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Censure debate begins

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The four-day censure debate began yesterday and the economy dominated the discussions. 

The Puea Thai party's lead debater, Mingkwan Saengsuwan, addresses the House of Representatives at the opening of the censure debate yesterday. CHANAT KAYANYU

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“Failed management” or “right policies”?

The four-day censure debate began yesterday and the economy dominated the discussions. 

As expected, Puea Thai MP Mingkwan Saengsuwan led off with a sharp attack on the Abhisit-led administration’s handling of key issues.

He accused the government of being a novice in the management of economic affairs.

He said the government's failed management had led to high public debt and "unprecedented" increases in consumer product prices, especially cooking palm oil.

He said the Abhisit-led administration had failed in fiscal policy and created the most public debt at 1.4 trillion baht so far.

Mr Mingkwan voiced suspicions about the government's handling of shortage of cooking palm oil, saying the government was in league with certain groups to rob the public.

The Puea Thai MP was also critical of the government's rice price guarantee scheme, saying it failed to deliver on what was promised.

"The price is guaranteed at 11,000 baht per tonne. But farmers can get only 6,000-7,000 baht. Where does the difference go?" he said.

Mr Mingkwan said when he was the commerce minister serving in the Samak Sundaravej administration which adopted the mortgage scheme, it was a golden age for rice farming.

"The mortgage price was 14,000 baht and farmers could sell the rice at 14,000 baht," he said.

Mr Abhisit immediately hit back, rebutting Mr Mingkwan's allegations of economic mismanagement point by point, saying the government’s policies were right for the situation.

He also accused Mr Mingkwan of distorting facts by means of editing, omitting and adding some information.

On the issue of public debt, he said while Mr Mingkwan focused on debt, he failed to mention the government's revenue generation.

Mr Abhisit defended the need to borrow to stimulate the ailing economy.

"When the economy is in recession, the government has to incur debts. The faster the economy picks up, the fewer debts we have.

Mr Abhisit also wondered why the former prime minister removed Mr Mingkwan from his post as commerce minister if he had done such a good job.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.

address – to speak publicly to a group of people  กล่าวปราศรัย
censure debate – formally criticising a cabinet minister or the full cabinet in a parliamentary session after which members vote to support or reject the การอภิปรายไม่ไว้วางใจ
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
dominate – to be more noticeable than the other parts or aspects of something เต็มไปด้วย, เป็นใหญ่ เด่น (ที่สุด)
sharp – strong ที่รุนแรง
administration – government รัฐบาล
handle – to take action in order to deal with a difficult situation ดูแล, จัดการ
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
novice – of someone with little experience doing something มือใหม่
affairs – political, social, and economic events that are happening now กรณียกิจ, กิจธุระ, การเมือง
debt – an amount of money that you owe หนี้
public debt – money owed by the government   หนี้ของรัฐบาล
unprecedented – never having happened before ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน
consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
fiscal – connected with the government budget, i.e., public money เกี่ยวกับงบประมาณ
voice – to express your feelings or opinions ออกความคิด
suspicion – a feeling that something bad is probably true or likely to happen ความสงสัย
shortage – when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
in league with – making secret plans with somebody  เป็นพรรคพวกของ,  ติดต่ออย่างลับๆกับ
rob – to take money or property illegally from a person or place ปล้น, ปล้นจี้
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
critical – saying that someone or something is bad or wrong ที่ชอบจับผิด
guarantee – a promise to pay money under certain situations การประกัน
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people  แผนการ โครงการ
commerce – trade, especially between countries; the buying and selling of goods and services  การค้าขายสินค้า, ธุรกิจการค้า (commerce minister รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพาณิชย์)
adopt – to accept or to start using something new นำมาใช้
mortgage – a legal agreement in which you borrow money from a bank in order to buy a house, build something, develop a piece of land, etc.การจำนอง
golden age – a period during which something is very successful, especially in the past ยุคทอง, ยุครุ่งโรจน์, ยุครุ่งเรือง
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
rebut – to show or say that something is not true โต้แย้ง, โต้ตอบ
allegation – a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved ข้อกล่าวหา
mismanagement – organising or controlling something badly การจัดการผิด
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
distort – to change something such as information so that it is not longer true or accurate  บิดเบือน
edit – to prepare a text, tape or film for use by correcting mistakes and deciding what will be removed and what will be kept in, etc ตัดตอ
omit – to not include  เว้นไว้, ข้ามไป
focus – to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another เพ่งความสนใจ
revenue – income from taxes or business activities รายได้
generation – production การก่อให้เกิด
borrow – to take money from a bank, financial organisation, person, etc. and pay it back over a period of time ยืม
stimulate – to make something develop or become more active; to encourage something  กระตุ้น, ส่งเสริม
ailing – experiencing difficulty and problems
recession – a period when trade and industry are not successful and there is a lot of unemployment ภาวะเศรษฐกิจถดถอย
incur – to lose money, owe money, or have to pay money as a result of doing something ประสบ, ได้รับ
wonder – to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it สงสัย
remove – to take something away; to take away from a job เอาออกจาก
post – a job in a company or organisation ตำแหน่งการงาน

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