Former PM Prayut Bids Farewell Following Nine Years in Power

Outgoing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha believes that during his nine years in power, his administration has significantly helped the nation in nine key areas.

In a farewell note on his Facebook, Gen Prayut reflected on his nine-year leadership of the country as the most significant and unforgettable chapter in his life.

As prime minister, he dedicated himself to protecting the country, asserting that it has made remarkable progress and now stands shoulder to shoulder with numerous countries.

He also mentioned that Thailand is progressing towards becoming a leading nation of the world. Gen Prayut credits this progress to developments in nine sectors.

To begin with, the nation took an unparalleled step in formulating a 20-year national roadmap, which will guide its path and ensure primary strategies are put into action.

Next, the government allocated funds extensively to develop infrastructure, encompassing terrestrial, railway, maritime, and aerial transportation – all crucial for boosting the economy.

The core objective of Gen Prayut’s administration was to transform Thailand into a central hub for aviation, transport, and tourism.

Third, there were investments in enhancing the digital and platform economies, as well as fortifying telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G technology.

Thailand is transitioning to become a central hub for 5G, data centers, and cloud-based services in its vicinity. People’s quality of life and earnings have also seen improvement.

Fourth on the list, 12 sectors were spotlighted as industries of the future. The government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and exclusive economic regions are operational, fostering specialized workforce competencies.

The fifth development focus was on foundational systems, introduced to oversee critical assets such as water, terrain, and forests, marked by the establishment of the Office of National Water Resources and the Office of the National Land Policy Board.

The “One Map” initiative was launched to address land overlap issues on maps and support the redistribution of lands to farmers without properties.

Regulations were also formulated to validate community forests where humans and the environment harmoniously exist.

In the sixth developmental sector, multiple funds were established to champion the well-being of vulnerable and marginalised groups, emphasizing equal educational opportunities.

The seventh development aspect saw legal modifications to eliminate barriers to national growth and heighten the nation’s competitive edge.

Such changes amplified the business ease and drew foreign investors, while law enforcement practices were standardized.

Legal changes also addressed issues arising from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) marking Thailand with a red flag in 2015 due to air safety standards, as well as concerns with the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing industry.

In the eighth development sector, Gen Prayut mentioned that the nation’s administrative systems were updated using new technology to enhance public services.

This includes state welfare cards and the ease of accessing medical care through the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (Ucep) Plus program.

Concluding with the ninth sector, Gen Prayut highlighted the nation’s strong ties with countries around the world via both bilateral and multilateral interactions, including the signing of free trade zones.

A significant breakthrough occurred when the previously tense Thai-Saudi diplomatic relations were normalized in January 2022 during Gen Prayut’s Saudi trip, which was invited by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the heir to the Saudi throne.

“The country’s journey in the past nine years hasn’t been smooth or easy, with disputes raging elsewhere in the world which affected energy prices, the cost of living and inflation.”

“However, we must unite and get through it,” Gen Prayut stated.

“I’m truly confident Thailand will not go back to square one and that everything we’ve built will be expanded upon. That will push us forward toward triumph,” he concluded.