Thanathorn challenges Prayut to show vision for Thai premiership

119

“I am ready to be Prime Minister for truth, change and progress”

Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Head of the Future Forward Party, announced his political vision to the media outside the National Assembly session. “I’d like to use this opportunity to show my vison as one candidate nominated to be the next Prime Minister. If you want the country to belong to a group of people who do as they please without reference to any principles, there is no need to listen. But if you want society to belong to everybody with respect for rights, guidance and laws, we think the same. We dream the same. I am ready to be Prime Minister. I am ready to be Prime Minister for truth, change and progress

For the first point, I am ready to be Prime Minister for Truth. Thailand has an economy better than many countries around the world, but we must admit that Thai society has many problems at its roots. Traveling around the country, I saw the inspiration from little people acting together, seeing people in daily difficulty. It makes us realise that GDP does not reflect the reality of the gap between rich and poor, of which some part can be measured and some cannot, such as education. We make a distance to solve the problem at the right point. We must see problems in the correct place, from reality. We must start by admitting we not solving problems in the right place. We must solve all problems together, such as big monopolies. This cannot be solved without addressing their support systems and connections. How will we use tax revenues for the majority if power is monopolized at the center? Those in power do not understand local areas, and they must also understand the real problems of both Thailand and the world.

At present, the world is full of competition, and its not a distant thing anymore. Whether as exports or reduced tourism, they affect all of us, whether we are employers or employees, or as retirees waiting for the returns on our investments. Therefore, leaders must keep up with both Thailand and the world, so that we can adapt to a changing world. To find the appropriate position, we must ride the wave of Globalization for the greatest benefit.

“I will be the Prime Minister of change. We must be bold to face problems, dare to dream, and push through change, working as a team. We have gone through many crises since the Second World War, the Cold War, and the Tom Yam Kung crisis. Our grandparents have been through many crises. We have joined together and got through them together. But today is not a war with fighter jets and explosions. Today it is like being boiled in water gradually, and when we realize it, it is too late.”

Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Head of the Future Forward Party

Nowadays, investment in the country is weak. Big companies bank lots of money, but small companies can’t cover their debts. Education is down. The price of land goes up every year. Even though we are not in boiling water, the water gets hotter every year, and when it boils, it will be too late. These things cannot be accomplished overnight. There are many problems linked closely together with vested interests. Many problems cause problems for the country’s leaders.

The way out is to confront power and wealth groups and face problems straightforwardly. Many problems impact little people in society. We must confirm decisions on the principle of legitimacy. We cannot just use our emotions. We must do things carefully and think systematically. We are lucky to live in the age of instant travel information. There are many problems at the global level and there is learning to solve the problems. We don’t have to start from scratch, but we can use our experience from abroad and take the correct information and tools to solve the problems. We must have the correct tools.

The final point is that I will be a Prime Minister leading Thailand to progress. This is the mission of my life and the representatives who have the same dream as me. We look at Japan’s growth after losing the war with nobody wanting to trade. I was born in the age of the Korean War, when no-one wanted to buy or sell, nobody wanted to eat Korean food, or watch Korean TV dramas, but today, it’s not like that.

Today, we have been overtaken by many countries, country by country. Our children’s generation is growing up in a country that is being overtaken by Vietnam. I have heard since I was a kid that Thailand is a developing country, without knowing when we should become a developed country. It is time that Thailand should be the most suitable country in the world for us to reach that point. We have the resources and the readiness.

What I want to create is a country in which all Thais are equal, and abreast of the world. If I am Prime Minister, this is not an obligation of Future Forward, but the mission of the Prime Minister and the country. In whichever way this happens, equality is the basis. Eliminating inequality is not about the country. We are a country moving into the future. How good that might be, is what our generation can bring to Thailand, where people are equal, there are no more coups d’etat, and Thailand is a First World country.

นายธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ หัวหน้าพรรคอนาคตใหม่

Let me reiterate that we are working under the principles of Democracy, and make change for society to achieve its dreams through the National Assembly. There will be checks and balances under the rule of law, along with the institution of the monarch, which is secure and permanent. We must enable MPs to represent the people, not representatives of military power. We must make the National Assembly a place of debate to find ways out, not a place in which the public has lost faith. All of this is a historic mission. I am ready to be Prime Minister for truth, change and progress.