11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has appealed to all Thais, regardless of their political differences and affiliations, to stop bickering and spreading hatred against one another, and make use of the mechanism of democracy to help build the country.

In his unscripted speech to the media at Government House today, the Prime Minister said that, as good things are happening, he wants the country to move forward and get not dragged backward, adding that he has devoted himself for the past 5-6 years to working for the good of the country and the people “without yearning for power”

“Who says politics is about power and vested interests? I don’t want power or vested interests. Why don’t they trust me?” he asked, apparently rhetorically.

He said that he has never stopped thinking about how to solve problems and would not mind if he is reprimanded, adding that he was ready to explain or go to court if accused of corruption.

He noted, however, that most of the talk about his or his administration’s alleged corruption is unsubstantiated and is intended to incite hatred.

“Is it the time to sow the seeds of hatred? Mud-slinging will not help solve anything,” he said

“I would like to say it is enough.  Let’s help build the country.  Let’s listen to what the government has been doing and what benefits will be gained.  If they (the critics) are not satisfied, just say so and the government will try to solve (the issues),” he said.

The Prime Minister also urged his opponents not to use every forum to discredit him and his administration “because it is useless as it is not within the justice process,” adding that no one would come to his rescue if he had committed an offence.

About the media, the Prime Minister maintained that he had never misused his power to persecute or bully the media, despite the fact that he has been subjected to criticism and satire by columnists and cartoonists for the past five years.

“If they (the media) do anything wrong, they will be dealt with according to the law. I don’t need to give an order. If we do not use laws as the foundation of the country, it would not be a country, but something more primitive,” said the Prime Minister.