Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday urged people during his mobile Cabinet trip to the upper South to vote for those who have a longer-term vision, and not for candidates offering them short-sighted promises and populist policies, or the country would become bankrupt with everyone suffering as a result.
The premier joined his Cabinet members in inspecting the two main upper-South provinces of Samut Sakhon and Phetchaburi, where fishery is a prime business sector and the use of foreign labour has long been a major challenge for the country to properly address in order to receive international acceptance.
Prayut however took a few moments during the trip to mention politics, urging people to look beyond the present so that they could see their future, and particularly their happiness.
The PM said he wanted people to understand exactly what democracy means, with the holding of an election being one of the prime tools towards achieving democracy, but the electorate should also have knowledge about the candidates they were choosing from.
In his view, they should vote for people who have a work principle and a sustainable work approach, and not for those favouring short-sighted offerings as that would “collapse the country and we would all be in trouble”.
The premier stressed this point particularly in relation to state officials like kamnans and village heads.
“We must know what true democracy is. If we keep voting simply for those giving things away, we will be all [economically] dead, I tell you,” he insisted.
Prayut urged people to consider their choices carefully.
They should not throw their support behind anyone simply giving things away, but should back someone who would steer the country forward with plans every five years, he said.
The premier also said he was concerned about those “in the middle” and who say that anyone can become the government, as they have no interest in politics.
This, he suggested, could lead to a reckless government damaging the state budget, which would be dangerous for the country.
Prayut also insisted that he was not campaigning to vie for votes.
His government, he said, had been working for all people nationwide, and not those in one particular province, and would not “sell a dream” to people.
But, if the government could be said to be offering a dream, it would be something with a national strategy that would lead the country forward in a proper way, he added.
“People would like me if I just kept giving stuff away, but we [the government] just work based on principle,” the PM emphasised, adding that his administration was ready for any kind of scrutiny, with him alone having “over 400 to 500 cases pending” for that type of examination.