10 June 2015
The Government has declared its strong intention to fight corruption and is stepping up an awareness-raising campaign against corruption.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha led various groups composing Thai society to issue a declaration showing their determination to combat corruption. The gathering took place on 8 June 2015 at Santi Maitri Building, Government House.
Organized by the National Anti-Corruption Committee, the event was joined by about 16,000 people, including members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of international organizations. It was also intended to launch anti-corruption campaigns, carried out by the Government and the National Council for Peace and Order.
The Prime Minister stated that the Government would take serious action against corruption in all dimensions. Those who have been involved in corrupt practices must be severely punished. Inspections must be strictly made to ensure transparency, while rules and regulations would be handled properly to prevent corruption. In addition, moral consciousness must be fostered, especially among children and youth, who are the future of the country.
He cited corruption as a major issue, saying that it corrodes public trust in government officials and the public sector. The Prime Minister stressed the need to eliminate this social ill, which has affected the bureaucratic system as well as the business sector. As a way of dealing with this problem, he said, the Government must reduce the gap between the rich and the poor through the application of the Sufficiency Economy philosophy of His Majesty the King.
The Prime Minister also quoted Transparency International, which reported that Thailand had improved 17 places to 85th out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perception Index for 2014. It received a score of 38 out of 100. In ASEAN, Thailand was ranked third, after Singapore and Malaysia. He said that although the country performed better, according to these figures, further improvements are needed.
The Prime Minister called on the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to join hands in strengthening the country through anti-corruption efforts. The Government has appointed a committee to check and follow up on the spending of the national budget by the public sector. Legal action would be taken against offenders.
He said that amendments to tax collection must be made to bring income earners into the tax system. The Government would also seek ways to help low-income earners.
In declaring his firm stand against corruption, the Prime Minister pledged to work with honesty, saying that he would not abuse his power for personal gain. He would apply His Majesty the King’s Sufficiency Economy to national administration and stand by the side of honest people to bring prosperity to Thailand.