National Broadcast by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister –September 25, 2015
Yesterday marked Prince Mahidol Day which was held in remembrance of HRH Prince Mahidol who is honoured in Thailand as the father of modern Thai medicine. During his life time, HRH Prince Mahidol devoted himself to the country and his people, especially in the area of medicine and public health care. He worked tirelessly and even used his personal funds to improve Thailand’s health system. He was given a teaching post at the Royal Thai Navy Academy. He helped to expand Siriraj Hospital and donated his own money to build hospital wards. This fund was also used as a scholarship for medical students who wished to continue their education abroad. In addition, HRH Prince Mahidol gave medical equipment to Thai hospitals. He was the one who set the norms and standards for the country’s medical profession. As a result, all Thais are mindful and grateful for the benevolence and the contribution of HRH Prince Mahidol who is renowned as the father of modern Thai medicine.
Between 24th and 30th of September, I shall be taking part in the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, United States. On this occasion, I will be delivering statements on Thailand’s will to work with the UN to strengthen and develop the 3 pillars of global development. I will share Thailand’s experiences with development, in particular how we are trying to eradicate poverty and social disparities, not to mention our attempts to overcome economic shortfall and to lower the unemployment rate, which will in turn lead us to sustainable growth.
Thailand has been adopting the principle of a Sufficiency Economy by His Majesty the King. This philosophy has been applied by the Royal Thai Government for more than 40 years. The government uses this philosophy for formulating policies, economic plans, and social development plans. It also acts as guideline for the government’s 5-year vision. The UNGA is an important opportunity for Thailand to amplify the merits and appropriateness of the philosophy of a Sufficiency Economy, based on people-centered development, to the rest of the world. The philosophy advocates a stable and sustainable approach to development. Apart from the UNGA, I will also hold discussions on sustainable water management, the promotion of social equality, and the promotion of women.
During this visit, on behalf of Thailand, I will receive an award on digital development from the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Thailand attaches significance to digital technology and development. I will also meet the Secretary-General of the United Nations and hold talks with US businesses about investing in Thailand. I will also meet up with Thai people and Thai business persons residing in the United States.
Regarding the anti-government demonstrations during my visit, I understand that you have the right to express yourselves, but please understand that I am visiting the US on behalf of Thailand. I am only asking you to refrain from damaging the image of our country and to think of the country’s best interests before making any decisions that could damage our nation.
As for those who will come to encourage me, I would like to say thank you. However, please keep in mind that whatever action or expression you present reflects our country. I ask that everyone play by the rules, have self-control, be united, and take care of one another. Please don’t let anyone mislead you in the wrong way. Our country has suffered enough damage. We all need to love our nation and show the positive side of Thailand to the international community. We need to show them that everything in Thailand has significantly improved. This is what we can be truly proud of. Everything is moving in a positive direction.
This past Sunday, I chaired the opening of an event entitled “Saan Palang Pracharat Puea Setthakij Thaan Raak” which was held to announce Thailand’s strategies to mobilize the grassroots economy. All sectors will join hands in order to improve the country’s economy. No matter which part of the country you live in, we are all Thais. The country belongs to 70 million people. This is called a “state of the people”, not “populism”. Today, we need cooperation between the state and the people. So I’d rather use this term so that everyone can work together. The government will be the one to open doors for the private sector and the people to participate under democratic processes. We will try to minimize all disputes between the people and the government. I believe that a government that exercises good governance can cooperate with the people to solve problems and move our country forward without leaving anyone behind, and without creating groups and social divisions in our society like what happened before. This administration genuinely cares for everyone and will treat everyone equally.
Sustainable development is to build a network where the government and the people become a key engine, connecting and including all sectors in society. This is what a modern administration looks like. Budget allocation will be better managed while properties will be well protected. Activities will be held for the good of the community as advancement in living standards will be realized.
HM the King’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy is a basic guideline we all should adhere to while adding knowledge and strengthening our ethics. Those who administer the country must have ethics, morality, and good governance. Today the government relies on its people. Everyone should to step forward together. In order to have a complete democracy and ethical politics, a government that is elected by the people must be free of corruption, promote unity, and work hard to remove social conflicts. However, the government’s efforts will need support and cooperation from the people. The government and the NCPO aspire for cooperation from all sides of society in being ‘a state of the people’ where the government and people work in unison. I am confident that all problems will be resolved should everyone work together, which will in turn bring Thailand stability, prosperity, and sustainability.
In reference to moving our nation forward, the government has put forth the 11 reform agendas outlined by the NCPO, the NRC’s 36 reform agendas, 7 development issues and a number of new policies into the 12th national economic and social development plan (2017-2021) and the 20-year national strategic plan. It will be focused on many issues as follows,
1.) the adoption and utilization of the Sufficiency Economy philosophy.
2) people will be the center of development with active participation.
3) the promotion and encouragement of national reform.
and 4) national development under the vision of “stability, prosperity, and sustainability”.
At present, the aforementioned plan is now being drafted and is expected to be put in place in October 2016. It takes into account the assessments of the 11th national development plan and data gathered by the NESDB over the past 3 years. This year, we have collected input from the government sector, private sector, and the younger generation. The data is then turned into useful information in order to draw up proposals which comprise
1) the country’s ability to compete, with an aim to make Thailand a higher-income country, turning it into an agro-industrial nation while focusing on quality services.
2) future investment which aims to enhance the potential of Thailand’s overall economy as well as steer Thailand past the “middle income trap”.
3) an ageing society with quality of life in which people of all ages will receive proper education, with high standard health care and an environment that enhances better living standards.
4) the development of local areas, regions and regional connectivity. The well-being of Thais will be uplifted along with the well-being of people in neighboring nations.
5) the development of agricultural industry, turning Thailand into the world’s kitchen under an improved management of natural resources – land and water – which are the basis of agricultural production.
6) development that is friendly to the environment, which brings us sustainability. Success will come when natural resources are preserved, greenhouse gas is reduced, and production and consumption is environmentally friendly.
7) the government working hand in hand with the people, with the ultimate goal of bringing higher standards of living for all.
Due to constant weather changes during these past days and as Thailand has been battling heavy rainfall and storms, I would like to ask my fellow citizens to closely monitor the situation and look out for all natural disasters. Before I left Bangkok for the United States, I had instructed officials to be well-prepared for both expected and unexpected incidents. Concerned units must be on standby to assist the victims and mitigate the impacts. Assistance must be provided immediately. I ask that people inspect their houses, making sure that it is safe. Owners of street signs and banners should check them regularly. Please be more cautious when travelling on the road. Authorities in large cities like Bangkok should prepare for water drainage.
One more group that I’m concerned about is the farmers. I want all the farmers to keep themselves updated with information from government officials especially on issues concerning the use of water. Make sure you grow plants according to the advice given to you. I know that water is very important because it allows the farmers to have stability in their career. However, please understand the fact that we only have limited amount of water now. Please rest assured that the government is currently doing its best to address this issue as well as other issues. Please follow advice and suggestions. You can always come find us when you have problems.
I wish you a happy and safe weekend. Please make the best use of your time and don’t forget to spend time with your family.
Goodbye for now.
Source Royal Thai Government