers received their payment. Then there was the case of the people of Nong Sarai Subdistrict in Don Chedi District, Suphanburi Province. Their problem was that they had insufficient electricity – so the Electricity Authority of Don Chedi District was contacted. The end result was the Electricity Authority allocating a budget to expand the electricity grid in that area. It is estimated that the work will be completed by the end of this September. Then there were disputes over irrigation water for agriculture in Huaichai Sub-district, Inburi District, stemming from the untimely opening and closing of watergates – there was a group of businesspersons who held the keys. The end result was that state agencies intervened as mediators and assigned an equitable share of water for everyone. The people were satisfied. Then there was the case of the construction of the Luang Por Uttama’s Bridge or the Mon Bridge in Sankhlaburi District, Kanchanaburi Province, which has faced numerous delays. The end result was that the civil servants and people, including engineering army have joined together to solve the problems. It is estimated that the work will be complete by the end of this September too. In the past 4 months, the Peace and Order Maintaining Command has received information on the troubles being faced by the people, as well as their needs. Across the country 8,880 cases have been collected; of these, 7,420 cases were dealt with, while a further 1,460 were forwarded to the Damrongtham Centre. I regard this as a facilitation service for the people. There is no need for them to walk in to file your complaints at the Government House or any other government agency. I am aware that in some districts and provinces, the private sector has kindly arranged for office space for the Damrongtham Centre, such as the Lotus Superstore in Kanchanaburi Province. I wish to thank them all here. If possible, it would be best for the Damrongtham Centres to be located in places that are easily accessible to ordinary people.
Regarding the problems in the Southern Border Provinces, most recently I have assigned the Secretary-General of the National Security Council to travel to Malaysia with the objective of entering into discussion with his Malaysian counterpart and reaffirming Thailand’s commitment to peace talks. As previously, Malaysia will act as the facilitator of the talks. The government / NCPO give great importance to this matter, but of cause with carefulness.
On assisting those citizens affected by the present floods, I have ordered the Army Area Commanders to coordinate their efforts with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. Officers from various agencies have also been present to assist the people in a timely manner, while also preparing to deal with future water-related crises that may occur from time to time. Nevertheless, the Water Management and Flood Prevention Committee is currently working on systematically dealing with the root causes of the problem and an integrated system of water management. In the future, we will be able to deal with floods and droughts more effectively and reduce the anxiety of citizens in a sustainable manner. That is our highest hope.
Regarding the selection of members of the National Reform Council, a total of 7,362 names have been submitted for consideration. Bangkok has the most number of candidates, with 133 people. Regarding the reform of various areas of society, education reform has been the most interesting with 777 candidates. The area with the least interest is the media, with only 194 candidates. Thank you for all 7,000-8,000 candidates applied for selection. Everyone can contribute to the country. If ones are not selected, they can still help by giving advices. After the qualifications of the candidates have been examined, we will move into the selection stage. Please wait and see – the Selection Committee and the NCPO will do our best to carefully consider the candidates, so that we will end up with those with recognised expertise, knowledge, and ability in the various areas, so that the reforms will be truly beneficial for the nation.
Finally, to all of you – I still think of you and worry about all citizens, as before. Not every problem has been solved; some have only been lessened, while others are in the process of being solved. I believe that from next week onwards the ministers in the cabinet will be fully functional and continue the planning, projects, and the productive works started by the NCPO. The ones requiring adjustment will be discussed in the cabinet. We collect all ideas and suggestions from people affected and in need. I assure you that the Government will try our best. Please do not focus too much on what have not done or cannot do. NCPO has worked for 4 months with cooperation of officials, police, armed forces, and the people. We have listened to and received advices from both inside and outside resources. NCPO will transfer what we have done to the cabinet. We would like to invite all of us to join hands in moving Thailand forward to the sustainable future of the country which requires both time and your patience.
Thank you. Good night.
Royal Thai Government