11 July 2024

Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat accused the government, during the final day of the censure debate today (Friday), of complete failure in three strategic areas intended to drive Thailand to a prosperous future. In its three years in the office, he said, the government has left many Thais hopeless and without a dream.

The first area, he claimed, are major infrastructure projects, including the Thai-Chinese high speed train project, phase three of the Laem Chabang deep seaport expansion and the highspeed train project to link Don Muaeng, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao international airports.

Pita said that there is no progress in the train project to link the airports, only 4.6% progress in the Thai-Chinese rail project and only 5% progress in the deep seaport project.

The second strategic area is the electric vehicle (EV) project, which the prime minister envisaged would transform Thailand into a regional hub of EV production, said Pita, as he pointed out that Vietnam’s VinFast has already secured almost 150 billion baht in loans to implement its own EV project, including the opening of 6 EV showrooms in the US, while there is no substantive progress in the Thai EV project.

Thailand’s aim to become the regional hub for EVs is unachievable, said the Move Forward party leader.

The third strategic area is access to funding by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is still largely unavailable.

Pita also claimed that the government has not done anything to address corruption in government bureaucracy which, he noted, has undermined Thailand’s capacity and image abroad.

He said that the worst thing about the prime minister is that he barely knows about the Thai people, about what has rendered the Thai people hopeless. Inflation this year will be the highest in 24 years, the Thai currency is at its weakest in 16 years against the US dollar and public sector borrowing and fertiliser prices are the highest in modern history, he said.

What the people want the prime minister to do is to take the lead in restoring hope for Thailand but, instead, he chose to designate the National Security Council secretary-general to do the job by setting up one committee after another to address the problems, the key Opposition figure said.

Accusing the prime minister of undermining the capacity and hopes of the people, he suggested that he amends the the lèse majesté law and stops snooping on the privacy of people through the use of Pegasus spyware, following the release of a report earlier this week by NGOs that the spyware was used against dissidents.

The 2022 censure debate is the fourth and last one against this administration, which came into power in mid-2019. It is Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s second term, and first elected term, as he led the May 2014 coup and became prime minister months afterwards.