National Broadcast by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, June 10, 2016
Good evening to all citizens.
The government would like to invite all Thai people to come and admire the artworks created by Thai agriculturists who have proudly displayed their heritage in the skills of Thai crafts. So, please visit the 7th Arts of the Kingdom event to be held from June 14th onwards at Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Dusit Palace.
In celebration of this auspicious year, the Sirikit Institute under the SUPPORT Foundation has built a 9-spire building in the “Jaturamukthong” style of elegant Thai architecture with the most number of spires since the start of the Rattanakosin era. It is the first masterpiece by architects of the Sirikit Institute. The building is made of metals and marbles and decorated with gold, glasses, and traditional paintings. It is the first of its kind in Thailand.
The building has been named “Ruan Yod Bo Rom Mang Kha La Nu So Ra Nee” by His Majesty the King. Literally, it means the spires that are built to commemorate and celebrate the greatest auspices.
Therefore, it is to celebrate
1) the 70th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s accession to the throne this year,
2) His Majesty the King’s 90th Birthday Anniversary on 5 December 2017,
3) Her Majesty the Queen’s 7th Cycle Anniversary on 12 August 2016, and
4) to honor all members of the Royal Family.
This past Wednesday, I chaired the opening of a water management event held in honor of His Majesty at Khlong Bang Song Roi, Thammasen subdistrict, Photharam district, Ratchaburi. The Ministry of Defense is in charge of the project under the Pracharat model. It was initiated to honour the 70th Anniversary of His Majesty’s accession to the throne. Under the project, there will be 70 designated locations for the improvement of the quality of life and environmental conservation through the adoption of His Majesty’s teachings about water management , which will in turn prevent droughts and floods. It also aims to bring benefits of this approach to farming, ranching, and fishing. The project is also in line with Her Majesty the Queen’s principle of “Pa Rak Nam” which was once reflected in Her saying about the enduring and indispensable relationship between water and the forests. The project is ready to be initiated nationwide.
On this occasion, I also planted golden shower trees, which is recognized as the national tree of Thailand. Golden showers have significant characteristics and are very important to Thailand. Petals of golden showers are yellow, the color of Buddhism and Monday, which is the day of the Birth of His Majesty the King’s. I also planted vetiver grass in accordance to His Majesty’s aspirations to rehabilitate and improve soil quality in areas deteriorating land.
Vetiver grass helps to preserve soil and water. It can be grown on higher grounds and slopes to prevent flooding, flashfloods, and the leaching of minerals. It is used to control watersheds and stabilize ridges. It is grown to maintain humidity in fruit gardens and can be turned into organic fertilizers. The grass also helps to reduce silt build-up and stop erosion.
I also want those living along watershed areas to grow grass and plants to cover soil while the vetiver grass is still growing, or while the vetiver grass is not yet strong enough to hold the soil together. This is why we need other plants to prevent soil erosion in the future.
I would also like to ask provincial governors to follow up on this and seek cooperation from residents in watershed areas. Please grow plants in those areas such as fruits, chilies, peppers, garlic, bananas, sugarcanes, and perennial plants. You can also grow other plants that can be planted along water basins and canals.
If these plants are grown in the areas where there is no water or people, they will surely wither and die. The plants that will survive will need to be at least 2 meters tall. So until they reach that level, check dams should be constructed while covering crops should be planted in order to maintain humidity in the soil. We then can grow trees with at least 1.5 or 2 meters height to keep the grass healthy. This harmony will allow trees and plants to grow continually.
This past weekend, there were many Thai athletes who completed their tasks with pride and honor, thus bringing joy to the Thai people. On behalf of all Thais,
I would like to congratulate the national football team for winning the 44th King’s Cup, the first championship in 9 years, as a gift to His Majesty the King.
I would also like to mention the U-21 football team and their success for clinching the Nation’s Cup title which took place in Malaysia. It was an incredible performance.
The third group is the woman’s volleyball team. They superbly competed and were the runners up in the Montreux Volley Masters 2016 championship in Switzerland. I salute their successes in putting Thai sports on par with other international athletes. 4 volleyball players also won individual awards at the competition. We have to ferventlysupport all these athletes as the 2016 Summer Olympics is approaching.
As you can see, Thai people are able to achieve and make remarkable progress, and this can also be seen in the area of in innovation and research, where Thai’s have won a number of international awards, such as for rechargeable hearing devices for persons with hearing impairments.
This device only costs 800 baht. But if exported, they could be worth up to 10,000 baht.
The second product is non-toxic veneer made of sawdust and rubber. It can be used as a food container and turned in to a toy. Made of domestic raw materials, it is cheaper and safe for children.
The third innovation involves a packaging process for Longan that does not require using sulfur dioxide as a preservative. The fruit’s longevity can be as long as 4 months.
The fourth innovation is a glass bottle recycling machine, where glass can be substituted for house bricks.
As you can see, when people are determined to develop innovation and make use of research, we will be able to create our own brands. We will then be able to compete with other prodcuers around the world.
Apart from awarding-winning products, there are also a number of inventions. I have instructed the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and other responsible agencies to put our own research into good use and turn them into added-value products that can be used commercially, particularly our daily lives.
We shall register these inventions as more than 100 of them have already been patented.
We will revise ministerial regulations in order to facilitate the procurement of these new inventions, following their quality assessment and approval. Research will also be applied in many development areas
We are very committed to these activities.
The government is also preparing to reform our research industry, through formulating a 20-year national strategic research plan (2017-2036). A committee in charge of research and innovation policy will be set up to ensure collaborative implementation.
Its tasks are to steer the industry, manage budgets, provide financial resources, increase competitiveness, create connectivity, develop human resources and infrastructure, amend rules and regulations, register intellectual properties, and make use of successful research. We must have more money to fund Thai researchers.
An example of promoting innovation in the country’s food industry and thus for the industry to become one the country’s 5 new leading sectors, is the food city project in order to push Thailand to be the ‘kitchen to the world’. This project already began this year and will support research and innovations that create value throughout the whole production chain, from farming, harvesting, processing and marketing.
This project is implemented to attract world leading researchers on food to invest in various innovations in Thailand. We therefore have several tax incentives, such as for importing machines, and are also looking into the matter of residency for foreign experts. At the same time, we will still need plenty of Thai workers to join in this industry.
This project also aims to encourage Thai businesses from Startups, SMEs to large businesses to participate throughout the food production chain to enhance the capabilities of Thai businesses as well as the skills of Thai workers.
Most importantly, this project will stimulate the use of agricultural products in the country in order to add value to our food products by incorporating science, technology and innovation. This includes halal foods, kosher foods, food for the elderly, food supplements, as well as organic fruits and vegetables.
This will be connected with the Pracharat model and shall serve as the first phase of the development for this industry. This cooperation under the Pracharat model will enable the public, Thai farmers, 9 government agencies, 13 private entities, 12 universities and 1 cooperative to prosper together.
Many foreign countries have taken note of the quality and innovation in Thai food products as well as our potential in the food production and processing industry. However, developing the country’s food industry also requires an academic foundation in this sector because we must have the ability to develop comprehensive solutions to future problems and challenges.
In general, people at all positions and functions need to work in unison if we want to solve our common problems in a sustainable manner. This government has taken this approach for all of its projects.
In order to support this approach, I will give an example of a success story as well as an example of a project that still needs work. The first example is the country’s ability to reduce the rate of HIV and Syphilis transmission from mother to infant to less than 2 percent in 2016. Thailand is the second country in the world that has been able to do this. This success was due to the implementation of the national AIDS policy to prevent new transmissions in people of all ages and genders.
Thailand had implemented its policy by:
1. Conducting blood tests to discover the virus, with follow up evaluations.
2. Treating HIV infected patients with potent anti-viral medication.
3. Readying all medical facilities and personnel at all levels to be able to service patients.
4. Providing free antenatal care in order to ensure quality delivery as well as the safety and hygiene of both the mother and the infant.
This is part of the country’s policy to implement programmes that start from the day of birth, to enhance the potential of our human resources. This success is due to the cooperation between the state, the private sector, international organizations and the public.
Meanwhile, an example of a policy yet to reach fruition is the caring of trees in our cities. Consistent effort needs to put into ensuring the growth of a tree throughout its life. These shortcomings can be seen in our trees in cities as well as reforestation efforts. Another issue is how to properly trim trees so that they don’t interfere with power lines.
Another issue is disposing of trees that could damage power lines should a storm cause its branches to fall. A long term solution would be to better plan cable routes. If not, we should find ways to better trim trees and figure out whether we could salvage trees if possible. I’ve called for an urban plant management system similar to what exists in other countries. We can learn from what other countries are doing regarding this matter.
For this matter, I ask for cooperation between the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Provincial Electricity Authority, Department of Highways, as well as the Ministries of Energy, Interior and Transport. This issue can only be solved through a concerted effort between all of these agencies.
Therefore, certain laws need to be amended in order to ensure proper urban planning. We’ve been able to expropriate land for the purpose of roads and train tracks, but this is not enough for cable lines and trees. This means that trees have had to be planted in confined areas and thus needed to be cut when too big.
Trees are seen as a welcome sight to an urban landscape, but if not planted properly, can cause much trouble to residents. Therefore, we need to have proper tree trimming that is not only practical but also aesthetically pleasing. There are examples in other countries of ways to trim trees or planning cable lines through or around trees. We need to figure out how we can preserve trees in an urban environment instead of just resorting to cutting them down like we do.
This requires creativity and attention to detail on the part of the person in charge. From now on, there should be more extensive follow up on tree planning efforts. We also need to assess why some areas were not successful. This may be because people do not fully understand the many details of reforestation. Government agencies can provide means for planting trees but we must first examine whether there is enough water or people to care for the trees also. If trees aren’t planted in their proper environments and if they’re not properly cared for, they’ll all die.
Therefore, we need to reconsider our reforestation efforts. Trees need to be taller than 2 meters. They should also be planted during the rainy season. Another good practice is to plant trees in economically viable areas or in communities that have access to agencies that could care for the trees. Otherwise, we will be wasting our efforts.
In the past, Thailand has long had problems in 3 main areas, consisting of the legislation, public administration and the legal system. This administration has sought to solve the problems that can be dealt with in these areas, during the limited time it has. For long-term issues, this government has laid the framework for the future and has progressed in the first phase of addressing these issues. For legislation, in the past 7 years many pieces of legislation have taken a long time to be passed.
From 2008 to 2014, only 120 laws were passed. These were mostly necessary pieces of legislation such as international treaties and some laws on reducing inequalities. However laws regarding social orderliness and organisation were too controversial during a time of political conflict and therefore, were not able to be effectively considered.
This government has been working on this issue for the past two years and since 2014, a total of 172 laws have been promulgated. This government does not cater to political interests, but rather to uphold the interests of the nation as a whole as well as the common good. We have also not attempted to intervene in the judicial process like previous governments did in the past.
[These are also] ‘quality’ laws, or laws that many groups, both within and outside the country have been waiting for, as they have an impact on our country’s standing, as well as our confidence. For instance there has progress in the area of commercial law where there are now acts governing the ship mortgages and maritime law, business insurance acts, acts that govern copyright laws, the Thai Rubber Act, the Trade Secrets Act, and the Bankruptcy Act.
In terms of our international legal obligations, we also have the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act in accordance with CITES, the Counter Terrorism Financing Act, the Anti Money Laundering Act, and the Anti Human Trafficking Act. There were issues regarding our air travel in this country which we addressed with laws regarding the ICAO. We also have laws on IUU fishing as well as the Trademark Act as per the Madrid Protocol.
Turning to laws dealing with social disparities, there have been those that the public have been calling for, for example in taxes. We have introduced acts to deal with inheritance as well as the Homeless Protection Act, the Debt Act, the Disaster Insurance Act, and the Life Insurance Act.
On to matters concerning humanitarian affairs and social welfare, we have introduced the Media Development Fund Act, the Dormitory Act, the Animal Welfare Act, an act that governs the birth of a child by technology assisted medicine, the Anti Child Pornography Act, the Teenage Pregnancy Act, the Animal Testing Act, and the National Savings Fund Act.
To maintain public orderliness and safety we have introduced the Public Gatherings Act, as well as the Security Act for private security firms.
In terms of improving laws, in the term between 2559 and 2560, we will accelerate the implementation of the first group, which includes laws on reforms in government policies such as: the criminal code regarding drugs, the Public Procurement Act, the Land and Building Tax Act, the Trade Competition Act, an act that looks at how to properly allocate the budget, the Correctional Act, the Corporate Enterprise Act, the Community Enterprise Act, and the Education Loan Fund Act.
The second group includes organic laws, where we need to look into many details. For instance, ministerial decrees must now be consistent with one another. Along with a new constitution, there must also be the supporting laws that govern implementation and public participation. We are expediting these as best as we can.
The third group has to do with legal reforms as required by the constitution such as: the reform of the police force, education, and other laws that the constitution stipulates that must be instated within an allotted time frame. For example, these may include laws concerning the 120 day national strategy plan, the 120 day legislative reform plan, the 240 day environmental plan, and the 240 day fiscal discipline plan.
In group 2, efforts to fixing the bureaucracy in the past may have resulted in too many overlapping laws, with modern ones being mixed with outdated ones. This may have come about because there was not enough checking into how necessary each law was. Over the years, this has resulted in many issues taking too much time to resolve and then often with overlapping laws. Sometimes there is no one is ultimately responsible because many ministries are working independently under different budgets. This government has therefore issued a decree for it to be mandatory to review laws every 5 years. In addition, when introducing new laws, certain procedures will have to be followed. The law must satisfy a checklist of 10 items including such things as how they affects sub-laws, and how they affect integration between activities and agencies etc.
Secondly, in contacting government agencies, in the past, people would have to spend a lot of time as there involved many procedural steps. As a result, there had to be a lot of preparation with multiple documents. This government has thus tried to improve this by introducing e-Government. We have to get used to using IT systems in our work. We have introduced many One Stop Service centers all over the country as well as an Ease of Access Act in order to examine approval processes within the government, and to make sure that it is transparent, clear, and quick. This will also prevent corruption and bribes.
The third thing I would like to touch on is mechanisms for dealing with corruption. This government has amended laws pertaining to the NACC, AMLO, and the PACC so that they will be free from political interference. We have also increased their inspection powers. In addition, we have increased the Centers for Anti Corruption and introduced the e-Bidding system for government procurement.
The fourth issue has to do with adjusting salaries. Civil servants and their wage fall into 5 categories. Some categories will not receive any adjustments to wage, but will receive some minor changes. This is because civil servants must pay tax just like everyone else. This money comes back to look after us all.
The fifth issue is to provide a channel through the Damrongdharma centers where the public can ask the government for help. Some things can be solved very quickly. Many hundreds of thousands of issues have been resolved in this manner in the last 2 years, probably about 90%.
The third matter is how to correct the problems in the justice system. This includes the bringing of a number of important cases into the judicial process such as: lese majeste cases, the rice scheme cases, KhlongDan cases, and the Phillip Morris cases. These are issues that must be resolved by the justice system. We will not interfere into the system.
The second thing is to solve problems regarding the progress of several important cases, for example in instances where there has been a delayed processing time for cases involving human trafficking or drugs. These types of cases have thus been opened up in lower courts. In cases where the courts may be subject to influence by local figures, such cases can now take place in another area. If a case requires a lot of funds, or is not convenient, there is now the Justice Fund Act which will provide funds for those who can’t afford to go through the courts whether they are the defendants or the accused.
All of this is in order to maintain equality, justice and peacefulness in Thailand. However, there are still many other issues that must be addressed. This government has provided a road map that will take us to the first phase of reform by the year 2017. After that, it’s up to the national reform and strategic plans over 20 years. These will be evaluated and reviewed every 1-5 years, or 4 times in total, which means 4 sub-plans in 20 years.
All this can be accomplished with our initiative, our resolve, as well as consistency on the part of the government as well as the civil servants involved. I’d like to ask for the cooperation from the public on these 3 things. If something is defective in the government, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual civil servants themselves are defective. Management/the executive must also take responsibility. They have to order, follow up, and understand and be empathetic to civil servants. In addition, many politicians have come out and said that defects in government action are usually because of ineffective civil servants, and therefore, they are not responsible. You can go see for yourself, who has said this.
Success in all our endeavors will not happen if all of us refuse to work together, refuse to cooperate, and refuse to look at how the nation will benefit as a whole. To bring this country and the people towards stability, prosperity and sustainability, with the principles of the Sufficiency Economy, we must mobiise our efforts through the Pracharat approach.
Thank you very much. Good night. I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. Sawasdee Krub.
Source : www.thaigov.go.th