National Broadcast by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, May 13, 2016

may 13 2016

MC: Good evening. Welcome to the program. This week, the prime minister has many issues he wishes to talk about with the public. The prime minister is here with us now.

Good evening Prime Minister. 
MC: As in previous, you have some positive developments you want to share with the public. What are they this week?

PM: There are many issues I wish to talk about today. I want this to be a conversation-oriented program, so that we can all relax. The first thing all Thais can be happy about this past week is that there were 8 students taking part in the 17th Asian Physics Olympiad in Hong Kong. They were able to win 2 gold medals, 3 bronze medals, and 3 plaques of honor.

A Thai golfer, Ariya Jutanugarn, aka Pro May, won an LPGA Tour in USA. She is only 20 years of age.

This year is a successful year for Thai athletes. Many of them have been collecting awards from international competitions, taking home gold, silver, and bronze medals. Thai athletes have won many international competitions, including badminton. We must also mention a Thai shooter who won the first World Cup Shooting gold medal, as well as a Thai weightlifter who also achieved success. I would like to send my support and congratulations to all athletes and students who, through their efforts, have brought acclaim to Thailand. I wish that they will be successful in their quests and educational pursuits.
The new school year is approaching. I would like to ask all students to focus on their studies. National education reform is now in its first phase. If you are both a student and an athlete, you need to train and study hard. It is a difficult challenge.

The government’s classroom time reduction campaign has been well-received by both students and teachers. Students need to find their strengths and likes. Students need to find out what they want to be and focus on achieving that goal. If you can find out this answer early, you will be able to improve the skills needed to achieve the goal.

MC: As we all know, the country had been facing all sorts of problems, large and small for quite some time. Since the government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took over, many problems have been successfully addressed, including the problematic rice mortgage scheme, water management, and economic restructuring. Another challenge we need to talk about today is agriculture. Thailand is an agricultural country and so problems in this sector have many implications. Could you shed some light on some of the solutions to these problems and how can the farmers be a part of the solution?


Agricultural Map for Dynamic Management : Agri-Map. Photo:

PM: One thing I ask is ‘understanding’. Farmers need to be patient and committed to resolving this issue while also ensuring concrete results that are sustainable and quick. The government is doing its best in managing water resources, recycling waste water, finding ways for reducing production costs, adapting farming behaviors, introducing the agri-map, and issuing many assistance measures such as providing capital, seedlings, and agricultural equipment. We have also revised the legislation concerning debt collection and have been looking into the problem of overcharging. I can say that everything is making progress although some matters are moving more slowly than others. I also realise that some citizens still lack an understanding of these developments. Perhaps it is because these issues are quite a change for them.

To make matters worse, some people try to distort the truth, to create a sense of fear and make others lose confidence. Some people are too familiar with old-fashioned farming practices, such as using a large quantity of water and hoping to get high returns from their crops,  which is rather difficult today because of the imbalance between demand and supply. Many farmers are used to financial assistance, which is not a sustainable solution. The rice scheme had a lot of problems as we all know. Pegging rice prices is also a problem. This is not a sustainable way to solve the problem. It is a populist policy that provides short-term gain. But it does not address the root cause of the problem. We have to look at the cause of the problem, starting from production. Given this, how do we help them?

First, farmers need to form a collective group. The government can better provide assistance to a group rather than individual cases. But this is a hurdle because many farmers are apprehensive of change. This has been further complicated by the release of distorted information about the government’s approach, which has caused mistrust. Therefore, I cannot blame them. Instead, I sympathise with them.
Another reason why many farmers don’t want to change is because it is involves new techniques and agricultural methods. They are not familiar with them, which makes it hard to understand in a short period of time. I hope that famers will have a better understanding of these new farming methods in the next 1-2 years. Those who have succeeded need to tell their stories to others and show them a better path. Show them how to use less water and grow crops that give higher returns.

Grow drought-tolerant crops according to the agri-map launched by the Agriculture Ministry. If farmers refuse to invest in or help themselves, these problems will be more difficult be resolved. The government cannot give handouts as it could create more household debts and lead to more public debt. This is the connection farmers need to understand. Not only the farmers, other professions also need help. The first thing we need to do is make farmers understand for themselves the issues, so as to thwart all the distorted information circulating among the farmers. Some people still hope to create conflict in our society this way.

Today I would like to commend the many farmers who have agreed to grow crops in the ‘common area’ way. This method allows them to understand about which crops to grow. These farmers can support each other better this way. Farmers should avoid producing a single crop, as it involves risks should the price of this crop drop. You must look at demand in the market and look back at your production.
Water is also an important issue. If everyone grows crops according to the state of water resources in their areas, they will be able to conserve water. We have less water than before. So if our ways in farming don’t change, we will remain vulnerable to changing weather conditions and global price situations.
Sometimes I question why some issues have not been resolved that quickly, but upon closer scrutiny I have seen how many of them have been tangled up. In addition, some people don’t want to listen to new advice or some people listen but are too afraid to change. However, there are also those who have been able to help themselves without seeking government assistance. They use new technologies. They have invested smartly and success came in their way. The next group comprises farmers who help themselves while at the same time receiving some government assistance. The government is able to help more effectively them as a group. These two groups are good examples of success. The government will keep trying in this area as many farmers are still asking for help. Previous administrations, upon coming to office have promised sustainable situations, but this has not materialized as we know.  Some maintain that they will use the same way of promising cash handouts, but this is harmful.  The current government is employing methods based on research and academic principles. I did not come up with these methods by myself. This is how our measures are formed. If you don’t understand something, you should ask the government or related officials. You can also ask governors, community leaders, or even Damrongtham centers. If they cannot answer your questions, they can ask me and cabinet ministers. I am concerned for everyone, including farmers, daily workers, and low-income earners. It is my sincere wish to improve their lives and help them generate a sufficient income.

MC: Farmers must have more confidence in the government and have the confidence to change their farming practices. They should adopt new technologies. Thailand is in the process of national reform. It is a period of transition. Foreign countries have expressed confidence in Thailand for walking towards the right path. How difficult do you think the country’s reform process will be?

PM: It would be much easier if everyone had a common understanding, shared the same goals, and understood the objectives, especially about legislation and judicial procedures. Once this happens, everything will move systematically.

However, if people denounce the process, and thought that the government was only taking advantage of them, this would certainly be a very difficult task. Our previous political conflicts have been intense. We have all witnessed this in the past. Another issue is that people do not have access to the same level of information and education facilities. This is why our education system needs to be reformed.
Another problem is a lack of solidarity. I have learnt about this from many lessons that teach us about how to improve ourselves and society, and how we can foster unity and solidarity in our society. They are the precursors of resilience and success and this should be prevalent in all sectors of our society, be it the public, civil servants, or the government.

The media can also help in the reform process. The media can reach people everywhere, through newspapers or social media. If there is more substantive content, about the many developments that can improve the lives of the people, then the public can better understand the issues and the reform process. The challenge of national reform depends on these elements. We should not revert back to the same problems once we’ve overcome them. The country cannot go back to being disoriented and disorganized as before.

It is not my intention to use the law to force people to do something,   but I hope that everyone respects the law. Rule of law is the basis for national reform. Successful reform takes into consideration effective legislation, solutions, connectivity, and all methods involved. This is why the problems can multiply from 10 to 50 to 100time if approached incorrectly. Each law has to be supported by organic laws. The constitution has to be supported by organic laws and ministerial regulations. This is the level of difficulty. Success will not be overnight. It will take time. But we will complete what we can while we’re still here. And we will pass on unfinished business to the next administration.
Another important matter is structural reform, the reform of police, military, civil service, ministries, and state agencies. As I said before, reform must start from within ourselves. These structural reforms are now taking place.

What we cannot wait for is enhancing the effectiveness of these agencies. This depends a lot on our human capital. With proficient human resources, there will be success. This is a major challenge and our efforts here will constantly be given impetus. If we continue to reform our country as we have, we will have stability, prosperity, and sustainability.

Without reform or with the same old ways where people don’t respect the law or where problems are not fixed at the cause, everything can go back to the way it was. This is why we need to reform ourselves and reform our work. We realise we cannot change everything at once and we understand that everyone wants stability in their career. Everyone has to work hard as changes will come. Every sector has to be improved.

Another factor that can hamper our reform efforts is how recently, the expression of sentiments in our society has lacked a sense of courtesy.  Sometimes, people don’t like each other for no obvious reason. They may merely not like what the other person is saying, but then take it too personally. This is why many people are segregated, and are easily cajoled into conflict by instigators. They don’t even listen to anyone nor respect the law. They hate each other for personal reasons, adding fuel to the flame when it comes to political conflicts. Whatever you do, it is important to be mindful of the people who really have noble intentions. And it is essential that every agency, organization, and sector cultivate these people.  Government officials must always think about those who will be affected by your actions. Many hardworking and honest officials are waiting for your support. If we keep on encouraging them to provide effective public service without being involved in bribery, it will be good for everyone. We have seen this sort of message on many television channels lately. It also sends a positive image to the world. In order to filter out who is involved in corruption, alleged individuals must enter the judicial process. Independent organizations or the government will be the ones investigating these cases. Decisions or verdicts cannot be reached based on emotions or hearsay. The public can be a part of the scrutinization process if they wish to or have any doubts, instead of just staging a demonstration. We must follow lawful procedures. When you lodge complaints, we always look into them.

However, recently, some provocateurs have been organizing people to stage protests in Phitsanulok. I urge the protestors to please go to the police and let them help you. The police will launch an investigation upon your request. Locals only intended to dig for groundwater, but some politicians put protest signs and banners in their hands. The signs read “no corruption”. Recently, the public referendum act has been promulgated. By doing this deliberately to get others to break the law, just to make some news – this is unscrupulous.  The government and the NCPO truly understand the locals there. We have asked them what happened so that we can put an end to this conflict. They said they did not know anything, adding some people just asked them to hold the signs up. The people’s intentions here were innocent but those who put these signs in their hands had the intention to damage.

MC: We really feel for those falling victim to this kind of situation. From what I’ve learnt, I understand that the government has been successful in particular reform efforts. Could you please give us some examples of the reform in the procurement of state agencies? I understand that reform in this field has resulted in the reduction of government spending.

PM: This matter also stems from the issue of corruption. I want to add that we also have ways of following up on all projects and budget allocations which involve the people’s tax money. Therefore, you can look it up through pones apps and other government channels. If you’re wondering about anything or want to participate in any bidding, there is information on projects and their costs. However, if you file complaints without evidence, I can’t do anything for you. Apart from drafting laws and providing information, the legislation on service facilitation means that civil servants must be able to answer the public’s questions regarding various projects and contract auctions. We’ve had success on this through 2 measures which are providing packages through the e-market as well as an e-bidding service. These services were made available from February 4 of last year.

After we’ve implemented this, the bureaucracy has utilized this in various procurements and from February of 2015 to March of 2016, we’ve saved up to 28.785 million Baht in state budget.
You can see that through transparency, we’ve been able to save money. I am confident that everything will improve from now on, but it is also up to the cooperation of all parties in making prudent decisions to our budget and strictly adhering to guidelines. This transparency will also benefit the private sector as it will reduce confrontations and misunderstandings because it’s now done electronically. We will continue to follow up on how we can improve on this while also reducing corruption in the procurement system.

So we can see that the e-bidding system will be very beneficial for the public. Another matter is regarding the Pracharat economic model which has so far received positive feedback from the public. It’s a way of bringing large and small corporations together as a fellowship or “brotherhood”. However, there has been talk that this model also is susceptible to interests.

Can you please elucidate to public on how the government is genuinely working to help the public?

PM: There has been much confusion among the public. If you want to talk about interests, you need to look at the evolution of these businesses. They all started small. It has always been based on free-market competition. Therefore, I won’t comment on how companies have grown over the years. Today, we must also look at whether people are being genuine. We need to see how we can convince people to partner with us for mutual benefits. We need to respect one another and cooperate. I want companies to partner with the government transparently, in how they can aid the public.  This government has not and will not grant any special favors for anyone. Access to me and the ministers is restricted and we do not condone special interests or allow for any special meetings. However, I’ve recently learned about false claims that I have been giving out special projects. I’m calling for an investigation on this and I will prescribe the harshest punishment for this damaging behavior.  We need to see how we can move forward in the future and how we can develop small and medium enterprises into larger companies. There are various sizes in the SME category as well as micro SMEs and startups. If we think negatively of certain people, we won’t be able to do anything because there won’t be any trust. If there is any cronyism or special treatment, you can file a complaint along with evidence and I will call for an investigation. I have no intentions of giving anyone any special treatment. If you all disdain corruption, then you won’t want to implicate yourselves with corrupt people. If you take part in this, this will lead to various issues and animosities. The people who will help in looking after all this are the civil servants. They must not accept bribes or special benefits. People need to learn to respect the law and adhere to various trade regulations. I’m amending laws to be in accordance with international standards and will push for transparency in all areas. It is up to the individual as well.

However, another issue about national administration has been the lack of interaction between the public and the government in certain areas. Some sectors have come about without any government collaboration as the general public has wanted to conduct business on their own. The government can assist in certain aspects. We are unable to fully assist the public in all areas due to the government’s budget constraints. Many agendas have therefore been left uncompleted. We must therefore look into how we can have larger businesses assist the public and contribute to society. Our economic team has been looking into how we can seek cooperation from various sectors. These businesses have expressed their willingness to help, and have partnered into groups in assisting the state. Associated agencies and Ministries will summarize for the government on what can and cannot be done in order to move forward with the Pracharat economic model which is based on inclusiveness and cooperation between the state, private sector and the public. This is a new approach and I have also seen similar approaches from other countries. The state started by asking for help from the private sector in mobilizing various policies as the private sector can provide various channels and markets. They are able to help facilitate various procedures and also help in procuring various products to be processed into higher-valued goods.  I think this will be a better approach than the government trying to find new markets on its own. The government can compensate its lack of manpower and resources by seeking cooperation from the public and the private sector. The government will also assist the public in carrying out various projects as well. The government and the public can also negotiate with businesses on what they can do to assist. There are lots of large corporations that are helping. This isn’t called special treatment. Today, they are helping us all through the government’s committees and through various procedures according to the law. We need to start by trusting each other. If we can agree to mutual benefits, I think we can do anything. I’m confident that my administration isn’t granting any special favors. Violators will be punished accordingly.  So we are aiming to form Pracharat entities at the provincial and corporate level where 80 percent of the market share is held by public shareholders. Therefore, companies will be more transparent. Businesses will lead the management team at first and, once the public is ready, members of the public can become managers and CEOs of Pracharat entities at various levels, whether it is at the regional or provincial level. Therefore, these entities will grow from the local level to provincial and regional levels through this Pracharat model. I don’t want there to be anymore disputes or the distortion of facts. Otherwise we will revert back to where we were.

Another problematic issue is forest fires and smog. People say that this is due to villagers trespassing into forestland. This is because they are impoverished and need to go find food in the forests. These are dangerous times because forest land is now dry and there is currently no rain.

If you talk about planting corn, I’ve asked for cooperation from large corn producers that produce corn for feed to not buy corn that had been grown on unauthorized farmland. This may take some time to adjust. The problem that may arise is that small farmers that had grown corn before may be adversely affected. We need to see how companies can employ these farmers in authorized farmland or how the government can provide new land for them to conduct farming, so they will no longer trespass into the mountains. Another issue is disposing of corn cobs. We need to utilize the cob and add value such as making coal out of it. Farmers will be more employed while corn will also fetch higher prices because it can be better utilized and there won’t be excess planting which will help spare mountaintops from losing forest land to farming. There is lots of demand for corn. Therefore I ask for cooperation from all sides on this. If you talk about forest encroachment, people migrate to various places to conduct farming and people wonder how people can get away with selling crops illegally. This is because of a lack of law enforcement as well as a lack of awareness. Agencies lack manpower and there are a lot of special favors done. This system needs to be overhauled and could affect many parties.

PM: We need to figure out where we can solve this problem because as a democracy, we will have free markets. Therefore we need to use our laws and political principles in solving problems.

As for foreign policy, you have placed great emphasis on this. Next week, from May 17 – 20, you will visit the Russian Federation in accordance to the invitation by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. What are the main agendas of this visit?

PM: I want to say first that I aim to continue to foster good relationships with all countries.  In 2017, Thailand will celebrate 120 years of diplomatic ties with Russia. Official visits to Russia by our Royal Family have been important to Thailand’s history.

PM: My visit is according to the invitation issued by the Russian Prime Minister. As I said, this visit will celebrate 120 years of diplomatic relations. Therefore, it is very important. At the beginning of the year, I sent 2 deputy prime ministers to Russia to discuss security and economic cooperation. We have acknowledged that in the past, our cooperation should have flourished more. Therefore, we need to further strengthen our cooperation so that it becomes more fluid and dynamic.

PM: This preliminary meeting by the 2 deputy prime ministers has laid the framework for what I expect for strengthened cooperation and I expect this upcoming meeting to yield more agreements. We seek to enter into agreements that are beneficial for both countries. We need to look at how both countries can benefit from closer ties.

PM: So what we will discuss will include forming new partnerships. I certainly won’t be the person who benefits. It must instead be the people and the country that benefits. We aim to bring this country forward into the new era as the “4.0 industrial age”. However, we must not forget the agricultural sector. This new industrial era will require less manpower which coincides with the country’s aging population. We’ve had to rely on millions of migrant workers because Thais aren’t willing to do certain labor tasks. Thais often work in other countries because of higher salaries. We need to understand that we must allow migrant workers to come in. It is a way of supplementing jobs that Thais won’t do.

PM: Thais are also not so willing to develop their skills, but they still expect pay raises. This must all be done according to international standards as well as various areas. It must coincide with the quality of labor. I am sympathetic to this issue and I will look into how pay raises can be implemented. However, in this ASEAN era, the migration of workforces across borders has become easier. We are part of AEC, which entails the movement of goods and people in our region for the sake of shared prosperity.

PM: We also hope to cooperation with Russian in many ways such as politics, security, trade, energy, education, science, technology and agriculture. We need to work with our Russian counterparts on technological and scientific growth. We will reciprocate their cooperation with our supply of food and agricultural products. They have various technological advances in energy as well as various military armaments which include equipment for humanitarian operations. We are unable to manufacture certain tools and machines. Both countries need to conduct trade in similar values in order to create mutual benefit.

PM: But also, we cannot simply just look at Thailand and Russia. We need to look at ourselves and ASEAN to see how our region can benefit from a plus one relationship with Russia. Russia itself is also connected to Eurasia which consists of Albania, Belarus, Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan. They call it the Eurasian Economic Union. If we can connect this bloc with ASEAN, the trade value will be substantive. This will open channels for Thailand and ASEAN to export their products.

PM: We are looking forward to sign several agreements which were recently approved by our Cabinet. There are also 8 agreements between the state and private sector in energy, agriculture, sanitation standards, fishing products and SME support. We must rely on each other. Most importantly, I will bring various Thai businessmen who have expressed their interest in investing in Russia. This is called business matching where the government side will sign agreements as the private sector engages in talks with their counterparts while bearing witness to the signings as well.

PM: Things should improve and make progress, whether it is regarding energy, food, telecommunications, electronics, plastic, gemstones, decorative items and wholesale. These are areas where we must find new markets for.

MC: Mr. Prime Minister, you are dedicated to moving this country forward but if you are continuously held back by these issues then there will be no progress. In two months, on the 7th of August, the Thai people will vote for a new constitution. This is still a very contentious issue. What are your concerns about this?

PM: Today we have many legal issues to deal with be it arrests, human rights – these things that have again been distorted. I’d like to touch on this topic first before I move on to address the issue of the new constitution. On the issue of calling certain actions human rights violations, we have to take a step by step approach. First, we must acknowledge that the situation in our country is not normal.  Therefore in this post conflict environment, conducting an investigation or apprehending the accused may requires special measures or laws for the sake of public security. But this doesn’t mean using any force or violence. Not at all. We’ll ask them to come in and discuss the issue politely and they do. Once they comply, then they will be interrogated. This is the only difference from a normal situation and this is why section 44 is used and then only in certain cases. Not every case. If a case can be solved under the normal legal process then the accused will simply go through a normal trial. Section 44 only comes into effect when dealing with a particular issue.

PM: So where does this human rights violation come in if we arrest the accused in this lawful and professional manner? It’s not like we use weapons, unless the accused use weapons themselves and pose as a real security threat. So what about the interrogation process? Do we torture them? Do we threaten them?  I have made investigations into this matter and there is no truth in these allegations whatsoever.  We take photos and videos of all interrogations. Why don’t you look at them first? It’s all on record. From the first day to up until now, we keep it all on file. Therefore, anyone who falsely claims that we have beaten, or threatened them need to be cautious because now they’ve conducted an actual offence by lying and defaming. You wanted an answer right? Once investigations are completed, they are put into existing judicial procedures.

PM: If the accused is innocent or if after the investigation it turns out the whole thing was a misunderstanding, then we employ legal and political reasoning and you can  see that we have forgiven people many times. Even those who are repeat offenders and even if we know what their intentions are. Therefore, the government must be patient. Our investigators must be very patient. Anything they do will be scrutinized. When they [officials] are falsely accused, it is a challenge because it is disheartening to be at the receiving end of these allegations and constant abuse. That’s why I’d like to ask all the investigators to be patient and take the time to explain things to the accusers. Sometimes people are brought in simply to help explain what happened and why. If they didn’t mean to do anything wrong, or had good intentions then we let them go. But if they have the intentions to make political hay of being arrested this way, as we let them go and yet they come back again, I don’t understand it….accept that this is based on harmful intentions. What I do know is that if they continue to harbor these intentions and we are obligated by law to continually bring them in, and since they have been on this political stage, the public then misperceives us to be malicious.

PM: I saw this happening the other day and I can’t help but think this behavior is too much. The other day, the police tried to remove a protestor from a gathering area, an area with a lot of people. The person in question was a woman. The people in the area were unhappy that they were not able to sell goods because of the chaos caused by the protesters. The actual protestors didn’t number very much. It was the same group of protestors. However, it turns out that when the police went to arrest this woman, she was sitting down normally. Suddenly she flipped herself over violently which made it look like police brutality and of course the cameras started going off. The police did nothing wrong at all. They told her not to fake it. Why don’t the media see it? They say we committed human rights violations. Look back at the actual event. Why did we have to arrest her to begin with? If she was doing nothing wrong, could we arrest her? Whether it was right or wrong, this arrest needed to have 2 things: whether this was an issue that fell under regular laws or an issue that fell under section 44.  We need to understand that it is all the law. We have shown leniency many times in the past so why do these things keep happening? Now we have been painted as being aggressive when that is not the case at all.  The police practically carried her into the vehicle. The woman kept on falling down for the cameras. I saw this and even though I was sympathetic I still couldn’t agree with this sort of behavior.

PM: So I’d like to ask that everyone please respect the law. The laws are there for a reason and that is for peacefulness, orderliness and justice. What kind of law is written to bully people? Today, there were claims that the government was using the law to force people into voting in the new constitution. Really?! How are we supposed to do that? All we can do is tell people that if they have good intentions and wish the best for the country, then we can point out what changes we have made in draft of the constitution. That’s all we can do. We can’t say if it’s good or bad. That’s up to the public to decide. Listen, and make up your own mind.

PM: But if you decide to campaign against it by purposefully cajoling people to vote a certain way or preventing people from deciding for themselves, this is not appropriate. The referendum is a public right. A personal right. Vote guiding or manipulation isn’t fair. For example, if during an election I wanted to vote for number 3 but everyone on the side of number 4 is campaigning against that, I would become worried. This is vote guiding or manipulating. You shouldn’t do it. The government can’t do it. The NCPO can’t do it. All we can do is tell people what it says in the constitution and explain every point, line by line. Any line that has been changed will be pointed out and the reasoning behind it will also be explained. We don’t tell you whether it’s good or bad. We can’t. If people can decide for themselves then perhaps we can get something constructive out of this. Whether the constitution passes or not, I don’t know. I’m not expecting anything in particular. I believe the people will simple choose what is right for them without having to take cues.

PM: The thing we must be careful of though is that people will try to cause conflict. This in turn forces us to use the law and then the whole issue escalates. I think the people need to come together to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. If we start taking sides then the fighting will start all over again. That’ll cause problems for everyone and then the government will be blamed for it. How does that make sense? Now, it seems like we have been made out to be the wrongdoer, by those who oppose the referendum and wish to break the law. Why do it now? The law clearly states the consequences of certain actions and yet they do it. It’s because they intend to get arrested and make the government look bad again. In this way, they can make it seem like the government is forcing the referendum to pass. So I ask you to carefully examine the issue. Listen, and decide for yourself who to believe. Whether it passes or not is your decision.

MC: It’s the right of the public to make up their own mind in this issue and decide on whether to pass this new constitution or not, so it’s important they go out to study and understand it.

PM: Another issue I am worried about is the ability to use discretion of authorities in applying the law. Whether this is the police, the NCPO or the EC, they need to understand that everything must go through the justice system and the courts. If you have arrested someone, and they have gone to court and have been found innocent, who will you believe? Will this result in more disputes with the EC and the courts? I don’t know. Many people say this is the job of the EC. If that’s the case I can relax and leave it to them. My job is to keep the peace. Therefore, the EC is the one who must decide on the right course of action. They have to make a report. But what if they decide one thing and the court disagrees? Who will you believe then?   Ask yourself.

PM: Because the best person to decide is yourself. If you think something is right then say it is right. Whether that will improve the situation or not is also something you must think about. Who wins, and who loses? It’s up to you to decide, not me. Not anyone else. It’s the public who must be considered right?

MC: Mr. Prime Minister, we’ve come to the end of our time. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the public about what they can do to help make our country a better place?

PM: I do actually. I’d like to tell people what they should do in order to make me talk less. I always talk too much and I get tired. The people listening in turn get bored. But I persist. I have to say the same things over and over again because the issues still remain. They keep coming back again. Things are still distorted. If you want me to talk less, and take less time out of your soap opera line up, then help me. Help me do my job so I don’t have to talk so much. I do it to explain what the people need to understand. I have to talk, so help me out here. At least help me look after my health. I look after yours, and I’m giving it my all.

PM: I’m worried about this one thing: some people were born to talk and why do they not have to, and I do? Some people are born for this one purpose. They don’t do it, or they don’t succeed. They talk about technical things but they don’t actually know how to do it. They aren’t interested in other things. What does the law stipulate? How does the government work? They don’t know. So how can they fix it? How many versions of the law are there? They don’t know. They talk to make themselves look good. Some of these people don’t know how many governments we’ve gone through, or how our country suffers but they continue to talk. That’s not being responsible to society. Who is responsible for creating this controversy in our nation? The media should uphold objectivity and stop promoting conflict controversy. Don’t give them a larger platform to spread their destructive ways, especially those who have lawsuits against them. Then our country will be at peace.

PM: Another topic I’d like to touch on is that Visakha Puja Day is coming up. We should aim to be charitable and have faith because every religion teaches people to be good. In addition, this year, His Majesty the King celebrates the 70th anniversary of ascension to the throne and Her Majesty the Queen will also have an auspicious Birthday Anniversary year.  Please go out and do as many virtuous deeds in honour of these celebrations. We should all join together, 60 or so million people. We should each do 5 virtuous things a day, for ourselves, for others, and for our country. If we all did this, our country would be a better place.

PM: On the issue of generosity, other than being charitable through the temple, we should also look after those in need. We should donate in order to build a new Nawamintr Bophit building at Sirirat Hospital. This is of course entirely up to you. If you have a lot then maybe give more, and if you don’t have a lot then give less. As stated before as part of a project we started, “Goodness happens at your fingertips”. In this case, it refers to charity donations through your mobile phone. One call will donate 100 baht. The details are on our website. There are quite a lot. Information is  in the media or in the running messages along the bottom of your tv channels.  I’ve had them run it all the time. I think that’s all for today.

MC: I’d like to thank you very much for being with us tonight Mr. Prime Minister.
MC:This week, the Prime Minister explained many things to us. I hope everyone was able to take some valuable information from this and that we will be able to come together and make our country move forward and become a more stable, more prosperous place.

MC: For today, the Prime Minister and I would like to thank you for tuning in. See you next week. Good night.