National Broadcast by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, August 26, 2016
Good evening dear Thai citizens.
Firstly, I would like to thank and commend the members of the public, officials, and all those who have been involved with the success of various development projects around the country. With sustained cooperation from the Thai citizens, we have been able to achieve many feats, such as the removal of water hyacinth from our waterways, effective management of community waste, and the development of large-scale farming based on new farming techniques.
Many agricultural zones have adopted the idea “One Rai One Hundred Thousand”, which has proven effective in many areas. As for water management, I’d to thank all sides, from the provincial governors to the responsible agencies, for assuring that the people will be least affected by the recent floods. Flood waters remain in some areas while authorities are working on drainage. Nevertheless, this year is considered a productive year for water management.
The next issue concerns social and economic affairs. The slowdown in economic growth is the result of decreases in purchasing power of foreign countries, thus affecting our domestic production, which in turn can have many effects on our society. Therefore, our society should understand this and we all should refrain from being vitriolic towards each other. Authorities will do their best. All they need is cooperation.
As for foreign relations, many foreign delegations have requested to meet with me, and so far, those that I have had the chance to meet have all agreed that Thailand has taken a significant step forward following the outcome of the referendum. They conveyed their encouragement and support to us to keep making progress. There remain some, both in the country and based abroad, that are against this progress we have made. It is usually the same group.
Regarding issues in the justice system, many cases have been submitted for deliberation. They have not been rushed, but have proceeded according to standard procedures. As for the case involving the rice scheme indictment, many people have accused me of ordering officials to disregard the proper judicial procedures. This is not true. What I said was that the responsible committee is tasked with verifying the evidence, while legal proceedings will be overseen by the courts. I have never said for the judicial procedures not to be upheld. I would never say or order such a thing. Sometime, statements can get misinterpreted. Meanwhile, there have many other efforts that have yielded concrete results as I mentioned, some I have yet to mention. Once again, thank you to all those involved.
As for Thailand’s transition period, there remain many aspects and issues that we still need to work on together in order to achieve our reforms. I cannot achieve this on my own, as there remain many contentious groups and many diverging viewpoints. We must find common ground where we can agree to accept some changes. Whether it is from individuals, organizations, public administration, and civil servants, this common ground is important for allowing our government offices to perform their duties more efficiently. Administering rules and regulations is important but so is creating public understanding about them. This is what every agency needs to do so that people can understand our reform processes. State agencies must always protect the best interests of the country and its citizens.
The current government has formulated many plans and development projects, with focus on resolving our complicated problems, thus requiring involvement of many different procedures and agencies. In terms of development, we need to invest in our country to prepare for future growth and an aging society. This will require a substantial budget. Therefore, we must increase government revenue so that the country can achieve stability, prosperity, and sustainability.
To achieve this goal, I believe it will take some time. In the past two years, our efforts have yielded tangible results to a certain level, while several other tasks still need to be completed. I would like all of us to follow up on the progress that we have made so far, while also finding ways to work with each other and the government, through the Pracharat framework, to propel our development efforts. We should stop quarrelling with each other. I understand that we each have our duties and callings before us, and I do not have a conflict with anyone. But please bear in mind that our actions affect the nation as a whole. We all need to think about the nation’s interest. Please consider this. So please let us know what we have to improve on. You don’t have to denounce your own country, especially through groundless claims.
Another good example of progress made is the Srirach-Outer Ring Expressway. The construction started in 2012. The construction timeframe was 4 years. But thanks to great collaboration from all sectors (starting with management, rail services, maintenance, the Expressway Authority of Thailand, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited) construction was sped up and the expressway is now open for service. I inaugurated the opening on August 22.
It was finished four months ahead of its schedule. In general, we should not have any more delays in these projects. Some project face delays at the beginning due to a failure to procure land or conduct the EIA and the HEIA. The aforementioned project is a part of the government’s infrastructure development plan, which covers many sectors of land transport. It is meant to alleviate traffic congestion and shorten travelling times by providing a direct route to destinations. It is hoped to indirectly improve people’s living conditions as well.
It will be better for the economy because people can save more on gas, we will produce less greenhouse gas, spend less time on the road, and we will travel safer. This is how we ought to do it under a fixed budget. We cannot launch every project at once given the limited amount of funds. In the past, the country wasted money on too many matters that yielded no results.
In the previous years, there has been a lingering problem with the attempt to connect the blue extension line (Bang Sue) and the purple line (Tao Pun). We have tried for the past two years to fix the problem. Today, we have been able to draft an agreement. I will find a way to make sure the project is spearheaded and completed. That 1-kilometer route will be constructed. We will find common ground where everyone can agree on the operating system, legal matter and other regulations. This is why we need everyone involved to work with us. At present, we are reaching an agreement on benefit-sharing, service fares, and the connection of another rail station.
We will heed suggestions from the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Board (NESDB), the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO), and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). Their suggestions will be carefully deliberated by the committee in charge of the MRT Blue Line extension project. This will allow us to understand the timeframe and the construction of the new railway.
We will also ask Bangkok Expressway and Metro Company to take over the extension line, connecting the rail transport. Please speed up the process and think about the people’s convenience and the country’s best interests. When a large amount of money is invested, we must find a way to make everything work, bearing in mind all the legal conditions that must be met.
In addition, every infrastructure project – dual rail, electric rail, high-speed rail, expressways, ports, and airports – as well as ICT projects, are aimed at strengthening the Thai economic system, not to mention its ability to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness. People will have more choices and job opportunities. We will then support Thailand’s role in becoming the hub of the ASEAN region in every dimension, especially in infrastructure, linking all services and routes. We will have dual rail system and we are also considering a high-speed rail project. Transportation systems in other countries are well connected. Our neighbors have them. We will connect will our neighbors. We must make sure that necessary infrastructure projects can be put forth. Budgets will be appropriately allocated for these projects, but nothing will come to a halt. But now I have to ask, why didn’t these projects happen in the past?
The government is trying to fix a lot of problems now, not just those I’ve previously mentioned, but all the problems that were never solved by previous governments. Please be patient. Negotiations and confirming the legality of each project take time and effort, and making sure that what we invest in is worthwhile. I can assure you that when negotiations take place, the government and the nation will not be forfeiting any benefits or undergoing any disadvantages. So please stop accusing us of favoritism. It does not specify in the contract who will be granted the project.
Our society should learn from past lessons and have confidence in us, in the government. We will genuinely try to fix these problems and the past errors. These lessons will lead us to reform and to development according to our strategic economic plans and other development plans. An integrated system is necessary, taking all components into consideration from upstream to downstream. I have taken every possible effort. Some tasks have succeeded, some have not. I ask that we all help in this effort, rather than resist change and progress. We are determined to achieve all these things for the nation, without any vested interests. I ask that the people, state enterprises, the labor unions, and human rights activists cooperate and follow up on the work of the government and the work of the next governments to come. Without the needed changes, nothing positive will happen and everything will stay the same, even our conflicts. Meanwhile other countries are evolving and progressing.
During my visit to Roi Et to inspect on the mobilization of the government’s policies, I highlighted the importance of provincial groups and major provinces that have great growth potential. I held a meeting to be informed of the province’s economic stimulus plan under the Pracharat framework. Roi Et has already established Pracharat Rak Samakee Company in a bid to strengthen the local economy. Up to 40 percent of manual workers leave the city to seek jobs elsewhere such as the capital city of Bangkok, resulting in labor shortages.
The idea to create employment and uplift people’s living standards in Roi Et was to gauge the true potential of the city, which involves both internal and external considerations. Given this, the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy must relate to prevailing global conditions, as everything is interconnected.
What we found is that the ‘Tung Kula Rong Hai’ economic zone no longer has to suffer. At present, more than 1 million rai of Tung Kula Rong Hai land is used to grow ‘Hom Mali’ rice, which has become the main economic crop, which has also earned the GI label. I’ve asked the Department of Intellectual Property and the Commerce Ministry to expedite registering and patenting Thai products. The process had been slow in the past. This has been done since 2007. We now need to register them as GI products, such as rice and other products exported to Europe. Many countries demand our products, if we produce them the right way with the proper standards.
Furthermore, we must apply new technologies to our systems, production, processing, and value-adding processes to Hom Mali rice, using new innovation that responds to the Food Innopolis project. The northeastern province of Roi Et could, therefore, become the “Rice Innopolis”. When it comes to rice, we must look at it from all angles. We should also promote new startups and e-commerce business where transactions are conducted over the internet. However, we must maintain the balance between agriculture and the industrial sector, giving people career alternatives that will not adversely affect other stakeholders or the environment. This will encourage people to come home to their provinces for career opportunities and thus children will not have to leave their parents. Bangkok and other big cities will not be so crowded. No matter how much we expand the capital or the bigger cities, it is not enough as there are not enough expressways or rail services. Therefore, having these services and jobs in other parts of Thailand will benefit everyone.
The second aspect is the development of tourism. We can offer packages that create connectivity. Statistics show that around 700,000 people a year visit Roi Et while the average length of stay is 2 days. I introduced the idea about turning the province into a destination that leads to other destinations in neighboring cities. The idea is to have travelers visit other places too when they come to Roi Et. Can the province convince visitors to stay longer? Each province has many good things to offer. It would be ideal if they could offer tour packages to attract more travelers. The Ministry of Tourism will look into this now.
This is what we want to see. We want Roi Et, also known as Sagatenakorn, to thrive under these new ideas and continue to grow. It could also link with other tourism packages from overseas. Foreigners can visit Thailand and other countries around it. Clusters in tourism will earn a lot more due to higher spending in the area. We also need to help our neighbors as they help us. We will grow stronger together. The most important thing is the service that we provide. We must be polite and professional, ensuring tourists’ safety and the cleanliness of the town. Residential areas should be turned into beautiful landscape. You don’t have to wait for anyone to do it for you.
Other mega projects I want to mention today include communications networks and water management. I have asked all the responsible agencies to list necessary projects and propose them to the government. The administration will allocate you the budget. The budget shall be spent to create regional connectivity with the presence of nearby provinces. I have instructed the Ministry of Interior to oversee this matter, making sure it is being done based on the provincial segment concept. Provinces will grow together. This is what is proposed. This budget is crucial. We also have a budget for internal development. You can also ask for additional funds. The system has been set up. Without connectivity, everything will be untidy and disorganised.
Dear citizens, in order to help Thailand move out of the middle-income trap, everyone can lend a hand. Innovation will be key, meaning we need to come up with new ideas that will ensure our competitiveness in a globalized world. The world is getting smaller everyday due to technologies, making the world ‘borderless’. Messages and information, good or bad, can be sent from one place to another in seconds. Therefore, we must be more sensible when using social media, when we want to relay messages. If we send lies about Thailand to the world, how will people think of us? I am referring to those with harmful intentions who continue to denounce their own country to the world based on lies. What good will come of this?
We must be true to ourselves and embrace our own personal development with determination and confidence in order to be able to conquer our obstacles. I myself will be more patient and more resolved because the work here is not finished.
We must also conserve the limited resources that we have. I’d like to ask activists to not protest against every single thing we are trying to do. Without these developments, floods and droughts will persist. Industries will not grow accordingly and our energy situation will have no clarity. Without these developments, the country will not make progress. We are not doing this for the benefit of a particular group. We will use our resources in the most efficient way. If we do not make progress in this dimension, the country’s income will not increase either. Who will produce? Is rice enough to offset other losses? Other countries now focus on organic practices and chemical-free farming. Who are we going to sell to if we don’t have organic products? Some countries use an outsourcing strategy, producing at a lower cost. Can Thailand match their prices? How can we raise rice prices when the world price is low? Attempts in the past also failed while problems remained.
Let’s help empower each other through cooperation and self-development. Children from the provinces that must support their families are often faced with rent and other financial burdens. Some may have to resort to loans and when they can’t pay them off, they need to liquidate their assets. If they are stuck in this cycle, when can people achieve prosperity and be able to return home?
We need to collaborate in improving the quality of our human personnel. This starts with education. Learning is a lifelong endeavor that people from all ages can undertake, whether it be by enrolling in vocational schools, universities, or distance learning.
We must first create capable, smart, and principled people in order to have organizations and indeed governments based on ethics and good governance. It all begins with the individual. We need to support all sectors of society, whether it be agriculture, industry, trade, or investment – as all sectors are supportive of each other. This includes taking into consideration different scales as well, front large, medium, small, and start-ups.
The same goes for all phases of production, from sourcing material, to processing, innovation, value-adding, domestic and international marketing. All these phases are connected.
This is why we have established Pracharat corporations to connect all these phases together. People must also embrace and have faith in new ideas and change. Resistance to change can only lead us back towards our old problems.
Many people who have embraced changed have been rewarded with prosperity. Many farmers have planted alternative crops, instead of sticking to only planting rice and waiting for the government’s assistance. When the cost of production is higher than the sales price, who will buy it? Committing too much towards subsidizing rice will not lead to long-term wealth creation as it will drain resources that could be invested in other growth sectors.
We need to be aware of the present condition of this world. We need to keep an open mind and constantly take in new information. Doing this will be for your own benefit, otherwise you will not be able to grow out of your old ways.
Today, foreign countries are seeking to invest in Thailand. Many seek a mutual investment agreement between Thailand and their countries and see Thailand as a having the potential to be a regional hub. I’ve met with them and have explained about the peaceful and stable state that we are in now.
I would like them to compare the state of the country today to before 2014, and decide for themselves whether things are better and whether we have damaged anything. For some, democracy and human rights are the only issues that they have spoken on. At the same time, I assure you that I have not infringed upon anyone’s rights. Rather the issue is about respecting the laws.
The law does not exempt anyone, whether they be children, women, or the elderly. The law applies to all citizens but can differ in the degree of punishment. There can be no impunity because all must go through the judicial process. Therefore, I ask all to abide by the laws. But what about those who still commit the same violations again and again after being released. The public must be fed up with the actions of these people.
I have done my best not to offend anyone, but the same people still keep on denouncing me. Well, they have damaged the country for many years already so I’ll let society decide whether they want to listen to them or me. Regardless, I will keep on doing my duty for my country.
We need to depend each other and reduce suspicions within our society. No one will be left behind, not even those who disagree with me, as long as they respect the laws. One day, they may understand me..
We must look at the bigger picture of 70 million citizens. There are over 70,000 villages and 6-7 thousand districts. This means that various communities have their own issues at varying levels. The government must therefore focus on addressing broader, more systematic issues first. Otherwise, isolated attempts at solving problems could conflict with existing issues or get entangled with other contingencies. This will therefore not be the best way to move the country forward.
We must look at the interests of 70 million citizens of our country, then those of the 250 million people in the CLMV countries, then to the 600 million people in ASEAN, then 7.5 billion people in this world. All global citizens ultimately share the same destiny. We must figure out how to reduce rivalry and competition and instead enhance cooperation, support, and camaraderie.
In the production process, if we only focus on increasing volume, we will be confronted with the same issue of oversupply. We need to instead focus on research, development and innovation. We need to utilize technology in enhancing production capabilities, innovation to enhance competitiveness with other countries, and creativity in creating new designs and presenting product history in order to enhance the value and appeal of our products.
We need to build trust among the public, the private sector, the government and the NCPO and change from a stagnant attitude to one that embraces change in order to build prosperity. We might be able to expand our tax revenue in the future so that more money is available for benefit programs. We need to change according to global conditions. We may not be able to do much today regarding taxation, as it is a sensitive issue at a time when many people have financial burdens. Despite some fearmongering by some people, in reality, nothing will change for those who don’t need to pay taxes. Everyone wants benefits but there is no extra money to give if there is no adjustment to the taxation system. In the meantime, the government must manage with the amount of revenue it receives from the current tax rate and instead focus on efficiency and eliminating waste.
In order to develop our existing 5 “s-curve” industries, we must incorporate new technologies and produce new products. Otherwise, we will not be able to compete with other countries when there is no innovation or adjustments to current market needs. We have defined our existing 5 s-curve industries and 5 new s-curve industries that coincide with the Thailand 4.0 agenda.
In order to progress from 3.0 to 4.0, we need to utilize more technology and incorporate more machinery because we could be confronted with a labor shortage in the future. Today, we utilize labor from neighboring countries. If we don’t ensure that students are trained in skills that are needed, people will struggle to find employment and compete with others.
If we still allocate large amounts of resources towards supporting old industries, even though these products don’t sell anymore, it will be a waste. We need to instead support development and modernize industries. If we keep on fixing and replacing old systems without creating a plan to develop and modernize them, they will keep breaking down and costing us more money.
The government will, therefore, need to provide loans. But many then turn into non-performing loans (NPLs). This then causes further damage to the country. Today, everyone is apprehensive about NPLs. But before, hardly considered if these loans would be good for the long run. So those who apply for loans must carefully consider whether the loan they are taking out would help them create revenue. Some households get in debt, especially credit card debit, because of excessive phone bills, vacations, etc. It is the nature of free business and commerce. Therefore, people need to exercise good judgement in their spending habits and realize what is and isn’t within their means.
Try to cooperate with the government and take into consideration the government’s ideas and policies in your business and family planning. Try to have discussions to create understanding, instead of immediately opposing others opinions. People resist change because of fear of losing out. So try to look at what can be gained and what might be lost together.
Nothing can be gained without incurring some losses. The markets for our old products are decreasing. We need to raise our standards and create new products to compete in the world market. Not all of my policies will take effect today. Some will happen for the benefit of the next government. But if you are unwilling to change, there will eventually be not enough income for development and we will be stuck with in our old problems while the world moves ahead.
Therefore, we need to build on our innovations and scale them to production, brand-creation and new products to market. If we examine the basic products and introduce innovation to add value, who would benefit? People throughout the process will all need to benefit and we must care for them.
There must also be rewards and incentives for researchers and developers. In the future, I will present to you the progress of restructuring research funds and education funds both domestic and abroad. These are among the agendas that are more difficult to accomplish and do not receive much attention and recognition.
In order to build a nation, we must begin by building the individual. The nation and its citizens must both be empowered in order for there to be ethics and values. Education is the most important factor. In the past 2 years, we have addressed all issues in the education sector, tackling irrelevancies and counterproductive policies. I ask that everyone try to improve their capacities and consider the following issues that have been identified.
These include: students lacking work skills; institutions that fail to produce alumni that meets the country’s needs, the 21st century or Thailand’s 4.0 agenda; lack of innovation support; the perception that basic education is more important than vocational education. These issues result in labor imbalances and the lack of a driving force for the country.
For the past several decades, human resource development has been a sluggish agenda. This administration has implemented education reform in 3 fronts.
1. Organization and budget reform.
2. Managing human resources, solving teacher shortages, and creating teacher development plans 10 years in advance. Schools that have imbalances of students and teachers must conclude the school year before being reorganized, otherwise students would be affected if they are forced to change schools during the school year.
We need to establish a new system within 6 years. Schools with barely any students that have high financial burdens will need to adjust themselves to changes.
3. Improving communications technology, such as online and satellite learning. We need to provide access to all schools by the year 2016 in order for Thailand’s education system to meet international standards of quality.
These things serve as a start to a system that has long been stagnating. Change must also be adopted by teachers, parents, students and the bureaucracy.
The Ministry of Education has implemented many reforms, focusing first on broad issues and addressing some issues in the future. Through article 44, I’ve been able to decisively tackle issues in education, otherwise we will be delayed due to various procedures and laws. I have done this while listening to input from related agencies.
We have also used the government’s Pracharat model to integrate the state, private sector and education institutions from kindergarten, elementary school, high school, higher education, vocational school, and distance learning in promoting learning. Reading is the most important skill in addition to creating an ethical person who shares, is empathetic, and has a social conscience. All these facets depend highly on the education system.
We also need to teach the concept of democracy with the correct basis, including how it is utilized in the classroom and the workplace. It is a concept of teamwork, cooperation and solving conflicts through mediation, instead of quarreling. Society today is fractured and is susceptible to provocations.
When talking about human rights and personal rights, let us say there are only 2 people among many that are disagreeing with these rights. Who should we listen to? This is simple democracy. However, we must find a way for the 2 dissenters to accommodate what the 10 people agree on in order for all 12 to progress. Right now, there is contention among all 12 people. This is why there needs to be special measures during this time. We need to show respect to one another, listen to differing inputs, but not break any laws, or develop ideas only to conflict with one another. You can’t only think about yourself and don’t respect the views of others.
People claim that I do not listen to others. On the contrary, I’ve been listening and thus talking all this time. If people are narrow-minded they won’t be able to understand things and compete, and in this respect, how could a person govern if he isn’t aware of the needs of the people.
I listen to everyone, but I will not condone damaging words or actions that violate the law. I ask that people focus on peace, progress and development. Instead of leaning too much to the left or right, we need to strike a balance. How can we improve the well-being of the people?
In the past 2 years, the government has taken many new initiatives. Some people don’t really follow the news so they don’t know. That’s alright because I will explain more. Most people focus more on conflict and controversy and don’t listen to what doesn’t concern them. Regardless of your occupation, you need to constantly listen and improve your capabilities.
If you express vociferous opinions on things that you don’t understand, society will likely be in conflict as a result. We cannot use our emotions or politics to create violent conflict again. We need to take a good look at ourselves, our communities and our nation and see how we can move forward. Will we fall into the same traps? Will our incomes at this level be enough?
That’s why I have said that the agricultural and the industrial sector must move forward together in order for our regions to be strong. This government doesn’t serve a voter base. Some people may not like our policies, but things will keep getting better in the future. Just keep following up on progress in security matters, the economy, our society, the justice system, foreign affairs, and other social issues. All of these agendas are included in the Pracharat model of cooperation.
The organizing of the 5th fair showcasing OTOP and SUPPORT foundation products at Impact, Muang Thong Thani had been a successful undertaking, receiving widespread interest from the public. The event saw over 440 thousand visitors come to see OTOP Pracharat products at over 2,500 venders at the event.
There has been about 840 million in sales which is far above our target. This encompasses 770 million from the event as well as 67 million from pre orders. There you have it. If we we have good drive and conduct a good PR campaign, people will see the difference and show more interest.
There are 3 phases. Phase 1 is ideas at home, phase 2 is development, and phase 3 is taking it on an airplane to sell it abroad and copyrighting it. This is how it has to be done. When I came in, none of this was happening. We only produced but had no idea where to sell it or who to sell it to. The standards were not up to par. This isn’t the way to increase the value of the product. Leaving things unfinished is not the path to success. We must have business links to provide a comprehensive product production cycle from manufactures to market destinations. We need to enhance the value of our OTOP products towards OTOP Premium and OTOP Go Inter.
You can see that there have been vast improvements to the original OTOP. There has also been expansion into greater variety. Currently, we have prepared a picture catalog that will put items on display for sale in a simple modern way. You’ll be able to easily contact the producers. The products have been repackaged to be more appealing. There are also histories connected to the products. The raw materials used are of good quality and meet high standards.
The products are sold in airports and on planes. At the moment, there are 2-3 airlines that are offering them. These are: Thai Airways and Air Asia. I must admit, I forget the other one. In checking the quality of the product, we must be meticulous. We must have a selling and payment system as well as a distribution system which encompasses online orders and delivery. I would like to thank the Community Development Department, Thai Airways, and the Airports of Thailand for your cooperation in promoting these OTOP products. You have ensured that the local producers and entrepreneurs have a bright future instead of usually having to struggle for sales.
This Pracharat model will help our local products get through this “blockage”. Officials and agencies must continue to drive this forward and cooperate with communities. I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to all the agencies involved, the MOI, MOC, and the other 2 airlines that have now shown interest.
Most recently, I have given instructions at the cabinet meeting to observe the circulation of the nearly 80,000 OTOP items from various communities. These products are from the 40,000 producers and entrepreneurs who hail from every region of the country. The products will go on sale at the Krung Kasem Market by government house. This will serve to create many important business connections so there has to be some filtering of what can be on offer.
This will promote development among producers as well as build motivation within the communities. The government will oversee it and study the different applications the items have, their appearance, and their identity, which could be a modern or one that is a throwback to an earlier time. It really depends on the product. If they were all the same it would be boring. In some cases, foreign buyers wouldn’t be able to use it. We can’t just sell the visuals. It could be stacked up at home but couldn’t be taken anywhere. If it’s for displaying, then we should focus on that. Some things are made to be useful and can be distributed amongst friends and family. These are quality products made by Thai specialists.
For nearly 2 years, it was intended that this would be a platform to showcase products directly to the consumers. It is a business matchmaking opportunity and it offers the chance for producers to get valuable feedback on distribution and export. Agencies from the public sector will also be at the event to offer their advice. This is one of our initiatives for the business portions of the public and private sectors to drive forward the Pracharat market together.
I would like to do this like a community market. These markets require cooperation. In most cases, you shouldn’t’ begin by investing in a location. First, find something good to do. Then, set up shop to sell it. However, if your starting budget is quite high then you might be able to invest it in a location first and make it visually attractive. But often times doing this, getting some expensive help and installing air conditioning can lead straight to bankruptcy. So, you need a bit of a safety nets. Start small. It might be hard at first but that’s how you get into retail. You shouldn’t just start in a fancy office and never interact with your customers. The same goes for every province.
In August, the Ministry of Justice was responsible for organizing an event at the Krung Kasem Market to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s 7th Cycle Anniversary. Over 60,000 people were in attendance. There were even sales of items made by convicts out of the department of corrections and juvenile detention centers; as well as items made by drug addicts from the rehabilitation centers. In total, about 13 million baht was sold, the highest sales on record this month.
There were auctions that also took place at the event. These were arranged by the MOJ and the ONCB. Over 120 million baht was earned. In the past, this money was simply saved away and nothing was done with it. Today, we are putting it towards development. This is all government money not private money. The government will do what it can to make things easier for everyone. They will offer services and legal advice as well. Of nearly 2,500 cases, we have pushed forward with over 500 of them and have completed 93% of those, involving 140-million-baht. This initiative by MOJ is in order to create greater access to the justice system, through the justice fund and other advice.
I appreciate the work that the MOJ has done. They have been proven very reliable to all citizens, especially for those with low income who would have otherwise been taken advantage of. Therefore, I would like to extend this service to members of the public in similar situations. You can go ask for legal advice and use the services at the MOJ office in every province. You can also go to the city hall or to any Damrongdharma center or government OSS; whatever is the most convenient for you. News and infromation have been posted on social media as well, so make the best use of it.
Rest assured, you will be provided with the same standard of service across the country. I hope the Krung Kasem Market will serve as a model for the “new age” Pracharat market and return happiness back to the people. Today, we are already testing out boats on days where the sun is out and the water is high. It’s important that safety comes first while we test the system.
I have another important issue to mention which is that the government, the NCPO, and the NLA or any of the 5 related branches are not persecuting any former politicians. This is a part of processing with legal cases that had been on hold, by bringing them to the attention of the MOJ. All parties have the chance to prove themselves in a court of law. But you can’t just distort the facts and tamper with evidence. I have never interfered in case proceedings.
All these stories will be suspect and are often settled out of court. You want me to reconcile. With who? You haven’t even reconciled amongst yourselves. Don’t forget that there are always people from 2 sides and they must cooperate to explain and enhance reconciliation. Then, I can see what the law can do about the situation. If everyone asks me to fix all their problems as fast as possible but haven’t yet reconciled, how can there be reconciliation? The people with the problems can’t reconcile so the law can’t help. Give these people a chance.
The relevant authorities must be contacted to consider all the facts, without any interference. We should promote independence and transparency. Every agency, whether it is prosecutors, courts or police have a certain level of discretion. You must build trust and not have double standards. It’s up to the evidence and the witnesses.
On to matters of the new constitution and the supplementary question. Listen, think, and use your better judgment without listening to the misguidance of others. Make sure you fully understand things for yourself before asking others about the parts you don’t fully comprehend. This will help you understand more and avoid the situation of 2 people making things more confusing for each other. Most of the time, this is just innocent behavior. The supplementary question is just that: a supplementary question. The constitution will be the thing that moves this country forward. We have to let the CDC do their work. Why would you be opposed to something that hasn’t even taken effect yet? What are you afraid of? Are you not ready yet? Or are you scared it won’t happen?
If you truly have good intentions, then come forward. Do you think a senator would oppose someone who is scrupulous? You only look at these two sides. I myself have never been like that. I like to give an opportunity to everyone no matter what the party. The only exception I make are for those who have broken the law. In the end, the constitutional court will make their own decision. Once the CDC has finished their work, it must be sent to the constitutional court for verification. If you don’t trust any of them where would we be? If there is an issue, you should realise that they have already made a contingency for it. Listen to their solutions first. Or would you prefer to get caught up again? That’s what would bring us back to section 7 as before, and that would serve only to encumber the process of Royal Assent by His Majesty the King. So please address the small issues on your own. I don’t want to say more about this at the moment but you ask about it all the time.
Regarding matters of property in Samut Prakan, Phuket, Phu Thap Boek and others. Begin by looking at the law and seeing if there is an infringement. If there is, what next? I have no intention of ruining someone’s livelihood. But if you built it, you should have been aware of the legal situation. The law clearly states you are in the wrong and yet you have invested a lot of money. At this point, if you admit you are wrong the government will do what it can to help you. But the laws must be upheld.
Laws are made to be followed by society which means they must be understood. Saying you didn’t know is not a valid excuse. They have been made known for a long time now. Every country works like this. We will do what we can to fix the problems, using both law and political principles to find a solution that works for everyone. We have no intention of causing strife. That said, please understand that the officials are only trying to do their jobs.
On the issue of the violent incidences that have occurred, I have received multiple reports and have seen a lot of evidence from many groups. While it remains to be seen what or who has been behind them, the investigation process is still under way. So don’t jump to conclusions and exaggerate the truth. This could make many officials apprehensive to properly proceed with the case. This is the problem with Thailand. Let them do their job and let those who report the news be the only ones doing so. If you all report the news the way you want to, it will create major problems. This is why other countries don’t do it.
These criticisms and conclusions made about the Southern provinces should stop. The issue is difficult as it is so you shouldn’t make it worse. The verdict will be dependent on the investigation and the evidence. Anything of importance can then be further looked in to. We must pay attention to the important matter at hand, which is lending our cooperation to the officials to help them protect us and arrest the perpetrators and to make sure this doesn’t happen again. It’s better to fix the problem now then deal with the fallout later. We need peace and safety where we live. If you don’t want the investigations, then you can’t have safety. Think about it.
Turning to other matters, I am pleased to say that in Sukhothai, there have been many governors who have done great work. Mr. Pitti Kaewsalapsri is a prime example. I have been very worried about water management following the annual flooding we have had in this country for a long time. This governor has used his knowledge of climate as well as his knowledge of his city and water infrastructure to lead a team of local officials to fix the flooding problem. The results have been very good. There are other projects like this happening in other provinces as well. I am still concerned about those that experience flooding the most often. The provinces that are experiencing drought should introduce reservoir projects to store more water. If you only worry about water dissipation, then you are not looking at the big picture. You need understand the long term solutions. You might not be able to keep it all, but you should keep what you can.
Today, the heart of success has come from the people in the areas that have shown cooperation and understanding. These people have all experienced hardship together and have risen above it. In the past, there just wasn’t much that we could do. We were spread too thin dealing with both flooding and drought at the same time. This is why we need your cooperation in giving us information and monitoring the situation. Some people may need to give up some of their time to do this but it is for their communities, and reflects a commitment to community service as mentioned in Buddhist teachings. From childhood, I always put the needs of others over that of my own. Read up on this if you get the chance.
We must be able to manage water sources, manufacturing locations, and tourist destinations. In order to protect the environment, we need to examine the various aspects, data, and statistics. From there, we will have a team of specialists to come up with a plan of action and constantly monitor the situation. If we set our minds to it, we can do it. If we have conflicts then we won’t be able to handle this together and we will experience more flooding and drought. We need to expedite this process and carry it out soonest. So let’s get this done.
Our authorities must be prepared. We need to focus on prevention using the existing budget. We can’t afford to use emergency funding always. We have already increased your 50 million baht budget. Each region should use their allocation as best they can, and the government will lend assistance when it is needed. I understand reservoirs require sacrifices by those who are forced to relocate. I thank you all for this and rest assured, you will be compensated. This will allow us to have water during the next drought. If we didn’t do this, the government would quickly run out of emergency funds, the crops would die, and all your planting would have been for nothing. So please help us. I would like to commend everyone who has done so thus far.
Last of all, I would like to offer my congratulations to the Thai teams who have made us proud on the international stage. First, to the choir who competed in Russia who brought home 2 gold medals, and second to the performing arts team who competed in the United States. They won many prizes including the team spirit prize. In particular, Mr. Tachai Pathumwat otherwise known as “Keng the Voice” won 14 gold medals. One would have already been a great accomplishment, but 14! He also brought back 5 other plaques.
Other than this I would like to extend my support to the “Nataya Burapha Forum” which comprises over 70 people from many institutions who share a love of puppets. They were selected out of over 500 teams to be one of the top 50 to compete in the World Puppet Carnival in Poland on September 24th -30th. I would also like to wish the very best to our 46 Paralympic athletes in the 15th Paralympic games in Brazil from September 7th to 18th .
The Olympic athletes who are returning to recuperate and recover should not be disappointed. Build on this opportunity and become stronger. You can do it. Don’t let others feel sorry for you, but they will feel for you. But have resolve and practice even more. You’ll get there eventually. Don’t lose heart. No one is upset with you. We are all here for you and will give you our full support and encouragement. I do. Whether you won or lost is not the most important thing. What’s important is that you tried your best. We’ll stand by you every step of the way and cheer you on.
I hope that everyone will lend their support to our Thai national team in every competition.
Thank you very much. Sawasdee Krup.