Thai PM orders Cabinet members to drop other jobs

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants any Cabinet members who also hold posts as government officials to give them up by the end of next month.

This is aimed at preventing conflicts of interest and a heavy workload on the ministers' part, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday.

He said Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang had said she would immediately quit her permanent-secretary post at the ministry, and PM's Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul said he was glad also to leave his permanent-secretary post at the ministry

Transport Minister Akom Termpitayapaisit might be willing to quit as permanent secretary of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Wissanu said.

He said the interim charter allowed permanent government officials to hold Cabinet posts because the prime minister believed the government was in transition and it was hard to find competent people to fill the Cabinet. Now that the government had passed the transitional period and the PM had reshuffled his Cabinet, he wanted the new Cabinet to restore business confidence.

This was "not just to change the economic team. It is important the new Cabinet members devote themselves fully. If they have dual roles, they may face problems of conflicts of interest and time management,'' Wissanu said.