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Prime Minister Abhisit's Farewell Speech


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Prime Minister Abhisit's farewell speech

Dear fellow citizens,

The House of Representatives has now convened. His Majesty has granted a royal command, graciously appointing the Speaker and the deputies. Soon the House will be meeting to select the new prime minister and a new Cabinet will be formed.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the Thai people that during this transitional period, my government is doing everything to ensure a smooth hand-over. There are important tasks that need to be carried out in the coming days, including the royal cremation of HRH Princess Bejaratana. Also, there are several provinces experiencing floods. For this, my government has already initiated the process of closely monitoring the situation and preparing the information needed by the new government. Again, I would like to assure you that all the work will continue smoothly during this period.

Given that a new government has the right to formulate policies it deems suitable for the country, before handing over the administration, I would like to inform you that my government has made it conducive for the incoming administration to continue addressing ongoing problems for the Thai people.

Given the rise in price of consumer goods, cost of living, the continued economic uncertainty in the US and Europe, the fluctuation in oil price and other economic concerns, I would like to assure you that our country's economic situation and financial foundation is very stable and sound.

Our foreign reserve now stands at US$180 billion, which is large and represents an increase of $70 billion. This is also the 13th largest foreign reserve in the world, which underscores the fact that our government's financial standing is strong. This is because our exports, tourism and income-generating activities allowed the economy to grow in a robust manner. So far this year we have collected Bt200 billion more in income tax than we aimed for. As for the national reserve, we now have Bt300 billion - about Bt50 billion more than when I first took office. This is another good financial foundation upon which the new government can base their financial policies.

For the overall economic figures, the debt-to-GDP ratio has continuously dropped under my administration, and now stands at about 40 per cent. This is a very low ratio compared to other countries - another guarantee that we will have financial flexibility in the coming years. Our employment situation is also encouraging, with the unemployment rate at a historic low. Regarding the oil price, my government has put in effective mechanisms to handle the fluctuations. The current status of the Oil Fund together with the continuation in pegging the diesel price at no more than Bt30 per litre will allow the oil fund to continuously receive income, and the fund level will not be in a minus zone in the next two months or so.

All this is a guarantee that the new government will have flexibility, financial and fiscal tools and mechanisms that can be utilised to address various economic situations in an efficient and appropriate manner.

When I first came into office, I used to say that our economic situation was like a "house on fire". Now, we have put out this fire, made progress in looking after people living in the house and also made our house stronger. As far as looking after the people is concerned, we have laid down a system to provide assistance and care in the form of social welfare. My government had set 2016 as a target date to have in place a comprehensive social welfare system. As we can see, free education, free healthcare and the provision of care for various groups, such as the disabled and the elderly, have already been implemented. Yet we still have to accept the disparity in our society, which is a structural problem. We have set up several independent committees that have provided many recommendations, which are now being considered by various government agencies. I hope the new government will consider these recommendations so we can move toward a fairer and more equitable society.

On the international and security front, it is clear that the international community has more confidence in our country. After a peaceful general election, Thailand will be able to accomplish important tasks. I hope the new government will continue this momentum and lead our country to successful bids in hosting global events.

As for the neighbours, our relations have been smooth, except for the dispute with Cambodia. On this particular issue, I think we share the same goal - preserving good relations while at the same time we have to stand ready to protect our country's rights and sovereignty. The standing issue is the case that Cambodia has taken to the International Court of Justice. My government has already fought the request Cambodia filed with the court for Thailand to unilaterally withdraw its troops. It is hoped that the next government will continue to fight this case and successfully protect Thailand's national interest.

Besides these problems, issues that affect our security also need to be addressed. On the unrest in the South, we have passed a new law on the restructuring of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, which has been accepted both at the domestic and international fronts. Of course, violence still persists and it is incumbent on the new government to continue working on this and implementing policies aimed at long-lasting peace.

The other issues that the new MPs have to address include drugs and long-standing social problems. The general election is a step toward democracy and I fervently hope that the new government will work to promote unity. My government has always respected the judicial process, which has the final say in our system. I hope the new government will continue with this principle, and leaving political conflicts to be dealt with through the parliamentary process. As for other institutions not involved in politics, they should be kept above conflicts.

In closing, I would like to once again thank each of you for your assistance and cooperation in carrying out the work of my government and overcoming various crises, even though there are some problems that cannot be resolved at this time. I hope that what I have done will provide a firm foundation upon which the incoming government can continue to work in order to bring happiness and prosperity to us all.

Thank you very much.

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-- The Nation 2011-08-05

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A timely reminder of how much the government's finances have improved, over the past few years, to pre-empt any attempts to claim that PTP's incoming-government might otherwise have tried to make, as excuses for not implementing their election-promises ?

Also always useful to try to educate people, to the fact that Thailand is only part of an economically-troubled wider-world, which can & does have an impact on prices here. Whoever is in-power needs to keep banging on that particular drum IMO. B)

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ooooo I didn't see this last night, how unexpected, 'waffle' for breakfast :D

Not as appetising as free computers, increasing min wages and vat, floating cities I admit.

I am not too worried James, only one of my staff falls below the minimum wage and she can easily be brought into line as she is not far below it now. Floating cities or landfill is acheivable, i doubt we are talking about the quality in Dubai, more along the lines of land reclamation, and as for free computers, we all know nothing is free and has to be paid for somehow, but I can foresee a battle between the manufacturers to supply leading to deals being struck, in no way do i see these costing what it cost me when i ventured into the apple shop.

I am happy to give PTP time to see how they perform, not write them off before they have even started, as for abhisits speech, if the world economy takes the blame for poor performance then surely the fledgling world recovery must also take the credit for the economies recovery, it would have recovered along with the world economy no matter who was in power so to take credit for this whilst not taking criticism for the poor economy just reeks of trying to pull the wool over people eyes.

All in all i just see a man and a party promoted beyond their abilities, thrust into undeserved power they failed in my opinion, and in the opinion of the voters, and no amount of waffle now after such a poor performance in government and during an election can whitewash their failure. The dems allowed Thaksin back in, they had the chance to perform and make it impossible to be voted out, but they failed at that, they were too bust concentrating on the wrong issues to win the votes that count.

Decent guy, poor, weak, under performing PM in my opinion.

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ooooo I didn't see this last night, how unexpected, 'waffle' for breakfast :D

Not as appetising as free computers, increasing min wages and vat, floating cities I admit.

I am not too worried James, only one of my staff falls below the minimum wage and she can easily be brought into line as she is not far below it now. Floating cities or landfill is acheivable, i doubt we are talking about the quality in Dubai, more along the lines of land reclamation, and as for free computers, we all know nothing is free and has to be paid for somehow, but I can foresee a battle between the manufacturers to supply leading to deals being struck, in no way do i see these costing what it cost me when i ventured into the apple shop.

I am happy to give PTP time to see how they perform, not write them off before they have even started, as for abhisits speech, if the world economy takes the blame for poor performance then surely the fledgling world recovery must also take the credit for the economies recovery, it would have recovered along with the world economy no matter who was in power so to take credit for this whilst not taking criticism for the poor economy just reeks of trying to pull the wool over people eyes.

All in all i just see a man and a party promoted beyond their abilities, thrust into undeserved power they failed in my opinion, and in the opinion of the voters, and no amount of waffle now after such a poor performance in government and during an election can whitewash their failure. The dems allowed Thaksin back in, they had the chance to perform and make it impossible to be voted out, but they failed at that, they were too bust concentrating on the wrong issues to win the votes that count.

Decent guy, poor, weak, under performing PM in my opinion.

Good observations.

"As for the neighbours, our relations have been smooth, except for the dispute with Cambodia. On this particular issue, I think we share the same goal - preserving good relations while at the same time we have to stand ready to protect our country's rights and sovereignty. The standing issue is the case that Cambodia has taken to the International Court of Justice. My government has already fought the request Cambodia filed with the court for Thailand to unilaterally withdraw its troops. It is hoped that the next government will continue to fight this case and successfully protect Thailand's national interest."

Abhisit did not learn a thing about the ongoing (Yellow shirt promoted) rift with Cambodia. This last quote is a feeble attempt to coerce the new administration into pursuing his failed policies.

Your summation of his tenure in office is spot on: "Decent guy, poor, weak, under performing PM in my opinion."

Indeed, the Democrats had a few years after the coup to define pragmatic and rational policies. The voice of the Army and the Yellow shirts prevailed over all that.

We can anticipate amicable relations between Cambodia and the new administration. However, I suspect that there will be quite a strong opposition to that from the Yellow vociferous bunch. Possibly entreating the army to step in, once again, and change the power structure. I wish that I am wrong.

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ooooo I didn't see this last night, how unexpected, 'waffle' for breakfast :D

Not as appetising as free computers, increasing min wages and vat, floating cities I admit.

I am not too worried James, only one of my staff falls below the minimum wage and she can easily be brought into line as she is not far below it now. Floating cities or landfill is acheivable, i doubt we are talking about the quality in Dubai, more along the lines of land reclamation, and as for free computers, we all know nothing is free and has to be paid for somehow, but I can foresee a battle between the manufacturers to supply leading to deals being struck, in no way do i see these costing what it cost me when i ventured into the apple shop.

I am happy to give PTP time to see how they perform, not write them off before they have even started, as for abhisits speech, if the world economy takes the blame for poor performance then surely the fledgling world recovery must also take the credit for the economies recovery, it would have recovered along with the world economy no matter who was in power so to take credit for this whilst not taking criticism for the poor economy just reeks of trying to pull the wool over people eyes.

All in all i just see a man and a party promoted beyond their abilities, thrust into undeserved power they failed in my opinion, and in the opinion of the voters, and no amount of waffle now after such a poor performance in government and during an election can whitewash their failure. The dems allowed Thaksin back in, they had the chance to perform and make it impossible to be voted out, but they failed at that, they were too bust concentrating on the wrong issues to win the votes that count.

Decent guy, poor, weak, under performing PM in my opinion.

Yes an opportunity wasted , but hey let us be optimistic and hope that the Taksins have learnt something. Hope for an ''Amazing Thailand'' the one we chose to live in and enjoy. One that moves steadily towards real democracy.

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ooooo I didn't see this last night, how unexpected, 'waffle' for breakfast :D

Not as appetising as free computers, increasing min wages and vat, floating cities I admit.

I am not too worried James, only one of my staff falls below the minimum wage and she can easily be brought into line as she is not far below it now. Floating cities or landfill is acheivable, i doubt we are talking about the quality in Dubai, more along the lines of land reclamation, and as for free computers, we all know nothing is free and has to be paid for somehow, but I can foresee a battle between the manufacturers to supply leading to deals being struck, in no way do i see these costing what it cost me when i ventured into the apple shop.

As far as i can see, the suggestion wasn't that you might be worried, but that if you found Abhisist's speech to be empty, boring waffle, you might also find what the other side has been saying (or promising) to be equally waffle like.

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Yes an opportunity wasted , but hey let us be optimistic and hope that the Taksins have learnt something. Hope for an ''Amazing Thailand'' the one we chose to live in and enjoy. One that moves steadily towards real democracy.

The Thaksins? Scary thought that. I thought the clone thing was metaphorical.

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"As for the neighbours, our relations have been smooth, except for the dispute with Cambodia. On this particular issue, I think we share the same goal - preserving good relations while at the same time we have to stand ready to protect our country's rights and sovereignty. The standing issue is the case that Cambodia has taken to the International Court of Justice. My government has already fought the request Cambodia filed with the court for Thailand to unilaterally withdraw its troops. It is hoped that the next government will continue to fight this case and successfully protect Thailand's national interest."

What a rant! I think the situation with Cambodia would be the easiest and fastest problem to solve by the in-coming government. So "the lady" should tackle it ASAP and score some points in appearing effective and resolute force. Even if there is some backlash by the "ultra nationalists" it should not go very far in current situation where people are more concerned about the economy and stability.

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As for the neighbours, our relations have been smooth, except for the dispute with Cambodia.On this particular issue, I think we share the same goal - preserving good relations while at the same time we have to stand ready to protect our country's rights and sovereignty.The standing issue is the case that Cambodia has taken to the International Court of Justice. My government has already fought the request Cambodia filed with the court for Thailand to unilaterally withdraw its troops. Itis hoped that the next government will continue to fight this case and successfully protect Thailand's national interest.

This from an ex-PM whose immense intelligence (he was educated at Oxford don't ya know)) and good judgement (or so we're informed by some TV posters) led him to believe that employing a lapsed PAD supporter with bad judgement and a big mouth as the Foreign Minister was a good idea! Though not a neighbour, I notice there is no mention of the wonderful relationship Thailand is currently enjoying with Germany. And then there's Burma - Abhsit himself had to deal with the Burmese Junta to arrange the deal that dumps all of the polluting engineering base that used to be destined for Map Ta Phut into Dawei. I'm not sure that he wanted to advertise that particular Foreign Relationship deal either.

Edited by phiphidon
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Our foreign reserve now stands at US$180 billion, which is large and represents an increase of $70 billion. This is also the 13th largest foreign reserve in the world, which underscores the fact that our government's financial standing is strong.

Thankfully this travesty will soon be averted and it will soon all be invested it in African gem mines

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Our foreign reserve now stands at US$180 billion, which is large and represents an increase of $70 billion. This is also the 13th largest foreign reserve in the world, which underscores the fact that our government's financial standing is strong.

Thankfully this travesty will soon be averted and it will soon all be invested it in African gem mines

With the assistance of a certain 'diamond-geezer', no doubt. :lol:

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What a rant! I think the situation with Cambodia would be the easiest and fastest problem to solve by the in-coming government. So "the lady" should tackle it ASAP and score some points in appearing effective and resolute force. Even if there is some backlash by the "ultra nationalists" it should not go very far in current situation where people are more concerned about the economy and stability.

Seeing as Hun Sen deliberately and purposely created a lot of the friction between the two countries, as a favour to his good mate Thaksin, to help put pressure on the Dems, i'm sure you are right, this should be an easy problem for Yingluck to solve.

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This from an ex-PM whose immense intelligence (he was educated at Oxford don't ya know)) and good judgement (or so we're informed by some TV posters) led him to believe that employing a lapsed PAD supporter with bad judgement and a big mouth as the Foreign Minister was a good idea!

Having Suthep and Kasit in the cabinet were in my opinion two of Abhisit's biggest mistakes, although as he was leading a coalition government, in which one has to do a balancing job of keeping many different interests happy, i don't think he had a great deal of choice.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how many of those who have continued to question how a man who stood on a stage with the people who shut down the airport, can then be foreign minister, will be questioning how not one, but a handful of those who stood on a stage and not just gave speeches, but actually led the Bangkok burning of 2010, can then be given important jobs in the new government, as some surely will.

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Decent guy, poor, weak, under performing PM in my opinion.

I will find it very interesting to see how all the coming out of the woodwork PTP supporters (not directed at you) will respond when/if the next round of protests come from the Yellows or some newly formed color of loonies and they take downtown hostage for 2 months...Yingluck might someday become an actual leader of something who knows, but we do know prior to be installed as PM by her brothers election machine she never held any public office of any kind nor held a job of any kind outside her family/friends holdings.. not exactly a ringing endorsement for her qualifications of anything other than being born.

I hope for the sake of those staying here (I am moving ASAP done with this place) that things calm down and move forward, but we all know the main concern of the newly elected gov't is to get their hands in the cookie jar for a few years. I would LOVE to proven wrong and see some real honest progress towards helping the poor that the economy actually is carried by but I will not be holding my breath to see it come to pass.

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Anyway, it will be interesting to see how many of those who have continued to question how a man who stood on a stage with the people who shut down the airport, can then be foreign minister, will be questioning how not one, but a handful of those who stood on a stage and not just gave speeches, but actually led the Bangkok burning of 2010, can then be given important jobs in the new government, as some surely will.

Oh don't you worry all the TV posters that whined about the former will not mention the later... selective memory and all. One can not stand on a stage but the new ministers can call for people to burn the city... no double standard there.. its all so curious and would be funny as hell if not for it being real.

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This from an ex-PM whose immense intelligence (he was educated at Oxford don't ya know)) and good judgement (or so we're informed by some TV posters) led him to believe that employing a lapsed PAD supporter with bad judgement and a big mouth as the Foreign Minister was a good idea!

Having Suthep and Kasit in the cabinet were in my opinion two of Abhisit's biggest mistakes, although as he was leading a coalition government, in which one has to do a balancing job of keeping many different interests happy, i don't think he had a great deal of choice.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how many of those who have continued to question how a man who stood on a stage with the people who shut down the airport, can then be foreign minister, will be questioning how not one, but a handful of those who stood on a stage and not just gave speeches, but actually led the Bangkok burning of 2010, can then be given important jobs in the new government, as some surely will.

He had no choice with Suthep as he owed his own position as number one democrat and then as PM to Suthep. Secretary generals of traditional Thai parties are the financiers and arrangers and fixers. Abhisit-Suthep was a take it or leave it combination which wasnt seperable at that time. The next Dem PM-Sec Gen combo will be the same. It is a rearranging of the chairs on the deck

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What a rant! I think the situation with Cambodia would be the easiest and fastest problem to solve by the in-coming government. So "the lady" should tackle it ASAP and score some points in appearing effective and resolute force. Even if there is some backlash by the "ultra nationalists" it should not go very far in current situation where people are more concerned about the economy and stability.

Seeing as Hun Sen deliberately and purposely created a lot of the friction between the two countries, as a favour to his good mate Thaksin, to help put pressure on the Dems, i'm sure you are right, this should be an easy problem for Yingluck to solve.

Indeed, very carefully orchestrated situation.

But AV has called them on it by saying PT should sort out the situation, but without giving away any Thai land.

Some people are going to be very upset and it isn't a knife edge I would like to be on.

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He had no choice with Suthep as he owed his own position as number one democrat and then as PM to Suthep. Secretary generals of traditional Thai parties are the financiers and arrangers and fixers. Abhisit-Suthep was a take it or leave it combination which wasnt seperable at that time. The next Dem PM-Sec Gen combo will be the same. It is a rearranging of the chairs on the deck

Yes, I appreciate that Suthep was all part of the package. Kasit is the one that Abhisit perhaps could have afforded to take a stronger stance over. Shame that he didn't.

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I am not too worried James, only one of my staff falls below the minimum wage and she can easily be brought into line as she is not far below it now.

Just as a matter of interest, will you be increasing the wages for those who currently get above the new minimum wage?

Those that currently get above the new minimum (eg 300-400 baht per day) are often forgotten in these discussions. They are getting these wages for a reason (experience, training, etc). Does that all get lost with the lower paid staff now getting 300 baht per day?

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I had high hopes for Abhisit, a long overdue intelligent, educated and honest politician to lead Thailand. Unfortunately he was hamstrung by being unelected, always a problem!

He did a decent job in the recent difficult economic period, no more the good times enjoyed worldwide when TRT was in power, something Pheu Thai's supporters forget. And he presented a charming face of Thailand to the world.

But Thai politics is a dirty game and he wasn't really up to it. He also played poorly in the Cambodian issue and his party's campaign in the last election was hopeless.

He may come back but I rather fancy his day is gone.

Edited by bigbamboo
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I had high hopes for Abhisit, a long overdue intelligent, educated and honest politician to lead Thailand. Unfortunately he was hamstrung by being unelected, always a problem!

He was elected as MP by the electorate and elected as PM by MPs. How exactly is that being unelected?

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