National Broadcast by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister – July 3, 2015
Good evening, dear Thai citizens.
The 4th of July marks the Birthday Anniversary of Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, a renowned and visionary scientist who has helped improve the well- being of all Thais. On this auspicious occasion, on behalf of all officials and people of Thailand, I have the honour to wish Her Royal Highness continued good health and long lasting happiness.
At this moment, I am currently attending a meeting in Japan. Earlier this week, the cabinet held its second mobile meeting in Chiang Mai. The cabinet also went to Phitsanulok to inspect the provincial water management system. Thank you to all responsible agencies for making this event to go smoothly. Actually I did not want to bother anyone, but only wanted to see things for myself. I took this opportunity to speak with local officials and the people. Thank you for taking a good care of me. I promise to serve this country in the best possible way. I cannot thank you enough for the cooperation the public has given us. If everyone was united and did what they were obligated to do, the benefits can be enjoyed by everyone. I can assure you that the state will care for every individual and that no one will be left behind. Because we are all Thais and shall remain undivided.
I would like to ask all local and provincial offices to contribute and help improve the standards of living of the people in your areas. You need to support each other. I have talked to local administrative officers as well as village heads about the matter. Both sides must be connected and support one another. I want authorities to enhance living standards, build strong communities, and assist the people. Agriculturists should have their own market and distribution channels in order for them to ensure stable incomes. Local politicians must put the interests of the public first. I ask every local politician to make personal sacrifices and build resilience in societies. We have to forgo the old political culture, otherwise, our society will be divided, which will in turn lead to instability. It is difficult for the administration to operate under unstable conditions. Our country will be far behind other nations.
There are several issues I need to address this evening. The first issue pertains to domestic conflicts. Conflicts that exist in both public administration and private sector must end as soon as possible. The public should have a thorough understanding of how a quality democracy should be. How should you prepare for it? How should politicians prepare for it? How should civil servants prepare for it? There is time for us to reach that goal. But right now, we need to resolve problems at hand. We need to build trust and confidence within the country and in the international community. Today disputes exist in all sectors. The government cannot focus on one particular problem. It has to address all of them at the same time. When considering an issue, you will see that there are other several problems added on to that issue. The government categorizes and prioritizes them into phases, which allows us to then alleviate their urgency and finally remove the issue. Conflict in our society remains an important issue and the government needs to bring stability and peace to the people, for all groups, the general public and our students. So I must ask for your cooperation. It is crucial that all sectors understand that it is impossible to simultaneously resolve all issues at once. If we immediately want a democracy as well as a peaceful and resilient society with all our problems solved within in a short period of time, this is not plausible because time is needed. Please understand this; all I ask is for your patience. If we start fighting each other again, things will go back to the way they were.
I ask that everyone and every sector cooperate and work together with devotion and honesty, while making sacrifices to improve our country. Due to current problems and conflicts in our society, a normal administrative system will not be able to steer this nation. We cannot remain reactive in the way we do things, but must be proactive. On top of that, we need to foster better understanding among the public, promote reconciliation, and develop this country with the people as its center.
Please forsake doing things just for personal or factional interests. Right now we need to strengthen our society in its entirety. When there is stability, benefits will return to all the people under a lawful and just society. Building a society with morality and ethics will take time. It will not be completed overnight and our efforts have to be continually pushed, hoping to ensure a sustainable peace for the country.
As for national security issues, in particular having liberties, I have already spoken on this. To be a democracy we also have to be ready in many areas, such as having a constitution, and laws that clearly allocate/separate powers so that official duties and national administration can be more effective. All these are currently be corrected and reformed in the NLA. Many new laws have since been issued and promulgated. More than 300 bills have been introduced for this.
Not only will the laws help resolve existing problems, they must protect the interests of the people. Everyone in the country wants democracy and liberty, while at the same time there are so many problems that remain. To make this possible we must also solve our problems in a timely manner.
As for the student activists, I will not reprimand or blame them for their actions. It does not matter which group they are from, I see them all as ‘source of purity’ who have the ability to greatly benefit this country in the future. So I urge them to use their abilities in a constructive manner. Please use your discretion and avoid being misled by those trying to use you by giving you false information. I have never rejected democracy and have never reject elections. But as we have witnessed in the past, the previous democratic system was problematic. So we need to fix what was wrong with that system first. Having come this far, it would be a waste of money and time if we don’t fix our system. That money could be spent on other things that help our country. This source of purity or power of innocence will shape Thailand’s future. I want these students to have a bright future. You are all studying and learning now, but you cannot simply reject the rules or disregard the law. If you can do so, what about everybody else? And how would other people feel? Even inmates and those in the judicial process now say they are innocent while they refuse to abide and accept the law. If everyone refuses to abide by the laws and regulations, then there would be lawlessness. This is known as a failed state. I would like to call on the students as well as the scholars to understand this fact. Please understand that Thailand is facing many problems now, not just one concerning democracy. There are several other problems that need to be taken into account. I accept responsibility for my actions, but as for the problems faced by the entire country, every citizen has the duty to help fix. Everyone has to each other resolve problems and conflicts. Please use this power of innocence in the most constructive way so we can avoid future conflicts. So as for the pending legal cases, when terms are agreed and things are understood all-round, the government will look after all of you. We want the laws to remain sacrosanct.
The world is changing constantly and we have to be able to adapt to the circumstances and together make Thailand a strong nation. We have to ask ourselves if we are ready to adopt other people’s standards. Without readiness, we will not be able to act according to their measures and when we cannot do this, there will be repercussions, whether economic or political. If we are ready, we will be able to progress according to this framework without problems. Today we are heading in this direction. Please do not take a mono-dimensional perspective suggesting only that everything depends on elections. We are doing everything to shape the country’s future. Elections are only one part of the picture. The world in connected in terms of trade, relations, tourism, culture, society, , etc.
This is my personal issue. I take the responsibility. If we are still living amidst conflict and quarreling, and persist with rushing this issue or any other issue without reason, all of our efforts to strengthen and build a new system, since May 22nd last year will be wasted and everything will go back to the way it used to be. What kind of democracy would we have restored then? Will we have the true liberty? Will there be equality for all and no more vested political interests? We need to be able to answer all of these questions. I believe most people think this way. That is why I am still standing here today. I want you all to understand each other. If conflicts and problems continue, there will not be reconciliation. Everything has to go step by step, and this situation has to be solved with knowledge and ability, legality, and political processes. So I ask for all to move forward together according to the roadmap.
The constitution is now going through a revision process. The charter is not being drafted in order to allow me to stay in power. I am here under the 2014 interim charter. So I ask that we all progress according to this framework. Please avoid making unnecessary comments that take away trust. Like I said the current situation in Thailand is not one based on normalcy but fraught with problems. We have already explained the situation to the international community. Most of them understand us. They are waiting to see when there will be an election.
I told them that elections will come when things are ready in accordance with the Roadmap, when there is a Constitution in place, when a referendum has been held, when there are organic laws in place. Some time is required for this sequence of events. The NLA and the NRC are working to ensure successful results. The cabinet is working to solve the country’s problems. The NCPO is expediting assistance for the cabinet when needed. The NRC is formulating reform plans. Unfinished business will be handed over to the next elected government. This is the plan. So please avoid conflicting with each other for now. If there was peace, I would not be standing here today. We have seen this conflict lingering for the past 10 years and we wish to prevent it from recurring. We all know what causes the problem. The problem stems from a democratic system that was incomplete. That was part of it, but we also encountered problems them stemmed from the deliberate feeding of misleading information to the public by opposing political factions.
We have to look at both ends of the matter. We have to understand Thailand’s origin and history. Does our thinking reflect the world’s perception? It is not always going to be the same way of thinking. I told international organizations that every part of the world is different, Asia, Africa, etc.
I believe that the approach advocated by His Majesty King is the most appropriate, which is to understand, to reach out, and to develop, as well as to live our lives sufficiently. This principle has drawn the world’s attention. Many countries have contacted me and have asked us to explain this principle to them. They have also praised HM the King for his intelligence and talents. Other members of the Royal Family, especially Her Majesty the Queen, have advocated His Majesty teachings. I think it is now our responsibility to make sure that the King’s principles are followed through. We want our King to be happy. His Majesty initiated this principle for us, and the future generations of Thais should continue with this. His Majesty has never asked for anything in return. This land belongs to all of us.
In the mean time, we will let the judicial procedures follow through, but if there is any area that be discussed, then we are ready to find away to forgive. I ask that you refrain from continuing with this course, otherwise it may escalate and then no progress will take place.
We all have to compromise in order to allow us to talk and work with each other. We need to let our objectives and goals guide our actions – of what the country needs today, which is peace and orderliness. The country also needs reform. How are we to solve any problem if everyone has their own unwavering ideas and positions of how things should be? If the people are still divided, how will any problem be solved? I think this kind of circumstance should happen when there is an inclusive democracy with elected government. I have never rejected democratic elections, but what we need now is reform. So please don’t damage the country’s image in the international community. I take responsibility for what I have done.
Therefore rushing to have elections when the country is not ready is not the case. We will proceed according to the roadmap and it will not take long. Democracy has been known in Thailand for more than 83 years. Blood has been shed and lives have been taken along the way. How many more innocent lives do you to see taken? How many more deaths and injuries? Political leaders always say that changes must come with losses. Let me ask you this. Who are the victims? It is always going to be the people. Therefore you have to select a good leader with the highest ethics and morality. A good leader needs to ensure that good governance is upheld. I want you to find a way out while working with the officials. Please return to your studies, so that your parents will not be disappointed. After graduation, you can find a job and use your ability to build a strong democracy for Thailand. You don’t need to be tried or put in jail as it sabotages your future. Our democratic system is being rebuilt now, so elections will follow eventually.
The government places great importance on education and human resources development for Thailand’s future. There are a lot of things that need to be readied in this field. We need to prepare our people for the advent of the ASEAN Community. R&D and technology should be our main focus. The whole educational system must be overhauled, both academic and vocational. There should be more cooperation between public and private schools.
As for matter concerning democracy, we are utilizing Article 44 to ensure that Thailand will return to a democratic country. Article 44 is only used when necessary and to solve problems. It will be utilized in the most righteous way, not to change the content of any law. We want to make sure that the 3 powers – administrative, judicial, and legislative – are clearly divided and support one another. The three branches of government should work in relation to each other and this is why Article 44 is necessary. Article 44 allows all ministries and agencies to enhance their policies, so as to allow them to work more effectively. Outdated laws will be revised and passed by the legislature. When new laws are passed, old laws will be revoked under Article 44.
Social policy as well as human resources development is important foundations vital to the country’s future. I want all personnel in the education system as well as other sectors to improve yourselves. This includes civil servants and all of the stakeholders. We need to understand how we should develop human resources. It is impossible to improve everyone’s capacity at the same time. We will prioritize and classify the human resources that we have. How activities should be planned? There should be determination of demand and supply. We need to understand what or which skills our country needs. What kind of investments our country should focus on? Now, we need to draw up our development plans according to the information we have. How many more workers do we need to produce? Then, we initiate evaluations. We cannot just let the project go on or the money be spent without coming back to evaluate its success. The evaluation should always have concrete results which will allow us to understand what we need to improve on. Every agency must give me their evaluation report on their projects. I will be stricter about this issue. We have to help foster creative thinking among all sides. Don’t just think about political interests. Elected individuals should always put the public interest first and contribute to our country as well as ensure social justice.
If we don’t reform now, we will never reach the point where public interest is upheld. The current government is paving the way for a brighter future. I will no longer be in power when that happens. We are preparing everything for you, so please don’t obstruct real progress that is being made.
I have opened up a stage for you. The program is about our reforms and is called “Thailand Moves Forward with Reform”. The show just started this week. Both members of the reform body and academics will talk about several issues such as the economy, water management, rail projects, etc. Please watch the show and you will understand what the government is doing. You can compare the ideas with those of former politicians. I want the public to be the judge and decide whose ideas are better. We cannot keep arguing or fighting over issues like this.
I have always looked for ways and channels where you can voice your input. I never get irritated about this kind of criticism. However, you need to have reasonable and logical explanations as to why your ideas are better. You have to be able to explain what solutions should be introduced when a problem arises, how the budget is going to be spent, or how projects can be monitored. You can talk all you want, but you need to deliver. What we do is not as simple as you think it is.
In circumstances where the world is changing at a fast pace, the world wide web and social media is moving at a speed we’ve never seen before. Therefore we need to find ways to develop a social conscience as well as raising awareness about the potential dangers of unlimited information, especially for minors. When we expose our children to conflict and violence; they may grow up to be aggressive adults. I don’t want to see this happen to our children where they enjoy confrontation or sanction social division. You may be thinking to the left or to the right, but what really matters is co-existing. We need to be united now. Then in the future, you can make suggestions to the next government or the opposition party. That is when you will have a complete democratic system. You shall be able to exercise your rights under the Constitution.
As the ASEAN Economic Community is to be realized soon, Thailand still lacks a number of skilled workers and manual workers as well as workforce in the fishing industry. Because Thais don’t want to do hard labor, the government has to bring in migrant workers to do the job. Some didn’t even want to improve your skills when we offered to help you. Some just want an easy job with high pay rate. There is no such thing.
All businesses need investment. Overseas investors will leave Thailand if wages in the country are high. This is why we offer incentives and other privileges. There is fierce competition around the world. Many countries are moving their investments. They move to a country where costs are relatively lower. They move out because they don’t get the same privileges and exemptions they used to get. This is due to the fact that our country is a middle income nation. They will look for other countries to invest in. The investors said they wanted to stay in Thailand if we take good care of them. They don’t want to move the production base. I didn’t force them to move or stay. They all want to be assured of the future. This is the part where the general public can suggest what politicians should do. Politicians need to assure and try to make foreigners understand Thailand. We cannot let the history repeat itself. That is all I ask of you.
The Education Ministry has been promoting vocational education, hoping to help Thai students enhance their occupational skills. You shall get your bachelor’s later. I want to see students pursue a bachelor’s degree. You need to make money and support your parents. Without work, many students spend their time brawling. Student brawls are worrisome. I am looking for measures to prevent this problem as well as the issue concerning young street bikers.
You shouldn’t fear for your lives when travelling to school. We need engineers and skilled workers, not fighters. Students now fear to go to school. Now how will the country have skilled workers when students are afraid to go to school? How can we solve this problem? I have instructed police officers, the Ministry of Education, and the Office of Vocational Education to look for solutions and measures. How can students go to school when their lives are threatened? This year, the number of vocational students has doubled. Parents still fear for their children’s lives. They have to constantly check with their children on their way to school. After school, parents wait for children to come home safely. It makes me feel like they are at war.
I’m asking all the students to behave and quit fighting. You need to be proud of your institute in the right way. Student brawls must stop now. It is not something you should pride yourself on.
I want vocational students to be the main pillar in the labor force so that Thailand can supply skilled workers to ASEAN labor market. Thailand wants to be hub of investment and skilled labor. We need to make such preparations now. We need to have stability before we can become an ASEAN hub. I want everyone to help our country achieve this goal. I can only do one part. I will need help from you all. We all need to cooperate, make sacrifices, be more patient, and cease all the infighting. Senior students need to help bring in more students to school with safe environment. You will be proud when you have freshmen who behave, who make fame for your school and your country. You don’t want to be known as “brawler school”. No one would want to go to that school. It would be a shame. Please take the right care of junior students. Have compassion for one another. Build network and connection between other schools and universities. Which school should merge with which school?
Build a culture where students help each other. This is the structure and value we need to build. We need concrete policies and we need to implement them now. How can private universities play a part in solving this issue? Rajabhat universities should produce workers for the skilled labor market, including tourism and service industry. They need to have better language skills, be they English or Chinese. I want Rajabhat universities to focus on this task. When graduated, these students will be able to find a job right away. We need to set this policy clear and assign which university should produce which types of workers. The government supports occupations and vocational education. We need more workers as there will be more investments.
Rajamangala universities should focus on producing skilled workers such as electricians, blacksmiths, technicians, etc. Thailand also needs competent supervisors, especially in the industrial sector. Supervisors need to be proficient in English or Chinese as required by the job. You cannot be in the managerial position if you lack language skills or need an interpreter. All employers prefer Thai workers as we demonstrate great commitment. The only obstacle we have is the language competency. Please heed my advice. Related agencies, students, and children will know how to shape your own future if you make these adjustments.
We have the opportunity to boost our competitiveness to a high level but we must first achieve resilience. Our exports have declined because of the lack of new products and the small amount of innovations we possess. Labor and other costs are high and GSP privileges have been cut. Fortunately, the United States has relaxed this cut with retroactive effect, allowing us to save about 600 million dollars. They have also extended the GSP privileges by some four years. This is a welcome development – acts of generosity by our international friend. You can hear the details from the Ministry of Commerce. If we have too much problems then resilience cannot be achieved – infrastructure investment, reduction of disparities and the fostering of justice will all fail to materialize. Foreign investment will not flow in because the funds have nowhere to go to. There are two or three factors:
- Incentives and privileges.
- Orderliness of the country, as well as and trust and confidence amongst each other.
- Quality of life within the country – happier workers and citizens.
Thailand possessed most of these factors, bar one – stability. At present, the investors are saying this factor has been achieved. They want it to remain this way. They are prepared to invest even if some privileges are scaled back. Why, then, do we keep fighting one another. It is as if we are presenting them with false information to make them dislike us. What does Thailand have to gain from such action? Therefore please help the government to achieve resilience for Thailand. To do this, there is need for planning, synergy and systematic pursuit of work.
I have said before our work cannot be pursued separately. Current efforts to pursue work systematically are hampered by acquaintance with the previous method of working. We have put a stop to various situations and problems, and are tackling existing problems. You have to consider who the problems are related to and how relevant agencies might pursue the same problems, as well as where the budget would be acquired from. If the agencies are left to their own budgets then they will keep asking for the central budget. Where would this central budget come from? Revenue is not coming in – there is a lack of tax revenue and a lack of revenue from exports. The blame cannot be pointed to anybody in particular. Instead, we have to think about how to proceed.
It is not as if I want to carry on with my powers. I do not. I just want Thailand to have a place to stand in this world. Others could have done what I did too, if they were truly determined. Thus, I would like everyone to be determined. We need to be able to implement matters more rapidly.
Pressure from foreign countries has toned down a bit, unless our own people – former politicians – keep on encouraging the international community to pressure us. I would like to ask them where they see Thailand. Are you intent on defeating me at the expense of the country? If they return to being the government, who would they govern and what would they administer if the country has already failed. There will be nothing left to administer. Please try to see this point with me. Many countries are paying attention and we are trying to avoid future recurrences of previous problems.
There are long-term effects incurred from budget use, expenses, corruption and lack of transparency. Whatever is wrong must be stopped, investigated and sent to prosecutors. Once finished, the work must be resumed and completed in time. Importantly, all matters should comply with international laws. For example, there is the problem of ICAO, IUU fishing and the Trafficking in Persons report. These are issues presented by international organizations and international laws. We have to address them all.
There is a problem with fishing affairs. I do not want fishermen to be troubled, but they also need to consider others who have already proceeded correctly. They are being troubled by you. They have done things correctly, whereas a portion of the fishing circle is still without correct licensing and complaining of not being able to earn income. What am I to do – the rules are there specifying what equipment is needed on vessels of certain sizes and what types of fishing gears are allowed.
These rules have been there since the late 80’s or 90’s. What have you been doing? This means you have not looked into the rules and the law at all and kept operating. In the end, troubles hit workers, consumers, markets, and commerce. It is necessary to correctly enforce the law and we are nearing the inspection time by international organizations. This is only a few months away, and we cannot afford this legalization drive failing. It is difficult to be lenient. One method I am proposing at the moment is the use of fishing associations and all relevant entities. Associations already exist but they have never been able to merge. Also, they were not caring for their members. The associations need to provide their members with linkages to the law and to the government.
With your members facing this plight, will you be able to merge in order to help out? With a portion of vessels able to go to sea and another portion not being able to, and with the sea-going portion reporting a shortage of workers, can the workers be merged to provide occupation for those without employment at the present? It might be implemented in the same way as in other countries when the workforce is retained but pay is reduced. Think about this. It is not possible to meet the demands of everybody all at once. This would be a better option than having no work at all for the crew. The associations should manage this instead of solely making demands. Associations are no use then, in such case. They cannot just be set up to make demands to the state. Every association related to low-income earners are facing problems right now.
I would like to mandate, then, that everybody perform their duties – associations dealing with fishing, goods, exportation, industry and those dealing with tourism. They must not only be there as representatives of members. They must also organize their members. The same goes for the press association. Otherwise, I will need to directly enforce the laws. You have to be able to take care of them. When there are problems, tell us so we can fix them appropriately. It will not do for everyone to keep demanding gains but then back off at the slightest mention of responsibility.
Please do not make matters more chaotic. I am concerned about the fishery circle and we will be looking at what can be done. At this moment, I would like to tell the fishery associations to lend me some support. Otherwise, restructuring may have to be carried out because the associations are burdened with problems. Do not propagate more conflicts – let society be more peaceful.
As for the lack of seafood, you might substitute other foods for them for the time being. If seafood is expensive then don’t eat it. Leave it to the wealthy. I cannot ensure equality in this manner. If you want to eat expensive items then you must work hard and find a lot of money. The government is helping in ways that it can – there are markets for low-income earners that have already been implemented. We cannot pull everyone to the same level. What we can do is foster peace, stability and resilience in society. The resulting increase in national income is distributed among the entire populace. This is what is deemed as equality in a sufficiency manner.
Importantly, we should refrain from exacerbating our own faults by defying government measures. It is not beneficial. There is a lack of understanding. I am concerned for the younger generation. Do not fuel the fire and end up being belligerent. There is a lack of respect for rules of conduct and the law while democracy and freedom are being cited – responsibility is not being heeded. After all is done, there will not be a place for anyone in a failed state. I will not have a place, nobody will have a place.
Those drawing up conflicts at present must accept their mistakes and the problem that they have become. Do not go and write whatever you want to without any ethics and completely disregard the damage to the country. I would like the various media agencies and associations to help out on this matter. It was never my desire to interfere with you. But you have to understand the reality of the situation.
The next topic is about suggestions and criticisms. I accept all of the comments but how can you criticize things have not even been undertaken yet? Some affairs have been dealt with and some are within the 2nd and 3rd phases. These persons never listen to me and keep writing at their own pleasure. They would also cite anonymous sources. Next time, tell me who the source was and whether scientific figures were available. Are the evaluations based on facts or simply made up? Were they based on the money available? Was the economy down because I had no money in my pocket?
I think not. Everything is connected with one another so you must think based on the whole picture – the causes and how to deal with the issue. Was the government proceeding correctly? Where do I find the money if you ask me to pay out aid money for every issue. I have said before that money is not coming in whereas we need to keep paying the existing debt.
As for state agencies’ budget disbursement, I would like every ministry to check their budget disbursal for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters. Budgets for the 1st and 2nd quarters have already been issued but disbursement was still proving problematic. I do not know where the impediment lies. Worries will continue because state funds is among the factors that will drive the economy. I have said before that by July I will recall all unused funds to put them to other uses. This is a pressing issue among every ministry. I have issued such orders many times. Find ways to make it happen. If not, I will not be lenient and will recall all of the funds. I do not want to use this authority but I will have to, because I am also out of funds. If the funds cannot be used properly then they must be reallocated. Therefore, please refrain from any more rallies – civil servants have to provide their cooperation. This is the moment when the country can be moved forward.
As for the matter of the charter and reforms, we have entered the final phase and we need things to be concluded within the time available. The stipulations within the constitution must be heeded. It is not as if I have to take the responsibility of deciding whether the draft charter passes or not, or take responsibility over the success or failure of the charter referendum.
I do not need compliments when success is achieved, but I am always at fault when something wrong happens. Don’t worry, I take responsibility over all matters. But I would like everybody to help shoulder the responsibility as well. I know the NRC and NLA members have been working hard and have been determined. I have said since the beginning that they should really focus on brainstorming their ideas and yielding conclusions. This is what we are going to do at the moment. You cannot pursue the suggestions of each and every group all at once. Doing so would mean the process would never advance beyond the first stage.
I thank you for your determination and sacrifice, and I shall always give you my moral support. The same goes for the CDC. I only ask that the public not become embroiled in conflicts because of the work we are doing. It could lead to the public being used as hostage for political reasons again. We have to stipulate things and present them to the public. If the public was satisfied and the vote passes then that will be all. We must not engage in fights at this stage – this is not the time for it.
I feel a bit uneasy over the forums held in many provinces, where demands are made for clear-cut passing or dropping of sections. Some of those in favor did not give approval because they approved of the charter in its entirety but because there were words about giving the supreme authority to citizens and about giving citizens the power to govern. This is not how it works. Under the democratic process, power is given to the government through the three branches. If power is fully distributed to the locales then who would take the responsibility for central government and the duties that come with it. Without such authority the country will be called a lawless state. There needs to be rules. So make preparations for the globally used form of democracy. If you want the American or the European model, have you asked yourselves if you are ready for it?
Even now, some people do not understand what democracy is. Then some write about it, expecting everyone to understand. I am not deriding anybody here. I do not have high education qualifications like you do, but I am not disrespecting anyone. I just want everybody – PHD holders, academics, bachelors – to think about what people who haven’t received as much education are thinking. Were they thinking the same things as you are? I tell everybody working for me to think the way the people think and solve problems for them, and provide them with explanations. We are not to here to persuade them to understand things in line with what we favor. None of us are politicians – the Cabinet, the NCPO the NLA. All of them were nominated by me, and Royal endorsement was granted. This was to make the country and our society secure.
You have to foster fairness and confidence. There is a critical lack of faith at the moment and a lack of trust. There is anxiety between one another, and between each income level or occupation group. This anxiety has been nurtured over the past ten years and it has never been resolved. These were all matters of politics, and matters that occurred under a system some are demanding we return to.
The current crisis must be turned into an opportunity. This is the only time we have. We need to foster care, love, and harmony in our communities. We can be likened to a sick person. The person would become more ill if things are done too quickly. Give them IV and discharge them. They will fall sick again because the cause of the problem – the disease – was not determined. Was it a contagious disease or severe? The patient has to be put into categories. He can be discharged after first aid if it was only a mild illness. First aid will not work for our country, for the illness is severe. The illness encompasses all five dimensions of reform. The appropriate medicine has to be provided. We need to work together to find the cure. The illness must not be allowed to spread. At present, I am trying my best to solve problems of state administration as the leader of the NCPO and the government. Please provide us with some cooperation.
As for generosity, Thais do not need to worry about this issue. Thais have been providing assistance to all places that encounter disasters. We helped out Nepal, Japan and island nations. Why, then, are we not helping fellow Thais? Help to foster love and unity, and join hands to address the problems of the country. Think of national interest as the prime agenda and put the public at the center. If we use these reasons in our work to create harmony then I believe the nation can proceed onward.
The government considers it a duty to care for each and every Thai person equally. We want unity to finally be realized. Let us put the nation first and use reasons and logic in thinking and in making considerations. Use discretion over information on social media. Those with more wealth should help out society with greater sums and those with less means should help out with lesser sums. They also need to take care of themselves before the state steps in. The state cannot aid them every step of the way. Everybody has grown but they are not yet strong. We only need to fill in the parts that are not strong. It is all we can do.
I would like to commend the many successes we have had and the constructive collaborations that were free of conflicts. Many newspapers have propagated these developments. I would like to start by commending Daily News for its continuous supportive projects for farmers – some were linked up the projects of the government. These projects have been able to give discounts to farmers, and they have many allied networks. During my visit to Chiang Mai I observed a network of individual farmers of organic produce. About 2,000 of them gathered together to provide rice, vegetables and fruits to consumers amid the health-conscious trend. This is a good thing. There were many good projects on fertilizer, rice, adding income, reducing water-intensive crops and adjustment of farming methods. They have been helping themselves, and today the government will reinforce them with the ‘rice tiffin carriers’ project. The project recreates the harmonious link between city dwellers and farmers.
Everybody rests their hopes on political developments and on the government. Meanwhile, the mechanisms at the grassroots level were not making enough contributions. Each person only aims to make profit for their own organization – this is not wrong and is a matter of free trade. However, we have forgotten about low-income persons. They form part of the circle and we all must help out, every association. I cannot cater to single-minded demanding. Providing privileges will not enable them to get by in the future, because there is a lack of empowered farmers. The public needs to help farmers switch to appropriate crops. They should also help to consume rice and organic food. The world will, from now on, be competing to produce quality rice. Every country in the world can now grow rice. It now depends on quality or premium rice, such as Hom Mali, fetching good prices whereas low-priced rice will see prices drop even further. This is where competition is heading and is also where farmers need to pay attention to determine which crops are appropriate – what to grow when there is abundant water or good soil. It will not do to cultivate for quantity only. Land area use and water use has to be lessened while yields are kept at a maximum. This will allow farmers to live more happily. Many ministries, including the agriculture and commerce ministries, have already been asked with this undertaking.
The ornamental plants and fish fair at Phadung Krung Kasem Canal concluded last week with almost 24 million baht of revenue. I thank everybody for this success, which will be expanded upon by the hosting of similar markets in every province in the future. The private sector can also do this by themselves. Gather your farmers’ group and open up markets – seek permission from the governor or whatnot. You have to take the initiative sometimes. This undertaking should have been implemented a long time ago – 4-5 businesses have presented their own models of such markets. Merchant groups and the chambers of commerce in every province should to the same. Local administrative organizations should tell us what they want. They should display their potential in order for them to receive additional budget. Demonstrate that you are ready to have more authority. Do this by first seeing to whether you can gather groups of people and link them with village headmen and sub-district chiefs. The latter should bring in positive developments to your area. This way, you will not have to worry over when local administrations might be terminated and they are laid off. Many things about the market have improved, but not by as much as I would like. We will help publicize information, and bring goods directly from the farms. The endeavor may lead some to becoming rich farm owners. Social business will be utilized to augment society. Purchases of farm products or rice have already started under projects I initiated.
I would like to thank all visitors to the fair and for their cooperation with the government. More types of fairs will be hosted, so please come in numbers. Some have said they would like to shop at the usual markets because the canal market was difficult to reach by car. I am telling them that boats are now available to take them there. Vessels leave Hua Lamphong for the Chao Phraya and also pass Phadung Krung Kasem. There are 7-8 piers as of now and I would like the BMA to continue this undertaking. The exception would be when the boat really can go no further. There should be boats where they can provide transportation to the public.
The next fair to be held to the side of Government House is the health expo centering on good health and community ways of life. Integrative medicine will be showcased during the 7-26 this month. This will lend towards the promotion of Thailand’s health service businesses. We have large opportunities in the field of Thai medicine, and in herbs. Processing these herbs for export would be better than selling Thai herbs as raw materials abroad, and then buying them back in the processed form.
Importantly, everybody will be able to learn about how to easily care for their health. This is all we can do amid the massive expenditures currently spent public health. We have little income and are hard-pressed over free health care. Conflicts ensue when we are unable to procure adequate amounts of funds for universal health care. Although such initiative is good for the people, the state cannot yet resolve the problem in some cases.
What are we to do when revenue is not coming in but demands are being made on everything? This is an issue that has been created since the past and now I am forced to clean up after. Please help to think about how our public health system will develop, and whether education should be free or not. I cannot provide complete solutions, but we have to think about how to best make effective and efficient use of the free services – how to move forward and have a future while being fair to people.
As for the matter of areas for holding events, I would like the provincial governors and the heads of all provincial offices of state agencies to work in harmony in providing the appropriate areas. They must also look at whether there will be sellers and buyers at the selling space, instead of single-minded adherence to a policy.
I have seen OTOP markets in Bangkok that had few, if any, customers. Make some changes, then. If selling just OTOP items will not suffice then also sell food or rice on alternate days. Take some initiative. Do not just sell OTOP products, rice or fish whenever I hand down the policy on the respective product.
Thailand and China celebrated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations on the 1st of July – I was present at this celebration. July 4th is the Independence Day of the United States, a country that has had long relations with Thailand. I congratulate the peoples of both nations for these occasions. Thais living in both countries have exchanges with those living in Thailand. Collaborations with these countries are undertaken on many levels – at the Royal level, the level of the government, the public, and in tourism, trade and cultural undertakings. These relations have existed for hundreds of years, and we will continue to have these close bonds for the millennia to come.
Lastly, I would like to express my appreciation for cyclists who have expressed their loyalty to the Royal Family by registering for the Bike for Mom event, which has drawn up almost 150,000 registrants. I was recently informed that the registration website had collapsed because of the amount of traffic, and this will be quickly resolved. I would like everybody to express their loyalty as well as demonstrate the unity of people in our nation. The joint exercise event also provides a spark on the issue of health awareness. Prevention and conscience-building is preferable to treatment, which costs much time and money. If we are strong then we have no need to visit the hospital and we only spend little money on medicine.
I would like to invite everybody to register. Please come even if there are problems with the registration, to demonstrate our unity for the Mother of the Land. Registration will take place until August 9. We will be able to demonstrate to the world that we have come together at last. All will be well if we can increasingly come together for activities and refrain from infighting and making negative news about the country. This is our golden land. Let us come together and build up this land. I believe this to be the future of Thais who are here now and who will succeed us in the future.
Thank you and goodbye