National Broadcast by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister- June 26, 2015

Good evening, dear Thai citizens.

This past week, I held a meeting with related agencies to prepare for the upcoming “Bike For Mom” event in honour of Her Majesty the Queen. The event will be organized in response to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s wish to show gratitude to Her Majesty, “Mother of the Nation”. It will take place on Sunday, 16 August 2015, starting from 3 pm. Bikers will travel 43 kilometers from the Royal Plaza to the 11th Infantry Regiment King’s Guard. It will be a round trip as the journey will end at the Royal Plaza. HRH the Crown Prince will join the crowd and take part in the activity. For more details on the “Bike For Mom” event and other activities to be held nationwide, please contact responsible offices in your area.

This past Wednesday, on behalf of all the Thai people, the government hosted a welcome dinner for Thai athletes who took part at SEA Games in Singapore. They have brought fame for our country as well as happiness and pride to our people. On behalf of everyone, I thank all the athletes, coaches, trainers, and staff for their commitment and for this unforgettable success.

In addition, I met with a group of students and teachers who will represent Thailand at International Olympiads in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, and physics. I complimented them for their commitment and effort to put Thailand on the map. I also told them to take this opportunity to gain experience, build friendships, and exchange knowledge with others. I told them to act as if they were academic ambassadors. Not only will they have to show their academic competency, they also have the chance to showcase Thailand’s cultural values to the world. I am calling on all Thais to send moral support to these heroes.

A matter of great importance for the government and the NCPO, apart from threats to national security both new and existing, is to yield results when implementing measures to deal with urgent issues, including the following:

1) Urgent measures to address people’s problems. In reference to the drought crisis, the government truly understands the hardships the farmers are facing during the drought season when water is scarce. The Meteorological Department says we will continue to experience less rainfall as this drought could continue until the end of July.

I have instructed state offices and the military to expedite assistance and distribute water to farmers. I urge you to please stop quarrelling over this issue. Furthermore, the Interior Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will together draw up an urgent action plan to tackle this drought. Apart from water distribution, the state and local offices will drill water wells, especially in risk-prone areas and uplands. Currently, there are 850,000 rai of risk areas near the Chao Phraya watershed.

One of the main factors contributing to the scarcity of rainfall is climate change in the Pacific Ocean. This predicament is called “El Niño”. It is expected to cause the greatest effects on climate change in 10 years. Climate change is an uncontrollable factor and is having an impact in all countries around the world. The best we can do is to help preserve natural resources and the environment. Without forests, there will be no water. We have to rehabilitate what has been destroyed.

As for long-term measures, the government has formulated a plan spanning of 11 years (2015-2026), which focuses on 6 matters covering all aspects of water management.

The first matter pertains to water management. We will find water sources and develop irrigation in 7,500 villages and 700 cities, starting this year. Completion is expected in 2017. Irrigation systems in 9,000 locations will be overhauled. Drinking water will be supplied to 6,000 schools.

The second matter pertains to security in water production. We will build 369 more reservoirs and rehabilitate 895 water resources, build 50,000 ponds inside plantations, and dig 1,285 artesian wells, hoping to supply both agricultural and industrial sectors. In 2016, we hope to expand irrigation area of 2.2 million rai. And by 2026, we hope to reach 8.7 million rai of land. When finished, the irrigation system will reach 40 million rai of land from the current 30 million rai, which is 10 million rai more.

The third matter pertains to flood prevention. We will renovate 30 watersheds, with a combined distance of 75 kilometers, in order to facilitate water drainage and water diversions. 13 dams will be built to protect river banks. All of the operations will be completed in 3 years.

The next matter concerns quality of water improvement. We will develop 36 wastewater plants and remove aquatic weeds from 399 waterways. This operation will be finished by the end of this year.

The fifth matter concerns saltwater intrusion. We will also continue to tackle saltwater intrusion, an effort of which requires a large amount of water.

The last matter concerns reforestation and soil erosion prevention. Trees and saplings will be planted in 25,000 rai of land and vetiver grass will be grown in a 645,000-rai area. The effort will be accomplished in September.

I can assure you that the government is working at its best capacity to tackle these issues and prioritize them. We are trying to address all the issues we see. Nevertheless the government will need cooperation from the public.

Thailand is currently facing other key challenges such as the civil aviation system and human trafficking or the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. I would like to inform you that the current administration is doing what it can to solve these issues. The problem requires many things to be revised such as laws and regulations, management, punishment, rehabilitation efforts, and fishing industry. As for the civil aviation problem, Thailand has set up several committees and is asking the Civil Aviation Department to oversee issues the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has pointed out.

Thailand respects the decision of international organisations. We will address these issues immediately. The current government is working around the clock to have these problems resolved. These issues are brought up every day and every week. I can assure you that everything is making progress. It all now depends on the international organisations which will send inspectors to evaluate the improvement of issues I mentioned earlier. Things look to improve and Thailand has also been discussing matters with our neighboring countries. They have been given great cooperation.

However, we will not be content until all the problems have been rectified. We have to look back and assess causes of these problems and address them at the root. We need to analyze all related components and make sure that we have everything figured out. The NCPO has been assisting the state’s efforts, especially in human trafficking prevention and IUU problem eradication. The Ministry of Transport has been working hard and utilizing Article 44 of the interim charter to fix the problems pointed out by the ICAO. Other problems will need different solutions such as through the use of law. Laws are deliberated and passed by the National Legislative Assembly. Cabinet members talk about these issues every time they meet.

The next topic is about the economy. The government will focus on improving community economies as well as social businesses, trying to build central-regional connectivity and how this connection can support SME businesses. Then, we link SMEs with big enterprises and exports in order to allow them to penetrate the international market. How can we create this connectivity? How can the agricultural sector be strong? Thailand houses middlemen, small and medium-sized businesses, and large businesses. If we help educate the agriculturists, giving them the knowledge of trade, investment and marketing, these farmers will be more proficient as they will one day become businesspersons of their own.

With regards to technology and R&D, the Thai economy will be strengthened if we have better technology and R&D. We need to have technological advancement and use technology in our production and processing, which will help create added-value to our products. We have to learn from successful research and develop our products. We have to clearly understand the issue we are trying to address. What does our country need? Agriculture can gain huge benefits from R&D. We need to introduce innovation to our products so as to allow Thailand to enhance its competitiveness. Thai exports have been sluggish. We need to focus more on innovation, research and development. We need to adopt new innovation and technology as well as make our products different and outstanding. The government has been pushing for such efforts to be realized. In the past, we did not make enough preparations to be able to thrive in today’s world. Prices of agricultural produce have been declining. We need to make adjustments every day.

As for trade, investment, and marketing, the government has made its strategies clear and will focus on predetermined, both domestic and international. Everything must be interconnected. We need to create a chain of supply and demand as well as upgrade the value of our products, in order to create security and stability for the public, the private sector, entrepreneurs, and investors. Generally speaking, communities must be strong, provinces must be strong, and the region must be strong. Then we can move on to developing special economic zones as well as other areas with potential to grow. This is like clustering. Please do not worry about these economic zones. We will focus on these areas first. Please rest assured that people in special economic zones will have their due opportunities. We will come up with ideas how investments should be made and how local businesses can be supported. Or should we set up some sort of fund? We will place emphasis on potential areas at this stage. However, each zone is different. Clustering means that there will be different businesses in one area. There will be processing business, warehouses, distribution centers, tourism businesses, hotels, and services. This is only the first year which is focused on 6 provinces. Four more provinces will follow next year. This plan excludes inner provinces that have potential for economic growth. We will develop Thai SMEs and support investments in this aspect. Everything is interconnected and will be integrated.

The next topic is about building resilience and increasing the country’s competitiveness. We need to build the value chain for all products. In the past, everything was separated. We must build that connection now. The government is not looking to gain from this effort, but wants all the benefits to go back to the entrepreneurs, the people, and the farmers. I also want to stress the importance of social businesses which are a part of social enterprises. If we can create stronger communities through the realization of social businesses, it will link to SMEs and economic zones in border areas which are gateways to ASEAN market as well as the international market. We have to have a clear picture and merge all efforts from every ministry and department. We cannot have one ministry or agency do everything on its own. We have formed several committees and subcommittees to work on this issue.

Our next topic is about a long-term infrastructure development plan. I want to make sure that the private sector as well as the public understands which direction Thailand is heading. This will allow you to make preparations for future investments and build strength. It will take time but will connect the dots between the communities in the same and different regions. This is to ensure a better future for the next generation. Certain laws and acts will be amended and promulgated in order to ensure fair play and maximum benefits for our country. We will need to help each other. Please don’t take advantage of other people.

Our next topic is about the disbursement of state funds. This year, government disbursement has exceeded amounts allocated in other years. The budget is being spent on many projects, especially in construction. The only problem for some projects is that the public has demanded a public hearing beforehand. Therefore certain projects like power plants, renewable plants, and waste treatment plants cannot be launched right away in some areas. All of these projects will help improve the competitiveness of the country and increase our capacity. Without these projects, our economy will find it hard to truly thrive.

Our next topic is about education. We are focusing on the first 3 years. Education is the number one factor that will drive our country forward. As for the government’s educational development plan,  for the first phase the NCPO has already tackled urgent issues  such as canceling projects that cannot yield results, addressing shortages of educators, and promoting long-distance learning in order to pave the way for a stronger foundation in the education system, public administration, and continuity. We need to produce personnel the country and ASEAN needs. We are doing this in a timely manner. It is like a race against time. The Education Ministry is working with the Labor Ministry to produce workers that each industry needs. We have to be well-prepared for the upcoming AEC. We must have both regular labor and skilled labor. Thai workers must be able to communicate in English. We are expediting efforts to make sure that this will happen. We will include the production of skilled workers in our national strategy. We should also have empathy for manual laborers. Unskilled workers should seek assistance from the Labor Ministry. The ministry will recruit you and find you a job. If possible, the government will raise wages for you. As for other sectors, you need to wait for a little while until the economy is better and then we will have more jobs available. I am always concerned for your well-being, so please be careful when you spend. Everyone in the country is encountering economic challenges, not just a particular group.

With regards to elimination of disparities in education, the government will provide equal opportunities and better access to education. We need to produce more workers and improve their skills so as to allow our country to grow. We need to improve the country’s ability to compete. Abilities of educators shall also be improved while a better education system will be laid down. The whole system shall be reformed.  The third phase of reform will be initiated by the next administration through the reform council. The thing that I have always stressed is how to make students enjoy learning. Students should be able to think on their own and have a chance to enhance their ability according to their age. Students should enjoy being at school. Students should also help parents save money and while refraining from things that distress their families. Related agencies have been told to help parents with educational equipment, tuition fees, etc. Schools should keep on improving their curricula. Distance-learning system will be used in areas where educational standards are low. We have to address all of these issues.

Human resource development is very important. We need to be able to adapt to changes in the world. Without human resources development, our farmers will only know how to plant, but not how to do marketing or how to assess prices in the ASEAN market. They need to understand modern weather conditions and adopt technology in their farming. Farmers should be able to use modern programmes such as WhatsApp, etc. You need to know where to access water and where to plant your crops. You have to understand this concept. Without knowledge, you will be stuck with the same old methods that will no longer work. Without know -how, you will not be able to resolve any issues. Some people say the state does not do anything to help the people in this aspect. That is not true. We have set up more than 800 learning centers. Provincial and district officers are also lending a helping hand. They have been out there giving advice and suggestions to our farmers. However, we are going to need cooperation from everyone and as much as possible. If you don’t have the will to make a change, how is the country going to move forward? Our fellow agriculturists will never be successful if we don’t adapt to the times. And then everything will move backwards. The government is doing everything it can, but success will not come overnight. It is a problem that we have to solve together.

As for farmers facing the drought crisis, I suggest that you grow crops that require smaller amount of water or crops that are suitable to your farms. Due to less rainfall and an insufficient amount of water, you need to plant crops that need less water. There are several areas that I have seen that farm crickets, grow beans and vegetables. These plants and insects help you earn more money than what you earn from rice farming. Rice will not survive through any drought season. Without water, rice will die. This happens every year and the government has to step in to help these farmers every year. You have to adjust yourselves. You can’t continue this way. You need to acquire more information and knowledge. The state cannot knock on every door and tell you what to do. You have to listen. The Department of Local Administration should have a complete understanding of the state’s policy and convey it to each locality, informing them of the responsibilities of district chiefs, village heads, authorities, and local administrative officers. You are closest to the people. If you fail to pass on the policy and knowledge to the people, this kind of problem will never end. Then, conflict, inequality, injustice will follow. Please help the government now. We need your help. Please stop quarreling with each other. We cannot have the military oversee every problem. We need to help each other every way we can.

Crop planting and production should always meet the needs and the demands of the market, the community, and the world. If we have more supply than demand, the prices will drop and who are we going to sell the products to? Today, we are engaging in talks with other ASEAN countries to find out measures to enhance the income of ASEAN farmers. I have proposed this to every meeting as well as the recent meeting that was held in Myanmar. They promised that this matter would be discussed in the next meeting. I told other leaders that we should find a way to raise prices of ASEAN rice and build stability in the rice farming industry, given that ASEAN is the world’s food supplier.

Agriculturists should look into the possibility of growing water-saving plants. As I said earlier, the country’s irrigation system is only enough for 30% of all crop plantations. Even if we could enhance our capacity, it will not exceed 40%. Therefore, we should understand which crops should be planted in locations where water can be reached. We have to better manage the agricultural zones. We need to segment our rice. Which rice has high quality? Which rice is good for consumption? Which rice will be sold at lower prices?  However, all rice must contain the quality that helps our people grow. Each rice strain is different and we need to manage them strategically. There are those locations where water cannot reach. Water is scarce and the amount has been on a decline. This is due to less rainfall while some reservoirs are not deep enough to store water when the rain comes. Responsible units have been told to dredge canals and turn this crisis into opportunity. Please take this opportunity to wider canals and waterways. If we are fortunate, we will be blessed with more rains. With dredged canals, we will be able to store more water. Without dredged canals, all the water will flood lower lands. However, before dredging canals or building dams, please conduct a thorough study as well as look into the pros and cons. You need to do whatever you can, but not destroy the ecosystem.

Let us turn to the matter of reallocating land for rubber planting.  A problem is still presented by the amount of rubber usage domestically and globally.  Let me rephrase it as supply outpacing demand.  Only around 10% of produced rubber is used domestically, and this needs to be increased to at least 25%.  We are trying to achieve this within 3 years.  Value also needs to be increased through processing.  Boosting domestic consumption to 30% from 10% is part of the plan to establish a rubber city, promote SMEs and set up special economic zones.  The overabundant produce needs to be processed to create higher value and to enable linkage with other businesses.  As part of efforts to regulate the amount of rubber supply, it is necessary to reclaim all rubber plantations that encroach on restricted areas.

Financiers for rubber growers will be approached first.  We are considering how to handle poor rubber planters and whether we can find ways for them to utilize the space.  Nonetheless, all encroachment actions are illegal.  The government will not cause harm to low-income earners, however.

On the matter of caring for low-income earners and those dwelling in crowded communities, I believe it is time we set goals towards the betterment of their quality of life and on securing residences, careers, income or selling space to them.  Planning is made with regards to periodic development – and considers how many apartments or units of residences will be allocated to the poor and low-income earners each year or within each 3-year span.  The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is tasked with this planning, which also needs to have relevance with plans for Bangkok and the provinces implemented by the BMA and the interior ministry.  One thing I would like to be taken into account is whether we would be able to find employment and space for people near the railways being developed, as this would, at the very least, lend itself towards future urban development and expansion.

All matters need to be planned with regards to relevance between one another.  Joint investments may be a good way to address the high budget demand, provided they are compliant with regulations.  I am providing the initiative and designating policies but each ministry has to work them out and bring each of the matter to the policy driving committee as well as the Cabinet.  Clear plans that are to be implemented in phases are needed because of the limited budget.  The economy is still not doing well – our income is low and we need to propel development, bring about empowerment, and care for the public and the underprivileged.  I ask for your understanding over the phase-by-phase implementation of plans.  Everybody needs to keep on persevering for the time being, in the same way that I am persevering for the country’s progress.

Let us turn to the topic of creating orderliness in Bangkok, large cities and rural areas.  Urban communities have to be established in rural areas.  Too much scattering would result in high infrastructure costs.  We could consolidate and let the farmlands be located slightly further away.  The fields will still be accessible – they will not be as far as 20 or 30 kilometers away.  If such communities can be established in rural areas then we will be spared a significant burden over infrastructure.  Money can then be allocated to modern production equipment.  Many farmers have advanced ages and most of their children no longer work the fields.  Many hire workers or rent equipment, which entail high expenses.  At present, we are overseeing the issue of cost.  You may observe that fertilizers and seeds have become cheaper.  We are also procuring machinery for shared use by cooperatives.  The military is playing a part in this as well.  This will be implemented as quickly as possible.

For the matter of land rental fees, I would like to ask land owners not to demand too much from farmers.  You should have sympathy for them.  Without farmers, you will have no income.  If you want income, you need to cooperate by caring for the farmers and being kind.

On the matter of energy, we possess energy sources in many locations that need to be continually surveyed.  The relevant law on this matter is coming out.  I will stick with this law.  Please carry on in accordance with this law and refrain from making more demands for now.  More progress will be made in the future but we must proceed with the parts that are necessary right now.  Rest assured that we are addressing all the demands and concerns.  Have some faith and trust in our intentions.  I did not come here to create new problems.  Nonetheless, we must progress towards better things in the future – this is what I am working on.

For the matter of restructuring the ratio of energy utilization, I have mentioned before that continued use of oil and gas at an increasing rate would lead to a worsening of the problem.  Such usage results in the state expending large amounts of budget to import raw materials for energy, such as oil, gas, LPG and NGV.  LPG should be used in households whereas NGV should mostly be used in the transport sector.  We have to find energy sources to replace oil and gas usage, which currently contributes to 70% of electricity generation at present.  If we continue to use oil and gas this way, we will be ill-positioned for any future rise in their prices.  Electricity fees would soar.  We must make preparations now when I am in office.

The ratio of alternative energy usage has to be adjusted.  Laws need to be amended and new laws must be issued to foster transparency and fairness in the process.  The public has to be accounted for when considering joint investment and electricity purchases.  The country’s development plan calls for oversight committees in the part of the Ministry of Energy, and in the part of the energy regulatory commission.  These committees will designate the appropriate ratio for electricity generation from each type of source.  Over-reliance on any single source would produce consequences in the future.

On the matter of reforms, I have informed you since the start that there will be reform of various issues under 11 aspects.  These include aspects of education, the economy, society, the media and other affairs.  I have pursued the 11 aspects through the NCPO during the first phase and through both the government and the NCPO during the second phase.  What remains will be carried over into the third phase.  Completing the third phase could therefore involve two or three governments.  Some of the affairs need 10 or 20 years to be properly addressed.

A national strategy has to be laid down during this time.  I will, once again, review the accomplishments during phase 1, which involved urgent issues.  Phase 2 involved urgent policies that needed to be rapidly driven, as well as matters declared as national agendas.  It also involved overlapping and long-standing problems that have only recently resurfaced.  Examples are various structural problems and the matter of realizing synergistic administration in state affairs.  These issues must be addressed in order for reforms to progress to phase three, which will be the responsibility of the next government.  I am not denying responsibility now, but not all of the problems can be resolved right now.  There are more than a hundred issues within the 11 aspects.  There might be 10 affairs within each of the aspects.  Please understand that I have selected the most urgent affairs and need to hand over the rest and the more time-consuming affairs to the next administration.  People say they want everything to be finished.  How is this possible when there are dozens of affairs within each of the aspects?  Please understand us.

For the matter of state administration, we have placed emphasis on the efficient use of the budget and inspections on transparency and graft detection, all the while accelerating every project.  Synergy was stressed to avoid overlaps between ministries and agencies, burdening civil servants, or inadequate public cooperation.  Clarification takes place beforehand and public votes even take place in some cases.  The public needs to be informed generally of what will happen, where and when, in order for people to know how the future will be.  I said before that aerial studies might prove necessary in order for people to realize the differences in development between the provinces.  If people do not observe others then they may not know how to develop themselves to keep pace.  Everybody will only look at their own location.  Tasks have been assigned for the Ministry of Transport to collaborate with the NCPO in tacking photographs that will demonstrate how urban and rural areas should look in a strong and modern country.  There is a need for the agriculture sector, the agro-industry sector, and for culture and tourism.  Clusters of these sectors have to exist in every province, perhaps even in every district or sub-district.  The clusters will supplement one another and enable a continuation of income chain within each locality.  People will not need to seek work only in Bangkok.  Is it not better to build a better life in one’s own location?

The next topic is the tackling of goods smuggling along the border.  This is one problem that is being addressed by the establishing of special economic zones that would lead to more legitimate, regulated and fair trade along the border.  Especially of note are issues of law enforcement and adherence to trade agreements.  We have such agreements with ASEAN nations.  We are obligated to buy each other’s produce.  We need to be clearer about what we will do with the produce after purchasing.  All of us grow crops, and exchanges have to be made.  I have been thinking whether we can utilize our neighbors’ GSP privileges while the goods are processed in our country.  Perhaps the produce can be sent to distribution centers that act as storage warehouses for further processing into higher-value items for export.  Connectivity is needed and we must also take care of our neighboring countries.

For the matter of migrant labor registration, much progress has been made although more work remains.  Nationality verification has been slow because it is also dependent on the source country.  Some of the countries have the readiness while some do not.  We have relaxed the rules to allow temporary permits that need to be extended each year.  I am seeing this information on newspapers, and I would like them to remain on the papers.  The temporary permits do not allow the holders to work in other localities, to prevent business owners who prefer to pinch workers from other places by offering better rates.  The other businesses become deprived of workers through such actions, although they have paid for the associated costs.  It is not fair for you to take their workers in such manner.  Please do not take such advantage over others.  Workers themselves and officials need to be aware of the law and what is allowed.  Single-minded enforcement of law without considering a political solution would also not do.  Conflict has to be avoided in each location.  The rules have to be enforced but aspects that can be relaxed will be in order to tailor to businesses.  This is all in accordance with previously issued policies of the government.

In our effort to resolve conflicts and guard against graft within all levels, we have adhered to existing procedures and criteria.  No offender has been spared.  All accounts that have been cited have been reviewed and audited.

There is a portion of alleged cases that need to be dealt with urgently.  The remaining alleged cases will be handled by their relevant ministry.  Probing committees will be set up for every case to determine whether misconduct occurred.  If misconduct is confirmed then both disciplinary action and criminal prosecution will ensue.  Do not rush this through.  We have to move forward while also fixing the problems trailing us.  To ensure fairness, do not label individuals being probed as accused or guilty.  Act according to clear evidence and investigation results.

The next issue I give importance to is pro-active, strategic planning on international relations.  Thailand has to be empowered.  With Thailand empowered, ASEAN will also be empowered.  We are part of ASEAN, thus we need to take care of our friends and each other.  Together, we must steer ASEAN towards empowerment.  I inform every leader that we need to do the steering together.  Exchanges and contributions must be made among member countries.  Lastly, we need to trust one another while working together for mutual gains and benefits.   By taking care of the peoples of all member countries, we will empower ASEAN and give it the capability to stand tall on the global stage.

The next matter concerns improvements to alternative tourism options.  This is contributing to revenue generation at the moment.  Amidst the decline in exports, the tourism scene is making gains.  It is fortunate we possess substantial readiness in this aspect, which also requires less costly investment.  At present, emphasis is being placed on safety and on connectivity between the many types of tourism-related businesses, regardless of whether these involve domestic or multinational connectivity. This connectivity is needed for land, water and air transport.  Package or cluster-based tourism products have to be developed.  Our neighbors are aware of our great experience in tourism matters.

On the matter of law and justice, many laws – more than a hundred – have been amended.  This will allow all members of the public better access to the judicial process and allow the use of laws to empower society.  The laws will lend towards co-existence between individuals within society.  The underprivileged are being provided with a justice fund.  The benefits to be gained by the public have to be clear for each and every law.

The laws will provide officials with the means to ensure that everything progresses according to the rules, while conflicts between the state, civil servants and the public are kept to a minimum.  The law is a tool for building peace, not conflicts.  The law needs to be coherent with current circumstances and with our obligations to the international community.  Outdated laws must all be amended.

Affairs of state administration which have not been completed or worked on by the current government will be categorized and forwarded to the reform council for the latter to yield a work plan and designate strategies for implementing certain affairs. Some plans might be implemented in just one year while others require 4 or 5 years.  Perhaps there will be 5-year plans, as employed by many countries.  Therefore, we need to clearly specify how we want Thailand to be in the next 20 years.  We will be a democratic, agro-industrial country.  At the same time, some additions have to be made based on our areas of advantage.  These include being a hub for tourism, health care and the likes.  These additions have to be brought in while we also work closely with neighbors.  Partnerships have to be fostered to enable the whole to be lifted.  We cannot be the only wealthy nation – this is how I think.  The same goes for the domestic scene where the wealthy needs to take care of the less-endowed and the latter needs to take care of those even poorer.

If a 20-year plan is made as the national strategy, assessments have to be carried out every 5 years and every following government will need to act accordingly on the primary issues such as security, economy, society, energy, infrastructure, fostering empowerment, reducing disparities, and ensuring justice.  These affairs have to be addressed hand-in-hand, and I will no longer be around.  Today, we are trying to promote good governance within the public sector and create persons with virtues and ethics.  We want all civil servants to be good civil servants under His Majesty the King.  They have the task of ensuring the well-being of His Majesty’s subjects, per the tasks bestowed upon them which are ultimately aimed at fostering stability, prosperity, and sustainability for the nation.

These are important times when we must place priority in the stability of governance and peace and orderliness within the country.  I do not think this is the right time for conflicting parties to be conducting movements against each other now.  We are tackling problems from the past.  If we are not allowed to tackle these issues then they will surface again.  We are now building a democracy based on quality. We need to use this phrase – a quality democracy.  I have never played down democracy, but we need a quality democracy, one that is effective and sustainable and allows the populace to be happier.  Some things need time in order to be changed.  How to carry out the transition?  How to conduct oneself?  Is it difficult, strenuous and require perseverance?  This is what is known as transition towards a better future.  This is reform and re-organization.  Collaboration, synergy, joint designation of goals and periodic assessment are required.  The public must be aware of their future – it must not be hidden from them, else problems will ensue.  They must know beforehand about the grand scheme.  This should be followed by details of projects and public votes, in order to avoid disputes.  Conflicts and disputes are all around at present.  I would like to ask those who are stoking opposition to the work of the government to discontinue.  Please stop using the people as a tool. Please explain so they understand. I can accept it if you ask them whether they want to remain they way they are or whether they want to live better lives, and they say they want to remain poor.  But no gain is made without effort.  We must collaborate in order to overcome the present conditions of poverty, lack of income and lack of business activity in each locality.  If not, who will make you wealthier and what will fund the education of your children?  In the future, other locales will have been developed – they will have large projects to generate income and occupation, and the living quality will be better than in areas without such developments.  In other countries, each locality competes over becoming a trade and investment hub.  People want these developments to take place in their locality.  They want these projects to take place in their area so prosperity would come about.  In our case, we are sometimes informed of projects with distorted information and misunderstanding as a result of political interests.  Disputes and opposing interest groups have thus caused things to be distorted, thus leading to a lack of cooperation.  Without cooperation, the country cannot progress.  What can possibly be implemented when the community fails to act together?  Everything must start with the community and the members of the public.  Regardless of whether we call ourselves as people or citizens, we are all Thais.  We must not let Thailand suffer damages in the previous way.  The NCPO and the government have placed urgent attention to this.  We are only concerned with accomplishing the mission of allowing Thailand to have stability, prosperity and sustainability.


Thank you.  I wish you a happy weekend.  Goodbye.