The Thai Government’s Deputy Prime Minister and a spokeswoman both insisted that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is not seeking donations from Thailand’s richest following his announcement on Friday.
In a televised interview, the PM announced that he planned to write an open letter to Thailand’s 20 richest people asking for assistance in overcoming the current economic crises caused by covid-19.
However, since the announcement, the hashtag #BeggarGovernment has been trending on Thai social media as the public question why the government is seeking financial help from private individuals.
Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, has said that the message was misinterpreted and that the government are not seeking financial aid. He said:
“The government will not send the letters asking for money. Let’s wait to see what’s inside them. But I can assure you we’re not begging for money. Everything will be clearer next week because the prime minister will check the detail himself.”
When further pressed as to exactly who the Prime Minister was referring to, Krea-ngam responded that he “doesn’t know who these 20 people are,” and that he “only checks the content to be put in the letter.”
The government further distanced themselves from the idea of asking for money when spokeswoman, Narumon Pinyosinwat, confirmed the PM was simply asking for opinions. She said:
“We want to listen to views from all sectors, to have them participate. But we insist the prime minister wants guidelines on how to tackle the problem.”
However, the question remains that if the Prime Minister is penning an open letter to Thailand’s richest people to simply ask for advice, why base the criteria on wealth? And what does it say about the people currently in office?
Source: Bangkok Post