Junta’s national reform plan branded just a pile of paper by Opposition
Thailand’s national reform master plan, drawn up by the incumbent military backed government, came under heavy criticism from opposition MPs in the lower House today, branding the plan just a pile of paper and unrealized rhetoric.
Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul pointed out, during today’s debate, that the national reform master plan has passed two organizations and one individual, all of whom are badly in need of reform, namely the Army, The Courts and the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
He said the military, whose main duty is to defend the country against foreign enemies, has staged several coups to overthrow elected governments, while the courts are being questioned over their processes and quality of their verdicts.
Piyabutr said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been seated at the head of the table plotting reform, when it is he who should consider reform.
The junta’s reform plan has resulted in the creation of a “super government”, or a “state within a state” – one state created through election by the people, which is powerless, and another state created by the coup makers, said the Future Forward secretary-general.
Another characteristic of the national reform plan, explained Piyabutr, was the creation of a “reform industry”, which he described as the countless committees to churn out countless reports, laws and regulations and to receive salaries, meeting allowances, perks etc. Piyabutr described the so called reform plan as just a sham by the junta to use as a tool to extend their grip on power.
Pheu Thai MP for Roi-et province Ms. Jiraporn Sinthuprai, said that the junta’s reform efforts over the past five years has been a complete failure as it reduced Thailand to a country with the biggest equality gap with the number of poor rising to about 14 million and the richest 1% controlling over half of the country’s assets.
Democrat party-list MP Kanok Wongtra-ngan said the reform reports, which are sent to parliament every three months for acknowledgement, are never implemented in reality.
Rangsiman Rome, of the Future Forward party, said the reform plan was beautifully written, but rang hollow, citing corruption scandals such as the “borrowed” brand name wristwatches of General Prawit Wongsuwan, the use of an army barracks, by the son of General Preecha Chan-o-cha, younger brother of Prime Minister Prayut, to set up an office to run a construction business and the corruption scandal engulfing the Ratchabhakdi park in Hua Hin.