It was a statement worthy of a South American banana republic, a brutal African dictator or, more locally, a North Korean madman.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has urged members of the public not to be misled by government critics and opponents who have kept saying that, despite economic improvements as claimed by the government, the ‘grassroot people are yet to reap the fruit of the economic prosperity.’
Even though none of them have.
‘All these negative criticism are intended to undermine investment climate which is steadily improving,’ said the prime minister, adding that the government was fully aware of the problems of the ‘grassroot people’ and had been trying to solve them within this year.
He noted that the national economy started to pick up in 2014, registering 0.8 percent growth, followed by 2.8 percent the following year and 3.2 percent in 2016.
If all the mega projects proceed as planned, the prime minister said that Thailand would enjoy 3.5 percent growth rate this year. Although the growth is not as robust as it used to be in the past, he noted that the economic performance was likely to improve with stability.
For the month of March, he cited export growth of more than 10 percent to about 700 billion baht which was higher than the average 5 percent growth for the past five years.
The prime minister noted that the revenue of farmers for the month of March increased by about 30 percent from higher farm prices.
And if all this good news wan’t enough to have the people dancing in the street and singing his name aloud, the he added that ‘economic reforms are needed if Thailand is to enjoy higher growth rate as it did in the past.’
Winston Smith – Political Correspondent