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Website will reveal flood prevention work, PM says

The government will set up a website in three to four weeks so people can follow updates on flood prevention moves, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said at a Pheu Thai MPs' seminar yesterday.

Yingluck attended a party seminar in Pattaya yesterday and gave a talk on future work by her government.

She began by defending her administration for not being ready to handle last year's flood, saying it only came to power shortly before the disaster. The PM said there was no integrated command centre for a dozen agencies handling various parts of the official response. Machines and infrastructure were also not ready to cope with a flood of such magnitude.

She said 2,800 new dykes would be completed by the end of August to mitigate the effects of a possible flood this year, and the new website would enable the public to keep up with what was going on.

The premier said the website would contain technical details. And more integrated preventive flood measures would be introduced soon.

On the economy, Yingluck said 16 economic policies would be completed next month. The prime minister said she expected the overall economy to expand by 5.5 per cent this year and priority would be given to the agricultural sector, OTOP (one-tambon one product) schemes, and to attracting direct foreign investment.

Preparations for Thailand to become part of an Asean common market (AEC) would also be a national issue pursued by her administration.

Yingluck said the warm welcome she received from visiting 17 state officials showed a "high" acceptance by the international community toward her administration.

In regard to amendment of the Constitution, Yingluck said the task was akin to "building a new home" and she urged all sides to cooperate in the endeavour.

As for the daunting task of forging national reconciliation, Yingluck said she believed no one would disagree with it. However, she added that: "I believe that no one will refuse it but we must help one another to think about how we can move forward."

Meanwhile, party secretary-general Charupong Ruangsuwan urged Pheu Thai MPs to work harder on drawing more members.

The party's predecessor Thai Rak Thai had 15 million members but Pheu Thai currently has just over 70,000 members, despite a similar number of supporters.

"If we expand our member group, the movement for constitutional amendment and a reconciliation bill will be easier. I dream of seeing 15 million people becoming Pheu Thai members like before. If MPs come and help, we can get up to 2.5 million members in two months," he said.

Charupong also encouraged the MPs to use the Internet and build information mechanisms to expand the party's platform.

However, chief government whip Udomdej Rattanasatien said the seminar had not led to any conclusion on what to do in regard to the move to amend the charter.


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