'Eat more rice' policy is a better way to go | Bangkok Post: opinion

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'Eat more rice' policy is a better way to go

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No doubt, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom knows many things that we don't. Fair enough. Policy-makers have their own reasons on what to keep behind closed doors and what should be discussed in public. 

But I believe it is better to err on the side of transparency and disclosure. The argument of state secrets and national security is a cloak used all too often by politicians to avoid honest discussion about the merits of public policy. If the cause is just and the reasons have merit, politicians should be confident enough that the populace will understand.

Take Mr Boonsong's pledge that the government expects to sell up to 1.8 million tonnes of rice by the end of this year and another 5.56 million next year. One would think that the Commerce Ministry would be delighted to trumpet its successes in arranging government-to-government sales as proof positive that its audacious plan to revolutionise the global rice trade is working. But no, the ministry has been loathe to detail its overseas rice sales, never mind the fact that domestic warehouses are literally overflowing with rice purchased by the state under the pledging scheme.

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