PM Prayuth’s Statement Makes Inequality “ Normal”

PM Prayuth’s Statement Makes Inequality “ Normal”

PM Prayuth’s Statement Makes Inequality “ Normal”

The Prime Minister touched on a “nerve” in Thailand recently with his now known fondness for imparting words of wisdom that seems to backfire frequently.

Inequality.

At a function, PM Prayuth said “ Everybody should all have access to public roads and transport, the rich can pay and take the expressway, while the smaller (poorer) people can use the roads underneath. This way, there won’t be crowd and congestion”

After tremendous backlash from the public, he snapped at a reporter and said the media was blowing the comment out of proportion and he meant everybody should have the opportunity for access to public roads and  transportation.

In the prime minister’s way he was trying to address the reality of inequality but he rubbed the public the wrong way by pigeon holing people with the “haves” and the “have nots” division.

Implied in his statement is also a reflection of his thinking that it is normal to classify the use of public transport by the income level of the people and to address inequality in such a manner.

In reality, the existence of an expressway is just what the name implies, for people who need to get somewhere quickly and save time and who are willing to pay for it,  regardless of their income level.

The tolls of the expressway should not be so exorbitant to put it out of reach of the any income level either. That’s the real definition of equality and the opportunity to access public roads.

Most importantly, the public would have preferred to see a thinking of their leader and  their Prime Minister  that reflects on how would inequality would be tackled, to ensure that everybody’s income level and standard of living rises so that the inequality gap lessens and not by building a duo Thailand scenario where the rich and the poor have different  opportunities of access to public facilities.

Inequality was always a problem in Thailand. Pre-pandemic, a  Credit Suisse study showed one percent of the population (500 people) held 66.9 percent of the nation’s wealth while according to the World Bank, poverty has grown from 7.21 percent in 2015 to 9.85 percent in 2018.

The Covid-19 crisis has delivered a drastic economic meltdown with rising numbers of business bankruptcies,unemployment, staggering household debts and widened the inequality gap.

Many have slipped from middle income levels to lower income levels and the poor are barely surviving.

Their problems are very real and they need to see more conviction in solving the  inequality problem from their leader.

In times like these, people are hoping that their leader’s and the government’s mindset would be to build a more equal Thailand by raising their income level and standard of living so that they can afford a better life.

Written By TBB.