Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attended a seminar on "National Strategy in Action: Integrated Implementation for Thais" for government officials. In his opening address at the seminar, Mr. Prayut said the aim of the seminar is to build consensus between government officials, so that they can work together to achieve the government's vision. Every departments and official in the government system should work together to govern the country. In addition, public officials should understand that although the government cannot complete all the matters covered by relevant media, all government departments should integrate resources and work together to promote the implementation of national reform and strategies.
Speaking of reform, the prime minister noted that he cannot keep up with the changing digital world. Raising such question as "Have you carried out self-reform?", Mr. Prayut said he conducts self-reform and self-improvement every day to better accomplish work ahead.
"I never see myself as prime minister, but as a common citizen of Thailand. I hope the country can operate in accordance with laws and regulations. I'm also very clear that no one enjoys the situation when the leaders assign a pile of work for us, however, as Thailand still has many urgent problems to address, we have to face such situation. So I feel obliged to push forward the implementation of various tasks, for some people still don't have the sense of dedication to their country and only think about themselves", said Mr. Prayut.
The prime minister said that for the last five years the public was used to asking cash handouts from the government and did not care whether the request was right or wrong. People don't know the system of government funding. For example, Thailand is now suffering from floods, some people questioned why the government doesn't directly distribute 5,000 baht to those affected by the floods. And some people and some groups think the prime minister doesn't care about the affected people. What we need to consider now is what we can do to make the Thai people understand the laws and regulations. For instance, government departments concerned should clarify to the people why this cannot be done. Moreover, the prime minister claimed that everywhere he goes, there are people constantly asking him for cash handouts. If the government has enough budget money, it will be willing to offer aid funds.
"Regarding the current floods, a group of people criticized me for paying no attention to the issue, and not visiting flood victims in the Northeast, but visiting people in the southern region instead. The purpose of these people is to spark social conflicts, and local officials should explain the truth to the public," the prime minister said.
Touching on water management, the prime minister mentioned the need to ensure adequate water storage. Over the past five years, the government has been funding water storage projects. But the public has not been clear about the projects, and even expressed firm opposition when the government plans to expropriate some lands for storage purpose.
The prime minister also mentioned solutions to other problems, such as social protection for informal workers and flood response plan. "Some people attack the government for these issues, but these problems cannot be solved in a short time, even if under the leadership of the person who has fled the country. The old-fashioned approach has already proved ineffective. I don't want to spoil the mood by talking too much about this issue", the prime minister said. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam noted good news will be announced on Wednesday, which will put everyone in a good mood.
In the end, the prime minister appealed to the officials present that it is time to change the country through their own efforts, and govern the country according to laws and regulations, so as to reduce conflicts and jointly drive the development of the country.
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