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Govt warned of ‘fishy’ deals, like microphones for the Cabinet

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– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Govt warned of ‘fishy’ deals, like microphones for the Cabinet
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Almost half the local leaders from 600 communities surveyed by Master Poll wanted the government to cancel a plan to buy 89 high-tech microphones for the Cabinet room that cost about Bt100,000 each.

The poll conducted from September 11-13 released the results yesterday. It showed that 47.2 per cent wanted the project scrapped and 50.8 of respondents felt there was something fishy about the planned procurement of microphones costing Bt100,000.

However, 49.3 per cent of the public said they felt nothing was wrong with the purchase deal, 35.2 per cent supported it, 17.6 per cent said the plan should be cancelled and the official in charge of the project step down to take responsibility.

PM’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul said he did not want to see conflict among state agencies over the plan to buy the high-cost microphones, saying the deal was being checked by the committee to monitor state spending.

“I do not want to see state agencies passing the blame to one another. I have been trying to iron out their differences to bring about peace and unity to the Government House,’ he said.

He said that the government’s honeymoon period was over and it now had to rush to work.

Poll: public likes NCPO’s style

The PM’s Office has been assigned to arrange a meeting between the Cabinet and permanent secretaries from all ministries and provincial governors on Wednesday when the prime minister would inform them of the government’s policies.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the government to ensure transparency in spending state funds for all projects. He said the public wanted transparency most in the use of “central funds” which the PM and the Cabinet had the power to approve.

He warned Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha that controversies like that of the pricey microphone could create repercussions for his administration. The PM had better ensure the committee he appointed to check the planned procurement of the microphones made the truth prevail. He said the PM must ensure that no more such controversies are repeated.

Master Poll also revealed that people wanted the government not to fall into bureaucratic traps with 27 per cent voicing such concern, 20 per cent warned the government against becoming intoxicated with power, money or women – together with flattering civil servants, capitalists and close aides.

About 17 per cent suggested the government start work immediately to tackle pressing issues – while 34 per cent said the government needed no suggestions as it had performed well.

Asked why the public had accepted the junta seizing power, 57 per cent said people wanted the junta to heal national division, 32 per cent said it was needed to fight corruption, 7.4 per cent said to help solve economic problems.

About 84 per cent preferred the working style of the NCPO because the junta seemed to be seriously address issues the country faces. The rest said they preferred the government’s working style because its image was better than the junta’s among the foreign community, 78 per cent said they were most satisfied with the junta’s crackdown on hawkers on the beach.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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