The work of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has entered its second phase, and though the situation appears to be calm on the surface, the rippling undercurrents should not be underestimated.
NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has repeatedly said that all administration work should be transparent, otherwise even the slightest bit of corruption will become a deep wound that leaves a scar on the NCPO for a long time. Recently, the spotlight has been shone on the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), its members and the direction it is going to take. Few people know much about the NLA as they wait for the members’ names to be officially endorsed and announced.
Perhaps, if the NCPO wants to boost its credibility, it should start clarifying to the public the reasons behind its every decision at every step. The NCPO is apparently going to head most key organisations like the NLA, the Cabinet, the National Reform Council and the Constitution Drafting Committee.
Of course, the NCPO is being resisted in several quarters, but this resistance is muted. Many people may be unhappy about certain things, but they are either choosing to remain silent or are waiting for the right time to express themselves.
Perhaps, in order to avoid these feelings of opposition from exploding and having a boomerang effect on the authorities, the NCPO could provide these people a space to voice their thoughts. This open space is totally necessary and needs to become a reality instead of just being a great idea in principle.
News reports that the NCPO has selected people that it trusts and believes to be most suitable for the posts might be positive for the NCPO to some extent. However, the NCPO should also be aware that it does not appear to be lopsided or be seen as shunning people on the other side of the scale.
Meanwhile, many people have used this opportunity to file petitions with the NCPO to solve all sorts of social problems they face in their daily lives. And at a time when most politicians choose to maintain a low profile, some former Pheu Thai MPs have come up with the idea of petitioning the powers that be to look more closely into legal cases related to political conflicts.
Thailand has lost many good opportunities over the past several years due to its vast political divide. Hence, at a time when the authorities are drafting new rules for the country to follow, all parties deserve a chance to participate. Also, each participant can contribute by turning his or her past experiences into lessons that can be used for the Kingdom’s development.
The biggest obstacle to this collaboration – which will pull the country out of crises, conflicts and revenge – is prejudice and conflict of interest.
Perhaps, it is time for Thais to realise that the only way Thailand can be pulled out of this prolonged crisis is if everybody opens up and listens to one another. Also, everybody should be urged as well as given a chance to participate – for the sake of the country’s future.