AGRICULTURE Minister Peetipong Phuengbun na Ayutthaya has admitted that there are elements of the public who want him and economic ministers removed.
He said economic ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, hardly met or talk.
“We looked at each other and knew our situation. We know there is a Cabinet-reshuffle sentiment but I do not know where it is coming from,’’ he said.
Peetipong said economic ministers had never discussed a Cabinet reshuffle. “There are several ministers and we haven’t all met together even once,’’ he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said he had talked to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha about changing ministers and that the PM could replace them without feeling uncomfortable because he had the power.
But Wissanu said Prayut had never told him which of his deputies he may want to replace.
The continued economic slump has caused many people to want the Cabinet to be reshuffled. Critics say economic ministers should be changed because they have failed to boost the economy, and the public is running out of faith and patience with the current team.
In his address at the Rayong Fruit Trading centre, Prayut urged people to be patient, saying problems that the country faces would take time to mend.
The government wants to unify and reform the country for sustainable development and the happiness of Thais, he said.
“Thailand has 77 provinces. The government looks after 70 million people across the country, not just some 10 million on one side like what happened with elected governments. Do not let anyone provoke hatred or disobey the government’s measures,’’ he said.
Prayut said he knew everyone had empathy for him so he was not discouraged or afraid.
“I am not disheartened. The more problems I face, the harder I will work to bring about sustainability. I understand everyone has faced vicious circles of problems all their lives … Every government tries to solve them but failed because we need to have an integrated approach in order to solve problems systematically,’’ he said.
He said his government followed their roadmap without backtracking and called on the public and private sectors to help restore faith and confidence in the country.
“The government alone cannot do that. We need cooperation from all sectors. No one wants the same incidents to be repeated,’’ he said.