PM Prayuth’s Problem-Solving Efforts Is The Problem?

PM Prayuth’s Problem-Solving Efforts Is The Problem?

PM Prayuth’s Problem-Solving Efforts Is The Problem?

It’s a known fact that PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha has a peculiar way of solving problems for the public and in the past, prior to the pandemic, it has been taken as a joke (at his expense) and laughed off.

PM Prayuth is famous for offering advice of building two-storey houses instead of one or raising fish during floods, or if the tap water tastes salty, boil it or dig more wells to save water during a drought period. The most hilarious one is when he put up a cardboard image of himself so that he wouldn’t need to answer reporters’ questions in person.

Earlier, people took the Prime Minster’s comments and advices in two ways, one opinion was that he did not mean any ill-intent and was trying to be helpful because he truly cares for the people while the other opinion was that he is not very well informed. 

However, after the pandemic hit and people are suffering to get back on their feet after the financial and economic aftershock, the public is looking to the Prime Minister for serious answers.

With the farmers facing a devastatingly new rice price low of 5 baht per kilo and many pointed out that it’s lower than the price of a ‘mama’ (instant noodles) packet, PM Prayuth decides to focus instead on the rising prices of coriander leaves. He suggested that the army will start growing the plant in army property to bring the price down. It was the joke of the town until images popped up of soldiers actually planting the seeds and ploughing the land.

Before netizens could recover from that, the PM dropped another solution involving the army. This time it had to do with the rising prices of diesel.
The Land Transport Federation of Thailand and hundreds of truckers staged a protest last week to have diesel prices capped at 25 baht per liter.

In addition to the price cap at 25 baht per litre, the chairman of the federation called for the tax on diesel to be lowered and said the Energy Ministry has until the end of this month to help truckers or else they would not have any other choice but to raise transportation costs by 10% or stop running.

PM Prayuth’s prompt reaction was to announce that the federation is not the only organization in Thailand and will employ army trucks and personnel to fill in the void.

The Prime Minister’s comments raised eyebrows this time and did not draw too much mirth over his all time favorite solution- emploting the army.
Promoting the army as the solution to economic problems is itself a problem for many obvious reasons.
First and foremost, groups that protests need solutions for themselves because they are obviously not doing well, how is bringing in the army to substitute their work going to address their financial and economic problems?
Secondly, it has focussed the spotlight on the army, with questions being asked about their joblessness and why should a substantial army budget be justified when its clear that they are not going to war with anybody, anytime soon.
Thirdly, how will the army handle the logistics without any experience and does the army have enough trucks with proper tonnage to handle the situation?
Lastly and most importantly, the public in these tiring times need to know that their leader understands the basic principles of economics and can apply it efficiently for the benefit of people.
In this instance how is employing the army going to solve the high price of diesel?

PM Prayuth’s careless remarks have drawn the ire of the truckers and the federation and exacerbated the problem, creating conflict between the army and the truckers, with challenges being thrown at each other.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Government Spokesperson had to come and clarified that the Prime Minister only suggested the employment of army trucks and personnel as an emergency solution in case truckers stopped running.

Dr, Cholanan Srikaew. leader of Pheu Thai party, in a strongly worded statement implored the Prime Minister to please use his brains when making comments and announcing opinions. 
He apologized for his strong words beforehand and gave an alternative solution.
Dialogue between the concerned parties.

Asking for the Prime Minister to think before he speaks , well, that ship has sailed.
However, to limit the damage, he could put that cardboard image of himself back and leave the talking to Spokesperson Thanakorn.

Written By - Patra Manas.