National Broadcast by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Head of the National Council for Peace and Order, on 27 June 2014

Good evening to all fellow citizens. We meet again on Friday as usual. In the past week, we had summarized NCPO’s work in a one-month performance report. However, we need to press on the resolving the still many problems relating to the well-being and livelihood of the people.

Some people have expressed concern whether NCPO can successfully solve these multi-faceted and interconnected problems involving social, economic, political and psychological aspects, accumulated over the years and many governments.

Today the NCPO would like to convey to you all that we are doing our utmost in a limited time to yield results. There are many steps in our operational plans. We have prioritized the problems for implementation into three phases.

The first phase involves immediate issues to be carried out in the first three months. We have been tackling these issues since May. The urgent problems that needs to be dealt with immediately includes crime prevention and suppression, gambling, narcotics, illegal logging and deforestation, and crackdown on war-grade weapons and influential groups such as those who take advantage of taxis, as well as migrant-worker smugglers. Provisional measures will be considered on issues such as living wages, farmers’ assistance, amendment of laws to remove impediments in trade and investment.

Such measures will have to be officially approved and beneficial to all in driving the economy forward and expediting the disbursement of the 2015 fiscal year Budget. All projects of government and public enterprises are reviewed in terms of necessity, efficiency and transparency. These projects must undergo scrutiny before their approval. Another important ongoing task in phase 1 is to prepare ground work in reforms that will lead to reconciliation and reforms in phase 2.

In the short term or phase 2, measures on reforms in various areas will be carried out not over 300 days with the participation of the people. These reforms include prevention and suppression of corruption, political reform, the process of acquiring and exercising political power, the justice system, independent institutions, energy reform, mass communication, education, morals and ethics, ensuring economic and social equity, access to natural resources and many other issues. These reforms will be undertaken when a Government, Legislative Council, and Reform Council have been formed.

Other vital problems that require a thorough cost-benefit analysis and may widely affect the interest of the people and country will also be addressed in phase 2.

The long term phase or phase 3 will be after the elections. Pending issues from phase 1 and 2 will continue to be examined in phase 3 by an elected government to complete reforms initiated in the first two phases for the benefits of all parties.

The NCPO stressed on the participation from all sectors – be they private businesses, civil society and general public – in ensuring efficiency and competency of the national administration and driving forward the economy.

Today we have heard views and policy recommendations from the public and have taken prompt action. For instance, discussions with the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce, instructing the Ministry of Commerce to expedite the signing process of international trade agreements, and pressing upon ministries immediate amend laws and regulations that impede trade and investment.

We will listen to comments, recommendations and requests from various groups so that our conduct of national administration meets the expectations of the people and to truly benefit the country. All concerned ministries and agencies have been instructed to provide channels to receive complaints and recommendations from the public so that we can compile and consider in the three phases.

According to a recent poll on the satisfaction of people regarding the NCPO’s operation, the result was 8.82 out of 10, which is decent. However, the NCPO has not been complacent or over-enthusiastic about the result, as there are more work to be done. The NCPO has a duty to bring happiness to all even though the burden is on us but we are willing to work hard for everyone. There are still many problems to address. The NCPO has instructed the relevant ministries and agencies to conduct surveys on public opinion and expectations for further assessment and implementation.

As for initiatives to re-organize public services and maintain proper order, we have prioritised them according to urgency which are being implemented parallel by the relevant working groups.

Security is an important and immediate issue. The security aspect has to be integrated in all dimension of the present work. The economic, social and psychological and other areas have been devoid of a security aspect and may lead to numerous problems in the future. For example, political conflicts leading to divisiveness, economic development that focuses on profit maximization, cheap labour that led to problems of undocumented and illegal labourers, issues of human trafficking, human rights violation.

Tourism promotion that focuses solely on the quantity resulted in problems of mafia and terrorism as well as transnational crimes. A consummate economic development may lead to forest trespass and deforestation, affecting the environment and the living condition of people. In the area of trade and economic development along the 5,800 kilometers border with our neighbours, if we do not give due consideration to national security it will lead to an influx of transnational crimes and illegal migrant labour. We have no fence so we have to work on ways to increase a level of vigilance in border areas.

The general public must play a part in national security, reinforced by military, police, and relevant officials. Furthermore, we need to develop technologies such as using video cameras and motion-detection equipments in densely covered areas.

In strengthening national security, apart from having a strong military force, other sectors must also be reinforced, namely civil servants, police, general public, civil society, and students. They should possess a conscience of national security and civic responsibility; a shared vision on how to keep the country secure; aware of common duty; respect the laws; and uphold national interest. If we are strong and united, the abovementioned problems will not escalate.

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