Army chief and songwriter: Prayuth opens his heart
June 10, 2014 00:00
By Nation News Agency, AFP
The person behind the success of the TV programme "Return Happiness to the People" - which featured a one-hour speech by National Council for Peace and Order chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha - is none other than Prayuth himself.
The show, aired on all digital TV channels last Friday, has become the talk of the town and left people asking this question: Who is the producer? Prayuth did not look stiff like he did when he last appeared on television. He seemed relaxed and one could sense his aura of power, his command and confidence. The Army chief did not hire advisers, a public relations team or an event organiser to help him produce and direct the programme or write the script, as some politicians choose to do to ensure success. A source said that the show was Prayuth’s idea – he came up with the programme – and wrote the lyrics of the song “Return Peace to Thailand”, which has been viewed more than 200,00 times on Youtube.
Reassuring lines such as “we offer to take care and protect you with our hearts” and “give us a little more time” shows the Army chief’s soft and sensitive side.
“He wanted a song which expressed his feeling for the people... a song which Thai people listen to and then begin to love each other again,’’ Colonel Krisada Sarika, head of the Royal Thai Army band said.
Prayuth has said he was inspired to deliver the weekly programme by his meetings with government agencies to brainstorm on how to move the country forward.
He also stays up-to-date with what’s happening and checks on his public approval rating by getting as much information as possible from social media, television programmes, magazines, newspapers or any publications that discuss the military’s work after it seized power.
He has proven to be a general with an eye for detail in everything he does, even though his critics often cite his bad temper as one of his weaknesses.
Prayuth demands perfection from people who work with him and his subordinates.
The NCPO chief must have paper and a pencil on his desk to jot down points he wants his team to get details on, an NCPO source revealed.
After the Office of the Army Secretary gets the details, they are submitted to Prayuth for a final check.
Channel 5, which is run by the Army, finds pictures and clips to match the content that Prayuth wants to discuss on ‘Return Happiness to the People’. Its news team, producers, technicians and programming staff then join forces to make the show.
Channel 5 hailed Prayuth for making their life easy, as the whole programme was shot in one go without cutting, the source said.
As a TV host with important messages to pass on to the community, Prayuth has demonstrated he knows what he is doing.
Since seizing power on May 22, the military has gone out of its way – holding concerts with dancing soldiers, showing old movies, giving free food to people, seeking a return to happiness, and trying to bring unity and dissolve political colours. But critics say the military will only achieve this by bridging social and economic disparities that all Thais face.