Thai PM says he takes responsibility for his comments 'as a gentleman'

Thai PM says he takes responsibility for his comments 'as a gentleman'

In his weekly TV programme yesterday, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha explained why he sometimes used harsh words, adding that he apologised for every inappropriate comment he has made so far.

In his "Returning Happiness to People" show last night, Prayuth said he realised that sometimes he makes inappropriate remarks that may be impolite or strongly worded, but said he was only expressing how strongly he felt about certain issues.

"I try to improve myself continuously. I have been a soldier for almost all my life - 38 years in the Army, spending most of my time with junior officers. A gentleman must apologise if he says things that are impolite or inappropriate. I respect and honour everybody," he said.

He also apologised for the remarks he made about tourists wearing bikinis and his harsh words against red-shirt activist Kritsuda Khunasen.

"As a gentleman, I take responsibility for my words and actions. I apologise to you all," he said.

He added that he still thought like a soldier, even though some may think he speaks like a politician.

"Soldiers think of results first because we have limited time and funds. Hence I am focusing on the real needs and concerns of the people, not those of a political faction or interest groups," he said.

He said future politicians should be prepared to take up this government's missions in the future.

"What cannot be done in a short term, you [future politicians] will have to continue. Those who cannot make preparations or are unwilling to change, then you will continue causing problems in the future if you are elected again. You need to prepare," he said.

Prayuth also said he had no problem with populist policies, provided they did not cause more problems in the future, such as public debts, unequal benefits or corruption. Otherwise, these projects would have to be eliminated. He added that no populist policy should be the cause of household debt.

"We have to consider public debt and household debt. We will not use the taxpayer's money or official budgets on projects that will cause long-term problems," he said.

He said the government was looking into taxes and other issues, while the National Legislative Assembly was still examining matters such as inheritance and land taxes.

"I have set some guidelines on how it should be formalised and how it can be realised in every sector. As for those in the low-income bracket, don't be afraid. You don't have to sell your land to pay taxes," Prayuth said.

He also said the media should ensure that they were not disseminating false information, adding that if another confrontation broke out because of misleading news reports, then there would be no hope for reform.

"You have to join us in being responsible and accountable because these conflicts stem from false or corrupted information. Please don't force us to use more laws, as it will inconvenience everybody," he said.

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