By The Nation
Wuttisan Tanchai’s comment came amid criticism that the ratings could not be compared, given the difference in times and situations.
Wuittisan defended the Institute, saying it had never made any comparison between the leaders.
It was a misunderstanding to think the Institute was trying to present the differences of popularity ratings between two prime ministers, he said.
In fact Wuittisan agreed it was impossible to compare the ratings and said that doing so would only cause more trouble to the country.
The academic also criticised the media and claimed it had distorted the information. The press should have been able to distinguish facts from opinion and reported impartially, he said.
Wuttisan also stressed the survey had not been a popularity poll.
It was a survey on people’s satisfaction with public agencies and services, he said. Such studies had been conducted continuously since 2002 on representative samples of 33,420 people from every province, using sophisticated methods.
The survey had been conducted by the Institute work in its role as an academic institution, Wuttisan said. It reflected public opinion and hopefully, would lead to improvements in the country, he added.
Regarding criticism by a former reformer that the study was causing more national division, Wuttisan said that it was up to each person how they viewed the study. To be scrupulously fair, though, they should read the study themselves, he said.
Wuttisan said he did not want to enter into the debate himself since he was not a reformer and he respected the right of free speech.