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Thai Govt To Face Close Scrutiny


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Govt to face close scrutiny

By Pimnara Pradabwit

The Nation on Sunday

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Democrats to challenge any discrepancy in poll promises and implementation

Opposition MPs are set to scrutinise the Pheu Thai-led government's economic and other policies during the upcoming House sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jurin Laksanavisit, a key figure in the Democrat Party and chief opposition whip, said some important details of the policy statement prepared by the new government were not consistent with the Pheu Thai Party's election promises.

For example, Pheu Thai pledged during the election campaign that it would raise the daily minimum wage to Bt300 nationwide from the current Bt152-220 per day.

However, its policy statement does not use the word, "minimum wage". Instead, the term, "income" is used, raising doubt whether the new government will strictly keep its election promise.

In Thailand, the minimum wage is legally enforceable and determined by a tripartite committee, consisting of government, employer and employee representatives.

Jurin said another Pheu Thai Party election promise was to guarantee a starting monthly salary of Bt15,000 to new college graduates. However, the policy statement does not use the term, "salary", but "income".

"Income" is a broader term that may include other allowances such as for food, housing and other items.

Jurin said the Opposition would also focus on how the government plans to finance the election promises and where the needed funds will come from.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Cabinet are scheduled to deliver the policy statement to Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday.

After the policies are examined by opposition MPs and senators, the Yingluck Cabinet can officially start their work.

Yingluck said she was ready to clarify to Parliament but it depended on the issues whether she would clarify them herself or let a minister do it.

Regarding the criticism that Pheu Thai had put many conditions on its policies as excuses not to implement them, Yingluck said, "They are not conditions but implementation guidelines. Everything that we promised in the election campaign is in the policies. The government is ready to clarify but please wait and listen on that day." Asked whether the government was ready to start the policy implementation according to the time frame given during the election campaign, Yingluck said, "It is so, in general. In practice, we cannot identify the date, as some issues are involved with the market and overall circumstances. We will announce when the time comes."

Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Wichaidit said the government would follow what it said during the campaign.

Asked whether some changes, such as the Bt300 wage, would be available only in some provinces, Yongyuth said, "This is about implementation. How the principle of the Bt300 daily wage will be in practice must depend on the people who implement that, too."

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party's MPs would meet tomorrow to assign 20 MPs who took part in drafting the policies to speak, in addition to Yingluck. Another 30 MPs will be assigned to stop the Opposition from obstructing the policy declaration or asking irrelevant questions.

The opposition Democrat Party's former ministers will be advisers for teams of speakers to scrutinise the government's policies.

Former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban will help the team working on politics and security while other teams will work on the economy, social issues and foreign affairs.

The Opposition will have 11 hours to debate the government's plans. Forty Democrat speakers are expected to take the floor, while the party's quota is eight hours and 50 minutes.

Sixty MPs have proposed to speak, so the opposition whip will meet again tomorrow to decide on content and speakers, Jurin said.

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-- The Nation 2011-08-21

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NATIONAL

POLICY DEBATE

Yingluck faces first big test in Parliament

By The Nation

Published on August 22, 2011

Thaksin's trip to Japan overshadows novice PM's initial policy debate

As her big brother is poised to land controversially in Japan, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces her first parliamentary test tomorrow, with a session |likely to become fiery when it touches upon a trip even some of her supporters say he shouldn't take.

It seemed too late to stop the Japan trip now, with some Thai expatriates reportedly preparing to give Thaksin Shinawatra a warm welcome. In Thailand, experienced Pheu Thai MPs will try to guard Yingluck from what is expected to be a fierce Democrat onslaught during the declaration of her government's policies to Parliament.

Despite her perceived limits when it comes to answering sensitive political questions, Yingluck has vowed to lead Pheu Thai's parliamentary presentation as much as she can. Having used virtual silence to counter criticism against what her government had allegedly done to help Thaksin, it's likely she will keep up the tactic and let better government speakers respond to the opposition's bombardment.

The Democrat-led opposition's key argument is highly predictable. Yingluck will be taunted about Japan's claims it was her government that requested a visa for Thaksin. Why bother detailing what the government planned to do for the nation, she is likely to be asked, because the very first thing you have done is help him enter Japan?

The Democrats will try to present a case that the government's real priorities concern Thaksin more than national interests. On real government issues, the opposition will question the practicality of such pledges as the Bt300 daily minimum wage and the Bt15,000 starting monthly wage for new university graduates. Abhisit Vejjajiva and Co will go into the debate buoyed by latest opinion polls showing the majority of Thais want Thaksin to stop his controversial activities and the Yingluck government to put its planned charter amendment on the backburner.

During tomorrow's policy debate, about nine in 10 people will be interested in how the government proposed to fight its war on illicit drugs, Suan Dusit Poll said in a survey released yesterday. Other issues of interest are the war against graft, national reconciliation, southern violence, farm debt moratorium, wage hikes, international relations, political reform and tablet computers for students.

Democrat leader Abhisit challenged Yingluck to personally answer queries instead of delegating the task to ministers. "I think the policy debate would be an excellent opportunity for Yingluck to show her leadership," he said.

Abhisit left no doubt the opposition would focus its attack on the gap between campaign pledges and actual policies. He also hinted that involvement or interference by Thaksin - as a deal maker or anything else - would be raised during the debate.

Democrat MP and ex-finance minister Korn Chatikavanij will lead assaults on economic plans while his senior colleague Suthep Thaugsuban is to vet security policies. Ranking Democrats will focus on issues under their responsibility in the previous government.

Yingluck attended a special meeting yesterday for a final preparation with the Pheu Thai executive board and other agencies. In what could be an indication of how much she planned to speak, the prime minister said she was in charge of the overall policy direction while Cabinet members would be responsible for queries on their respective responsibilities.

CHALERM'S CLAIM DISMISSED

The PM dismissed claims by Pheu Thai veteran Chalerm Yoobamrung that her party had lined up coalition lawmakers to act as "personal guards" - "commandos" in Chalerm's words - to shield her from tough questions.

She suggested her government would focus on the rising cost of living debate. The prime minister would reiterate that her brother did not have a political role nor take a part in lining up the Cabinet.

"Thaksin gave advice based on his experience, but Pheu Thai made the final decision on every issue," she said. Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul, who has been under fire in connection with the Japan trip, had Yingluck's confidence that he could successfully rebut the opposition attacks.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm, meanwhile, has backtracked on the "commandos" plan, saying he was only joking.

He added that the Democrats should not jump to conclusions on issues like the charter rewrite and the alleged Thai-Cambodian oil deal involving Thaksin. The government has four years to amend the charter and Thaksin did not visit Cambodia as speculated, he said.

Senator Kamnoon Sithisaman said the Senate will today finalise its preparations for the policy debate. Some 42 senators have signed up to speak from the floor.

Kamnoon said he was interested in two issues - corruption and reconciliation. Successive governments pledged to root out corruption but he saw no tangible progress to unmask the big offenders.

In regards to reconciliation, the government appeared to have misplaced its attention on compensation payments instead of uncovering the truth about the eruption of violence last year, he said.

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-- The Nation 2011-08-22

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2011/08/22/national/Yingluck-faces-first-big-test-in-Parliament-30163327.html

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The prime minister would reiterate that her brother did not have a political role nor take a part in lining up the Cabinet.

"Thaksin gave advice based on his experience, but Pheu Thai made the final decision on every issue," she said.

The lady speaks the truth, "Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts" <_<

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Thailand must be one of the only countries where the PM fully admits to accept the advise of her fugitive criminal of a brother. I must admit though, her brother could give her very valuable advise in the formulation of her asset declaration and how to shed a tear when the need arises to admit to a real, genuine and honest mistake <_<

Edited by craigt3365
correction of quoted text
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Going back to the thread subject: Once the new government gets down to business, won't it be great for Thai democracy when the Opposition get down to scrutinising the government? It's a win-win situation for the Thai people and Thai democracy.

The business of the new government, for now anyway, seems to have more to do with over-turning the convicted.

It would be great for Thai democracy if they pursued other actions unrelated to the former PM on the run.

It would also be great in the interim if the new PM spoke specifically and succinctly and be much less evasive on the issues.

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POLICY DEBATE

Yingluck faces first big test in Parliament

By The Nation

30163327-01.jpg

Thaksin's trip to Japan overshadows novice PM's initial policy debate

As her big brother is poised to land controversially in Japan, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces her first parliamentary test tomorrow, with a session |likely to become fiery when it touches upon a trip even some of her supporters say he shouldn't take.

It seemed too late to stop the Japan trip now, with some Thai expatriates reportedly preparing to give Thaksin Shinawatra a warm welcome. In Thailand, experienced Pheu Thai MPs will try to guard Yingluck from what is expected to be a fierce Democrat onslaught during the declaration of her government's policies to Parliament.

Despite her perceived limits when it comes to answering sensitive political questions, Yingluck has vowed to lead Pheu Thai's parliamentary presentation as much as she can. Having used virtual silence to counter criticism against what her government had allegedly done to help Thaksin, it's likely she will keep up the tactic and let better government speakers respond to the opposition's bombardment.

The Democrat-led opposition's key argument is highly predictable. Yingluck will be taunted about Japan's claims it was her government that requested a visa for Thaksin. Why bother detailing what the government planned to do for the nation, she is likely to be asked, because the very first thing you have done is help him enter Japan?

The Democrats will try to present a case that the government's real priorities concern Thaksin more than national interests. On real government issues, the opposition will question the practicality of such pledges as the Bt300 daily minimum wage and the Bt15,000 starting monthly wage for new university graduates. Abhisit Vejjajiva and Co will go into the debate buoyed by latest opinion polls showing the majority of Thais want Thaksin to stop his controversial activities and the Yingluck government to put its planned charter amendment on the backburner.

During tomorrow's policy debate, about nine in 10 people will be interested in how the government proposed to fight its war on illicit drugs, Suan Dusit Poll said in a survey released yesterday. Other issues of interest are the war against graft, national reconciliation, southern violence, farm debt moratorium, wage hikes, international relations, political reform and tablet computers for students.

Democrat leader Abhisit challenged Yingluck to personally answer queries instead of delegating the task to ministers. "I think the policy debate would be an excellent opportunity for Yingluck to show her leadership," he said.

Abhisit left no doubt the opposition would focus its attack on the gap between campaign pledges and actual policies. He also hinted that involvement or interference by Thaksin - as a deal maker or anything else - would be raised during the debate.

Democrat MP and ex-finance minister Korn Chatikavanij will lead assaults on economic plans while his senior colleague Suthep Thaugsuban is to vet security policies. Ranking Democrats will focus on issues under their responsibility in the previous government.

Yingluck attended a special meeting yesterday for a final preparation with the Pheu Thai executive board and other agencies. In what could be an indication of how much she planned to speak, the prime minister said she was in charge of the overall policy direction while Cabinet members would be responsible for queries on their respective responsibilities.

CHALERM'S CLAIM DISMISSED

The PM dismissed claims by Pheu Thai veteran Chalerm Yoobamrung that her party had lined up coalition lawmakers to act as "personal guards" - "commandos" in Chalerm's words - to shield her from tough questions.

She suggested her government would focus on the rising cost of living debate. The prime minister would reiterate that her brother did not have a political role nor take a part in lining up the Cabinet.

"Thaksin gave advice based on his experience, but Pheu Thai made the final decision on every issue," she said. Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul, who has been under fire in connection with the Japan trip, had Yingluck's confidence that he could successfully rebut the opposition attacks.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm, meanwhile, has backtracked on the "commandos" plan, saying he was only joking.

He added that the Democrats should not jump to conclusions on issues like the charter rewrite and the alleged Thai-Cambodian oil deal involving Thaksin. The government has four years to amend the charter and Thaksin did not visit Cambodia as speculated, he said.

Senator Kamnoon Sithisaman said the Senate will today finalise its preparations for the policy debate. Some 42 senators have signed up to speak from the floor.

Kamnoon said he was interested in two issues - corruption and reconciliation. Successive governments pledged to root out corruption but he saw no tangible progress to unmask the big offenders.

In regards to reconciliation, the government appeared to have misplaced its attention on compensation payments instead of uncovering the truth about the eruption of violence last year, he said.

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-- The Nation 2011-08-22

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Going back to the thread subject: Once the new government gets down to business, won't it be great for Thai democracy when the Opposition get down to scrutinising the government? It's a win-win situation for the Thai people and Thai democracy.

It seems that scrutinising the government just leads to defamation suits and threats of being disbanded. Not quite a win-win situation for Thai democracy.

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Democrat Party Leader: Yingluck's Leadership to be Tested in Policy Address

The Democrat Party leader regards the upcoming government policy address as a chance for the first female Thai Prime Minister to demonstrate her leadership qualities.

Democrat Party Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva sees the government's policy address tomorrow as a great opportunity for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to demonstrate her leadership, since cabinet ministers have recently been giving different messages about government policies.

He said his party has assigned deputy leader and former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij to debate issues regarding the economy, and Surat Thani MP and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban to handle the national stability issues.

The ex-premier added that issues concerning other ministries will be handled by members who are former ministers.

Abhisit noted he himself will make the Opposition's opening and closing statements.

Meanwhile, he voiced concern about many government policies after seeing the draft version, such as the 300-baht minimum wage raise, the minimum salary upgrade for holders of Bachelor's degrees to 15,000 baht, the free tablet-computer scheme for primary school students, and policies to benefit the prime minister's brother, Thaksin.

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-- Tan Network 2011-08-22

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Prime Minister Downplays Guards to Fend Off Opposition During Policy Address

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra denies claims that the Pheu Thai Party has formed a team of MPs to help her fend off the Opposition during the government's policy address to the Parliament.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says there is no truth to the rumor that the Pheu Thai Party has established a group of MPs that will fend off the Opposition during the government's policy address to Parliament.

She went on to say she has prepared deputy prime ministers to answer and clarify details of each ministry.

The premier said she will be speaking only about the overall policy.

Concerning the foreign affairs minister who is a major target, she said she believes Surapong will get by and will be able to answer any questions for himself.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung echoed the premier's remarks, saying the so-called 'commando' team intended to cope with the Opposition is simply a joke.

However, Chalerm admitted he would defend ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra if he is criticized.

Chalerm went on to say he has been assigned to address economic and justice affairs questions as these are his areas of specialty.

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-- Tan Network 2011-08-22

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She went on to say she has prepared deputy prime ministers to answer and clarify details of each ministry.

Why palm off the clarifications to the DPMs? What do they know about the ministries that Yingluck doesn't?

I could understand palming off the clarifications to the responsible ministers, but with the DPMs answering the questions it seems that she is just trying to hide behind them.

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She went on to say she has prepared deputy prime ministers to answer and clarify details of each ministry.

Why palm off the clarifications to the DPMs? What do they know about the ministries that Yingluck doesn't?

I could understand palming off the clarifications to the responsible ministers, but with the DPMs answering the questions it seems that she is just trying to hide behind them.

You got it! She would get eaten alive if she tried to deal with this.

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What Chalerm is going on about is exactly what the Dems did in the last government. Its very similar to stuff that happens in the UK too. Goevrnment always has minders ready to intercept diversions or problems. Great to watch parliamentary government and its rough and tumble at work. The real test isnt what happens in parliament but how things get fulfilled or dont and how the people judge the government.

The Dems will try a hard approach knowing a lot of the media will have sympathy with them and hope it plays well with their supporters. The first thing in opposition in Thailand is to make sure your own base doesnt erode as you have suddenly lost the power of money, influence and power to manipulate. Right now PTP are at the weakest as they have had no chance to change the opposition supporting civil servants stuffed in over two years and havent had chance to take full control of government apparatus or disburse money yet. That will change over time

From the standpoint of a political observer, it will be interesting to see how Yingluck performs, but the Dems need to be careful about shoring up her base by going too over the top especially about Thaksin as every time his name is mentioned, his good times are reminded to his supporters, and we have just seen they outnumber Dem supporters by an increased majority already comparing the last two elections. Other highlights will be Chuwit and Chalerm. The economic dudes will be boring on all sides. Maybe an appearance by Jatuporn will send sparks flying. The Dems should avoid using Suthep. He turns off even their own supporters. The other interesting aspect will be what BJT get up to. They may just fancy trying to repair fences with Thaksin and be quiet as their chances of being in government with Abhisit's mob are pretty much zero in the short to medium term discounting coups of one type or another

The real assessment of government, by the people, starts after this no doubt entertaining to be debate closes and the real work begins in earnest

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Prime Minister Downplays Guards to Fend Off Opposition During Policy Address

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra denies claims that the Pheu Thai Party has formed a team of MPs to help her fend off the Opposition during the government's policy address to the Parliament.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says there is no truth to the rumor that the Pheu Thai Party has established a group of MPs that will fend off the Opposition during the government's policy address to Parliament.

She went on to say she has prepared deputy prime ministers to answer and clarify details of each ministry.

The premier said she will be speaking only about the overall policy.

Concerning the foreign affairs minister who is a major target, she said she believes Surapong will get by and will be able to answer any questions for himself.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung echoed the premier's remarks, saying the so-called 'commando' team intended to cope with the Opposition is simply a joke.

However, Chalerm admitted he would defend ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra if he is criticized.

Chalerm went on to say he has been assigned to address economic and justice affairs questions as these are his areas of specialty.

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-- Tan Network 2011-08-22

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Quote: "Chalerm went on to say he has been assigned to address economic and justice affairs questions as these are his areas of specialty."

What can one say - greatest joke of all time.

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She went on to say she has prepared deputy prime ministers to answer and clarify details of each ministry.

Why palm off the clarifications to the DPMs? What do they know about the ministries that Yingluck doesn't?

I could understand palming off the clarifications to the responsible ministers, but with the DPMs answering the questions it seems that she is just trying to hide behind them.

You got it! She would get eaten alive if she tried to deal with this.

That's exactly what she's doing. AVOIDING it all.

Maybe they're all just "palming off" as you put it!

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Chalerm went on to say he has been assigned to address economic and justice affairs questions as these are his areas of specialty.

Economic affairs ?

Indeed I seem to recall his handling of economic matters was first class in the fact that there was a question or two regarding some 32,000,000 baht and Mr Chalerm some years back.

Judicial matters I.E. Justice,

I am sure we can all recall how stoutly Mr. Chalerm stood up for justice when one of his boys went ," walkabout" for a while following an incident,a schoolboy prank call it what one may in a night club venue.The contrite boy was escorted back to Thailand by a dutiful caring father who then out of the kindness of his heart bought the best justice that money could buy.

Alas it seems there was nor is even now any cure for the mass amnesia that the witnesses in the case all started to suffer from.

Defeated all the medical experts in Thailand. it was rumoured that Mr.Chalerm made generous contributions to all those affected and whose lifestyle had been affected by that tragic amnesia outbreak to mitigate their suffering.whistling.gif

Indeed it is satisfying to know that Thailand's economic and justice affairs rest in the hands of such a creative individual.whistling.gif

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Policy debate kicks off

The parliamentary debate on the new government's polices kicked off Tuesday morning with the policy statement read by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Yingluck delivered the policy statement at 9:18 am in line with the requirement of the Constitution.

-- The Nation 2011-08-23

Posted at 9:50am.

PM Yingluck has finished talking abt govt's 16 "urgent" policies to be started within 1yr. /via@Aim_NT

She can't have done much talking about them. Less than 2 minutes per policy!

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The current opposition were quite well known for a bit of corruption (some say most corrupt government of this millenium so far) when in power so they should at least know what to look for I guess

I don't think you could say any party is more corrupt than the other. They are all extremely corrupt. Can we agree on that?

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