Thai PM warns Cabinet ministers against graft

Thailand's new Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a military coup three months ago, has warned his Cabinet ministers that they will be sacked for poor performance and jailed if found guilty of graft.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 30, 2014, 16:09 PM IST

Bangkok: Thailand's new Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a military coup three months ago, has warned his Cabinet ministers that they will be sacked for poor performance and jailed if found guilty of graft.

"Any Cabinet member who does not work well will be replaced. There is no limit in the number of Cabinet reshuffle. Bad people will have to go and whoever is corrupt will be sent to jail. So please do not worry," Gen Prayuth said last night during his weekly TV programme "Returning Happiness to People in the Country".

General Prayuth, submitted the list of his Cabinet members for royal endorsement, The Nation reported.

60-year-old Gen Prayuth made the remarks in an attempt to allay concerns about the quality of his Cabinet Ministers, many of whom are expected to come from the military.

He is currently the head of the military junta and also heads the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)

The presence of military figures in the cabinet was necessary to deal with certain security issues, Prayuth said.

He stressed that he would serve the country for the benefit of the country and the people.

Prayuth said he will not side with any particular political party.

Thailand needs to increase its competitiveness to be able to compete against neighbouring countries especially after the country joined the Asean Economic Community late 2015, he said.

"We must raise our competitiveness to equal that of our neighbours, especially with some countries that can be considered to be both partners and significant economic competitors," Prayuth said.

He asked all sectors to join hands to fight against corruption.

"Corruption has been deep-rooted in Thai society. The problem needs to be seriously addressed now. In order to see concrete and rapid progress within one year, we require the cooperation of all sectors, including the state and private sectors, civil society, and the ordinary people," he added.

Thailand's army chief Gen Prayuth, seized power in a military coup three months ago and became the country's prime minister, the first serving army officer to assume the top office in 22 years on August 25.

Gen Prayuth was named as the prime minister after the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) voted 191-0 in his favour in an uncontested race.