From the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy to Sustainable Development Goals – February 17, 2017
Good evening dear Thai citizens.
I thank you for the opportunity to be able to talk to you every Friday night. I get to do this only once a week. As we are in the transition period and, therefore, going through many reforms, there are several matters that we need to understand.
I’d like to begin with something auspicious. The Cabinet members this week were granted an audience with His Holiness Somdet Phra Arayawongsakhatayan, the Supreme Patriarch. Let me convey to you all the messages and blessings he conveyed. His Holiness’s emphasized the importance of “being conscious of our actions, the need to think about issues, self awareness, and knowing what to do” and offered his encouragement and support to the government and NCPO to carry out our duties for the country meticulously.
The supreme patriarch also told us that as fortunes and positions come and go, one should not be attached to fortune or position. The government and NCPO are fully aware of this principle and acknowledge that what truly lasts is virtue. We have, therefore, been committed to doing good for the nation and for the people, in accordance to the aspirations of King Rama IX, who ‘reigned with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people’ and the King’s Philosophy through the His Majesty King Rama X.
One thing that Dhamma teaches us but many have perhaps forgotten is to be repentant and wary of our wrongdoings.
This is an importance principle for all of us because without a sense of shame or guilt for misconduct, the more we are likely to do malicious things.
Dear citizens Thais, allow me to mention something about the media- that there have been some media outlets, newspapers, TV stations that have reporting news which has demeaned the work of the five agencies or ‘rivers’ of reform. They publicize these stories without factual information. It is not feasible to say that the government, the NCPO, and the related agencies have accomplished nothing in fixing the country’s problems and implementing reforms.
I’d like everyone to be fair in your own judgment. These few media sources break their codes of conduct by making criticisms just to cause conflict and controversy. The government is dealing with a number of issues and brainstorming ideas, and many tasks have completed. We have asked for opinions from many different sides. We don’t just come to conclusions without listening to others. It is mistake to assume that it is just the military that are considering matters as the private sector and civil servants have been fully involved as well.
Our nation today is more peaceful, the economy is improving, and foreign trade and investments are showing good signs despite the global economic fluctuations. For instance, the government has pushed for the promulgation of 200 laws to deal with problems concerning water, forests, and land. We also needed to address the issues concerning ministerial regulations that were outdated. Some regulations were not compatible, thus hindering the overall government workflow. If the laws cannot be enforced, then they lose their sanctity. The government has modernized many of these laws so that they are now suitable for today’s society. We have also adopted and adapted many international regulations and guidelines.
In terms of corruption and bribery, we all know that in Thai law, both giver and receiver will be held accountable. There are two kinds of giver – the first kind is the one who is forced to give the bribe and the second kind is the one who willfully gives a bribe.
The giver sometimes doesn’t report the wrongdoing for fear of retaliation and punishments. But please think about this. Without evidence and without witnesses, wrongdoers or receivers of bribes cannot be brought to justice. Without a plaintiff, we can only probe. Without proof, wrongdoers or bribe-takers walk free. Without any of this, we will not be able to prosecute any wrongdoer or corrupt official. Society then loses trust in the government sector or the inspecting agency.
Therefore, instead of only denouncing the authorities on these matters, the media and the public should help us think about how to deal with this problem. This matter involves a large number of people.
In terms of forest preservation, there are many types of forest – preserved, commercial, and community. How should these forests be managed? There a many laws that vary between the agencies and maps should be corrected so they are consistent. We also have to think about how can we enforce the law without troubling the locals? Some families had inhabited forest areas before certain laws came into existence. Now, they are considered as outlaws and there are no measures in place to assist them. We have to look at it case by case using jurisprudence and political principles in the most sustainable fashion.
We have to conduct a thorough study and listen to opinions on how the locals can be assisted. After all, they will have to relocate because it is illegal to trespass into these areas. The government cannot allow protected forest encroachment. At the same, the government is empathetic to those affected by the new laws. Many people have complained while some have filed lawsuits against the government. We will have to come up with measures that allow the locals to live in and protect the forests. We will follow up on these measures. Authorities must enforce the law and deal with those who break the law. Authorities who fail to do their job will face disciplinary action as well.
Some news reports are often exaggerated. Some news publications and social media sites pass criticisms on the government just to stir controversy. Then they often say that the government is trying to restrict them. Think about this please – you may do this just to increase their sales, but it is not right when you sell your stories at the expense of the country, resulting in divisiveness, conflict, and violence. Who will take the responsibility then? Thailand has been through enough violence and adversity. Who should be held accountable? As we know once a conflict arises, it will be difficult to resolve.
We have all witnessed past events and what has led to violence and unfortunate occurrences. Nothing good can come out of this. Some news agencies even bring up past events to instigate more disputes. We must be focused on our future, what we are trying to achieve. We should leave past events to the justice system. Violence was used to hurt the people, to tarnish democracy. This conflict started by two groups of people. What happened in the past should be a valuable lesson for us all. Many people were injured and lost their lives. We should remember this. It is not a history we should be proud of. It’d be better if we can prevent it today.
Another code of conduct for journalists is to avoid publicizing inappropriate pictures that can only bring negative consequences to the society and especially our youth, especially pictures that breach the rights of others, such as those of the deceased or those who have been violated. The families of the victims are embarrassed by such reporting. I ask all news outlets – publications, TV, and social media – must be more careful about this issue. Please help make our society a better place.
In terms of national reforms, we have 5 main agencies working hand in hand for over two years. I would like you to follow up on the reform process, consider all the dimensions, find useful and factual information to write about from the different angles. Try to break the mold and be constructive.
There may have been several politicians who have made comments that have caused misperceptions. These comments are unfair and have caused the public to misunderstand the government. This is a waste of time. The government and NCPO are doing the best we can, so please be fair in your assessments about what the civil servants and the agencies are doing. Officials in the central, regional, and local offices are working hard on several matters such as legislation and new measures in order to bring about concrete, positive results. Hundreds of tasks have been completed. Please find out about them. Many agencies have overhauled themselves and are moving forward.
For example, water management requires active cooperation from different agencies namely the Agriculture Ministry, Natural Resources Ministry, Interior Ministry, and so on. How are they managing this? When did they start? When will it be finished? Please follow up on these issues.
Projects will be initiated periodically and according to a plan. You have to understand the timeframe of completing the entire project. You cannot just make requests that cannot be granted in the initial phase. Your projects are in the second, third or fourth phases. They will be implemented based on their urgency. We also need to look at the structure and water distribution. It will take some time.
So, please don’t take only bits and pieces about a projects progress and only point out what is wrong in order to mislead the public. People then come out and complain and make more demands while the government is trying to create understanding about community resilience and the importance of people being able to stand on their own feet. The media can help me on this so I ask for your assistance, as this is a sustainable way to solve the country’s problems.
On the matter of taking care of low income earners, this has been a priority for this government the moment we stepped into office. But is not only about financial assistance, it is about education, empowerment, and building a learning mechanism that will allow them to help themselves. In the past, people would just seek handouts from the government when they had a problem. This has been so for decades. However they still ended up poor and ridden with debt. What should we do then? Can this problem be fixed quickly?
We have tried several things. The government has helped them with debts, debt payment extension, and informal debts. We have done all this. Yet, the government is accused of not helping the low-income earners, of not giving more money to them. The law allows for an only certain amount of money to be given to the poor. There are other measures now to provide assistance. The government has to help the people help themselves and become resilient. We can only do as much as our capacity allows us to. We have to have financial discipline. The money must be used for the maximum benefit because we have to take care of every group without discrimination while attempting to build a mechanism that will foster public-private-people partnership or the “Pracharat” approach.
In addition to assisting people in economic distress in terms of enhancing their capability and creating stability, the government has to look at the other levels of income earners as well. The economy has different levels – top, middle, and bottom. We look at the connectivity between top and the middle levels in order to distribute wealth onto the lower group. The current government has carried out its operations according to the law and based on the interests of the people and not on the demands of special interest. Please consider this based on principles.
In terms of the national administration reform, we have to take into account the National Strategy, which is vital to reform in many areas. We have to be meticulous in our efforts. Some reform issues cannot be completed within a short period, given that internal and external factors are changing constantly.
So, both the government and the public will have to make adjustments and improve ourselves. Civil servants and state officials need to be more efficient and capable as well as work harder. The government is responsible for formulating policies and passing them along for implementation and for the maximum benefits of the people. Responsible officials must also prevent corruption along the process.
Once policies have been passed down, the Interior Ministry, led by provincial governors, will be implementing them through responsible committees and representatives from different ministries and offices. As provincial heads, every governor must be visionary leaders who actively engage in the implementation process, making sure the policies are followed in every dimension.
At the same time, governors must understand the needs of the local people, what needs to be fixed, what can’t be fixed, or how many people will be needed to get the job done. Please create understanding give your people support so that they don’t come out and unnecessarily obstruct developments. Sometimes they protest because they lack the understanding. You can also use human resources in your areas. Make sure everything is transparent. Through the Ministry of Interior, governors will submit proposals for further support. The central government is willing to lend a hand. I want you to use all the resources you have first before asking the central government for assistance. Also, please make sure that you integrate the efforts from every agency for the assigned projects we give.
There will be two-way communication, from top to bottom and bottom to top. Provincial governors are leaders of change and integrative efforts between local offices. Provincial governors must demonstrate this ability.
Today you must do functional work and integrative work. You also need to see the complete picture in your province. You must be able to use every resource and make everything function through participation and by looking at the big picture such as provincial clusters as well as other regions. You can always connect with other clusters and regions for better workflow and performance. This is what Thailand is made of. Please don’t only wait for instructions. Some tasks can be done right away. You have enough personnel, legal frameworks, and resources to get these done. I would like our provincial governors to make progress in this way. I know you have already done a lot, but still not at the pace I wish as I am rather impatient, like many citizens. Therefore, government will also need to improve itself, be ready, listen to complaints and suggestions, and give support accordingly.
There are many things that leaders or commanders must change when it comes to instructions and evaluation. You have to inspect, follow up, and prevent all corruption practices. Governors must help civil servants in dealing with their obstacles. Central, regional, and local administrations should support one another. Some issues need cooperation from all levels. The government will try to modernize all outdated regulations. In the meantime, some issues require the invocation of Article 44 which is enforced the same way the law is enforced.
Dear citizens, the work of the Committee for Reform, National Strategies and Reconciliation is now in the process of compiling the performance of current government and the NCPO for the past 2 years.
We have done many things, but are sometimes accused of a lack of performance, or of trying to do last minute things. There are some media that still try to stir up controversy this way. I don’t understand. Do you not care for this nation? Their excuses are they have good intentions, but their actions say otherwise. They are probably trying to sell their stories. People have to use their own discretion about this.
The aforementioned committee is important because it gathers the work that is either in progress or in need of attention. Many projects will be require an effective plan or a roadmap. I want the people to compare and contrast the situation before and after the current government took office.
What has improved? What has deteriorated? Now all wrongdoings will be brought into the justice system. Judicial procedures are based on evidence, witnesses, and other related materials. Everything will be brought into the justice system. We will do our best and will not discriminate against anyone. So please make your case in the court and according to judicial procedures.
Look at the things that have changed since 22 May 2014. A lot of things have improved. Take a look for yourself. Don’t listen to lies and distorted information. Some of these stories are just for gratification, some are written for the fun of causing controversy – the country is stake, please be accountable.
The committee which was appointed by the government and the NCPO serves as a supervisor, very much like the Cabinet. Its work relates to reform imperatives and legislation, making sure that every piece is placed correctly. The work will then be forwarded to the Cabinet. In the past, I had a working committee for policy implementation.
The Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU)
Now we have the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU). These committees will ensure a sustainable solution to every problem. Some illegal conducts have been neglected for so long that they’ve become common practices, which are hard to change. Authorities who have allowed this to go on will now be taken into account.
This is the problem the country is facing. Everyone should refrain from knowingly breaking the laws and turn over a new leaf. Many issues in national administration were overlooked in the past. Some authorities were irresponsible and failed to deliver sustainable solutions to existing problems. Therefore government is now trying to make things right and we have had to go through many obstacles in doing so. Because it is the right thing doesn’t mean it will please everyone.
Today, we have a handful of issues. In the meantime, many obstacles have arisen. This is why we came up with the National Strategy and are now pushing for preparations for further reform and development as outlined by the National Economic and Social Development Board. We have to make these preparations today.
This is why we need a blueprint, useful information, organic laws that will be enforced alongside the current laws.
We must abide by the constitution. The constitution provides a legal foundation for all the laws in the country. That’s why organic laws must comply with each section of the charter. The people are obligated to abide by these organic laws, acts, and regulations.
Therefore, many things are being done in a very tight timeframe. This past two years may seem long for some people, but it has been a very quick two years given the amount of work we’ve done. We don’t have the time to think of our spare time. There are too many problems to be solved. We must be careful and be productive. My intention is to make sure that the transition from this government to the next is a smooth one.
For many low income earners, please do not use the excuse that the law is enforced discriminately against you. The problem is that these laws weren’t complied with in the past. People then became too familiar with breaking the law. So, please don’t repeat the same mistake.
I just don’t want things to escalate each passing day. If we want our society to remain peaceful, please stop committing crimes and turn over a new leaf and consider doing things the right way from now on. This goes for all sectors.
I want to address all members of society and ask that we do not allow such a situation to happen again in the future. The government is working to ensure that all 70 million people in the country are happy and satisfied. We must therefore broaden the sense of satisfaction to everyone and improve their lives in order to bring about prosperity and national development.
There is also the matter of caring for the elderly, national development, and budget disbursements in key areas such as public health and education. People keep asking for handouts. Then let me ask, if we don’t do one thing, how will the other be possible? How will we be able to find the money? Many people think only about how we should spend the budget without thinking about how to earn income as well. Today, the government has done everything it can in order to find more revenue, but there must be regulations and legality on all matters.
Therefore, what is important now is that we wait for a conclusion from the Committee, which will define the future direction of the country. Therefore I would like to ask for cooperation from the committee members and experts to please reach an understanding of how we can move forward. Please don’t only focus in on a single issue. There are a multitude of issues, such as our understanding of democracy.
The second matter is regarding social and economic inequality, the people being more resilient, and an education system that is not effective as it should be. I know that everyone is weary. I know that the teachers have been working hard, but our education system should be better than this. I know that we are all working on this. I would like to thank the Ministry of Education in advance.
All of the results will be summarized by the four committees and will be used towards drafting our 20 year National Strategy as well as our National Social and Economic Development plans. In the future, we will also have a strategy committee to monitor the progress of the agendas that we have identified and the progress of the next administrations.
Right now, I only see people focusing on only the one issue which is reconciliation. The success of reconciliation rests with the people involved. If people actually don’t want to reconcile their differences, I don’t know what else I can do. Therefore everyone must help each other for the sake of the country.
Many issues involve political and electoral disputes. However, if there is an election and we are still in this chaotic state, will there be peace in this country? I ask all to figure out the answers for themselves and make the changes you need to resolve these issues. I’m also trying to reform myself as well.
Regarding Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU), I’ve already said that this organization has been tasked with working with the existing committee on reform mobilization headed by a deputy prime minister in order to bring about faster reforms.
The PMDU, the Committee on Reform, National Strategy and Reconciliation, and the Committee on Reform Mobilization have prioritized agendas that will lead to national stability, prosperity, and sustainability, such as,
1) Water management policy- Today, both the flooding and drought situation in the country has been swiftly addressed in the past two years.
2) Forest encroachment – The reclamation of illegal possession of lands has been redistributed to the public for housing and conducting business. This has been a new policy by the committee on land management to allow for use of land without issuing land titles.
3) Supporting large-scale farms for all agricultural products – this new theory of hybrid farming also includes fishing and livestock farming. Large-scale farms enable the government to support farming activities as a consolidated identity according to the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy.
4) Assisting farmers and low income citizens – this has been an urgent measure designed to both strengthen and enhance the potential of the grassroots economy in a sustainable manner. This policy has involved numerous programs, costing a considerable amount of government funds.
5) Registering low income citizens – this policy is done in order to identify demographics in order to create appropriate assistance measures. If we are not specific in our assistance targeting, will there be enough to help all 70 million citizens? Our population continues to grow and should we fail to efficiently target groups according to their needs, we will be wasting a considerable amount of our budget.
6) Resolving residential issues – today, we must examine how many people are without a proper residence. Surveys reveal over 2 million low income households fit this category. We will therefore consider providing housing and apartments. The “Dindang flats” and waterfront communities are the results of our first attempts to address residential issues in Bangkok. We will also work to provide housing for civil servants in addition to other benefits. People can’t continue to live in the slums like they do now. If we can do what many other countries have done, we will be able to improve upon the quality of life of these people.
7) Reducing social inequality and reforming the education system – this consists of reforming teachers, school curriculum, and raising the standards of vocational education. Today, the government has collaborated with research and development institutions in partnering up with vocational schools. We’ve encouraged a society of continuous learning, established various centers for education, and utilized research findings from the industrial sector as well as from universities. The government will not be able to appropriate enough funds for research and development on its own. It must therefore rely on collaboration with the private sector to prevent redundant programs.
8) The setting up of Damrongdhamma centers – in the past two years, the centers have resolved over 90% of the cases that were submitted. Both the NCPO and government agencies have gone in and resolved issues in local communities. Also, when I see something in the news, I will sometimes instruct officials to tend to the matter. However, sometimes certain cases face budget constraints or are pending environmental impact assessments, such as large-scale road projects. Sometimes, there is resistance to a program or unintended consequences. We must therefore try to resolve these grid locks.
9) Reducing inequality in the justice system – we have striven to ensure that all citizens have equal access to the justice system in the form of justice funds, rehabilitation programs, and correctional programs for women and children, such as the Kamlangjai Project under the Royal Initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Bajarakitiyabha
10) Supporting mechanisms that strengthen the grassroots and local economies – programmes include Pracharat Rak Samakkee Company Limited, community enterprises, 1 district – 1 business, and cooperatives development programmes. However, certain programmes have not been as effective as intended and must therefore undergo some restructuring.
11) Reducing economic inequality, creating a value chain, and investing in infrastructure -these agendas must be done in order to strengthen the economy and enhance the country’s competitiveness in order to increase its revenue.
12) Concessions for railway and electric train projects – we have been able to achieve what has been left unfinished for decades. However, this is why there are a lot of disruptions to traffic at this time due to construction. Had we staggered these projects throughout time, they wouldn’t have caused such widespread traffic jams. Please understand that if you want these projects now, you must put up with the inconveniences at this time for the sake of convenience in the future. Think about it. The Thai-Chinese railway project is still undergoing careful negotiations to ensure that we emerge with a fair deal.
We must also improve on our existing trains. This involves both repair work as well as new purchases. Please do conclude that that the government is only fixing old trains. It annoys me when people don’t carefully examine the facts before writing their articles.
The reforming of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority must address issues of corruption according to law. If things cannot be accepted them they cannot be accepted. There are agencies in place that are in charge of these matters.
13) Moving forward with road and motorway projects – today we are trying to expand on existing projects while creating new routes in order to address traffic issues. We must create these new projects in order to incentivize travel and transportation in convenience. If we don’t face traffic issues, foreign countries will want to invest because of our sound logistics system.
14) Investing in our ICT infrastructure – today, many digital channels have been a source of communication between the government and its people. We also will provide the public with updates on water levels and weather conditions.
Anything that the government wished to announce will be available on websites and mobile apps. I ask that people stay up to date with these channels. I also ask the press to refer to these government sources in order to better understand our policies. If you study the information that is available on these channels and come up with additional questions, I will be able to answer them. If you have any suggestions, I will see to them. This way, society will not be as disorderly as it is. I am not the enemy of the press although some may see me as their enemy.
We must develop the competitiveness of our businesses. In the tourism sector, I have addressed zero dollar tourism and you will see that more revenue will flow into the country and Thailand will be a country that people will want to visit, as long as its people don’t fight amongst themselves.
15) 4G concessions – we have been successful to a degree, as the process has been conducted with transparency. Before this, we received approximately 40 billion baht in auctions while today we’ve achieved over 100 billion baht. This is a result of fair competition and transparency. In the end, the public will benefit.
16) Laws pertaining to trade, ease of doing business, and dissemination of government information – this will serve as a source of information in order to reduce project corruption. All projects will be publicized on a website and people will be able to scrutinize these projects for signs of corruption. If there is any evidence of potential graft, government agencies will investigate in these projects. The government itself is being inspected on all the time.
So please do not incorrectly publish that there has been no scrutiny into this administration. Think about how foreign countries will see us if they read that. Today, several suits have been filed against me already. In any case, please consider who I’m dedicating my work for today.
Therefore we must enhance our competitiveness and increase our ease of doing business to make way for more investment. If we don’t provide investors with any incentives, do you think they will come? And when they don’t come, do you think we will make any more revenue? This does not mean we are giving everything to them at the expense of our resources. We are providing them with leases for doing business while the benefits of those projects will also return to the Thai people.
17) Ensuring fairness in the taxation system – if you have a lot and consume a lot, your capabilities of paying taxes will also be higher. Those with low income who consume less would pay a lesser amount or may not have to pay taxes at all. However, if they spend in a superfluous matter, they will be taxed more as well. This system will ensure fairness for those with high, medium, and low incomes.
18) A new budget system – today, we are changing a system that hasn’t been changed for decades. We will integrate programmes according to function in order to prevent redundancies. When various agencies work together under the same budget, there will be more efficiency.
19) National administration – we will divide our development budget into six regions. We will examine how these six regions will grow and then examine further into the 18 provincial clusters, eventually looking at all 76 provinces. We also have 10 special economic zones along the border as well as the new Easter Economic Corridor region.
20) Reforming the finance system – we have drafted new legislation for government procurements and fiscal responsibility in order to prevent corruption. Ultimately, it is up to the responsibility of the person to comply with existing legislation and refrain from biases. What we will then have is a budget system that is transparent and open to inspection.
21) Legislation on social matters such as drugs and corruption as well as compliance for international agreements for IUU and ICAO – we have had to pass hundreds of laws in order to realize these agendas.
22) The national disaster prevention act will encompass disaster prevention and mitigation policies year-round throughout all regions of the country. This legislation will affect the well-being and livelihood of all sectors. Because of this legislation, the government has been able to efficiently implement relief measures in the recent flooding situation in the southern region, as agencies have been appropriately delegated with various responsibilities.
23) Integrating our water and whether database –t oday, our database incorporates information from 30 agencies, such as the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology and the Mekhala Center in addition to various local agencies. We now have information available for mobile devices.
24) Preventing road accidents – we’ve devised ways to best reduce loss of life and property due to road accidents. In order to do this, we have examined the behavior of drivers, the vehicles themselves, as well as transportation companies. Most importantly, all citizens must cooperate in following traffic regulations and refrain from speeding. The government can only enforce existing laws. It is up to the public to exercise responsible driving.
25) E ticketing to reduce traffic congestion and accidents -this policy has been met with a certain degree of success.
26) Reorganizing social orderliness and public spaces such as beaches and tourist attractions – we have completed many bit not the tasks in this areas as some of our efforts have been met with opposition. However, the overall response has been satisfactory.
27) Eliminating and suppression of narcotics- today, we have made numerous major arrests but many criminals are still on the loose. We must therefore remain vigilant and report any suspicious signs and we should eventually be able to arrest these people.
28) Following up on important court cases that have long been ignored – we have ensured that these cases go through the proper and normal legal channels. These are things that we must do now that have long been overlooked.
29) The rice scheme, remaining budget disbursements, and offloading of our rice stockpiles are issues that are being currently undertaken. These are also our past problems and whether they were legal or not will be judged by the courts.
30) Corruption cases -there are still many cases that have yet to progress. This quite perplexing to me. We must work to bring these cases into the justice system as they have caused damage to our country as well as its finances.
31) We must also reform our religious institutions. Most simply, Buddhists should adhere to the guidelines of the Lord Buddha, while Buddhist monks should be more orderly and uphold moral responsibilities in order to be respected by the general public. We must deal with those unscrupulous people in the Sangha and do this through evidence and facts which will require cooperation between monks and their disciples.
32) The Sangha Act has been amended, thereby allowing for the submission of list of candidates for consideration, which has now resulted in the appointment the 20th Supreme Patriarch.
33) Resolving violence in the three southern border provinces has seen the development of the people’s quality of life as well as the promotion of the economic triangle in the region.
34) Improving on our correctional facilities and procedures in the justice system.
35) Improving the work efficiency of police officers – police reform has a procedure and must consist of establishing a protocol for handling criminal cases and investigations, especially at a time of increased arrests and prosecutions. We are currently undertaking all this.
The last thing I would like to talk about is reconciliation. If people approach reconciliation for the sake of the country, we will be able to move forward. However, those that have broken the law must face legal consequences. In the future there shall be forgiveness. Reconciliation entails talks between the government, the public, officials and all related parties. We must all ask how we can improve upon ourselves. The government and the NCPO are willing to improve ourselves and therefore you all should think about this as well.
Therefore, there are no exceptions to what we are trying to achieve. I myself am subject to scrutiny. What I have done, I did for the sake of this country. There are many projects that we’ve approved that are currently being scrutinized by the Office of the Auditor General, the National Anti Corruption Commission, or the Inspector General. When we answer all their inquiries, the investigations will be concluded.
However, if anyone fails to satisfy the inspections or is found guilty of corruption, there will be legal procedures that follow.
I ask that people wait for the results of investigations before concluding that corruption had indeed happened. If evidence of corruption has indeed been found, then a legal case will follow suit. If any past corrupt activities are proven later, then an investigation will follow as well. The law is the law.
Finally, I would like to talk about creating understanding of the democratic process. There needs to be a framework setup for both the state and the public. If there comes a time when people disregard the laws and the government is unable to control the situation thereafter, this means that our democratic system has problems and could evolve into anarchy. What can we do today to prevent us from going down that route?
The government and the public must find a point of equilibrium. The law already stipulates legal parameters where the state must be able to control the situation without causing distress to anyone while remaining within the framework of rights and freedoms in a democracy, which also means not violating other rights.
Protests and violent incidents have happened in the past governments. These actions have come from both sides. Any action that involves damage to government property, to national administration, or the courts will warrant the use of the authorities. If it is amongst the people themselves, then they must resolve their issues while the government must also try to solve this.
There should not be the use of violence or weapons. If disputes ended there, then we are able to resolve them within normal democratic processes that will be acceptable for all. There are mechanisms within the house of representatives such as holding new elections and a new government. This is part of the democratic process. However, this is not how it has been in the past. Never-ending protests had erupted into violence that could not be controlled. The military was asked to take sides. This is not possible. As for the first action taken by the military was because…who first fired into the temples, government offices, and oil tanks? You can find out for yourself.
That’s why there should not be another violent incident as before. I don’t mean to be an obstacle to reconciliation. I say these things because I want people to reflect upon their actions and make amends. The relationship between the government and the public is of utmost importance. The reason why the military stepped in is because the situation had already devolved into violence, the use of weapons and losses of life. Please understand this point.
Thank you. I wish everyone a happy weekend. Please try to listen to me today because I’ve talked quite briskly amount many important topics. Thank you and I apologize if some of my words were disagreeable to some. Thank you and Sawasdee Krub.