6 June 2024

Thailand, under the leadership of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, is a decade of lost money, opportunity and precious time, said Move Forward Party Leader Pita Limjaroenrat in the ongoing Opposition debate against the current administration.

Emphasising the importance of this final such debate of the current parliament, he said that even though there is no vote at the end of the two-day debate, the session will offer the people some food for thought about how they should vote when they enter the polling booths in the months to come.

For almost a decade under the military junta and then the Prayut administration, Pita said the government has spent a whopping 28 trillion baht of taxpayers’ money, but Thailand’s competitiveness has fallen to 7th place among ASEAN countries and the corruption perception index (CPI) ranking has fallen from 85th in 2014 to 110th place last year, behind Vietnam which is making steady progress.

Drought-stricken areas have increased from 640,000 hectares in 2014 to 2.24 million hectares last year, he said, adding that the government’s slogan, that there is no drought under the Prayut administration, is just a fantasy.

There have been no police or military reforms, as pledged, said Pita, as he noted that the police’s image has been hit hard of late, with a string of scandals, including extortion of foreign tourists, alleged involvement in grey businesses and online gambling operations.

The sinking of HTMS Sukhothai in December, with the loss of many of its crew, said Pita, has raised several questions that remain unanswered and there was the misuse of an F16 fighter jet by a senior air force officer for personal purposes.

He stressed the need for the military budget to be trimmed, so there is more money available to improve welfare for junior officers and for development projects.

For the body politic to improve, full democracy must be achieved and the military must be excluded from politics, said Pita, as he called for the “switching off” of the so called “Three Por” group, namely Prayut, Prawit Wongsuwan and Anupong Paochinda.