Unity tops His Majesty's wish-list

King's health leads poll of Thais' hopes for 2013

His Majesty the King expressed his wish to see Thais show compassion and affinity toward one another during his televised New Year broadcast from Siriraj Hospital at 8am Tuesday.

His Majesty the King delivers his New Year message to the people on national television on New Year's Day.

The King said he desires very much to see his subjects remain steadfast in showing compassion and looking after one another and giving each other moral support.

This binds the people together, as relatives and as friends, the King said.

The people have come together to create happiness and prosperity for themselves and for the nation, His Majesty said.

The King conveyed his New Year wishes and also spoke of his appreciation for the support shown in the mass gathering for his birthday celebration at the Royal Plaza on Dec 5.

"I thank everyone very much for coming out in a mass display of moral support for me on my birthday. It was done with kind and genuine wishes," His Majesty said.

The King said the moral support expressed by the people on that day was unforgettable.

The broadcast followed the issuing of His Majesty's New Year greeting card by the palace on Monday.

The card features His Majesty the King in casual dress, flanked by his favourite royal pet dogs, Khun Thongdaeng and Khun Mali. It contains a poem bearing a royal message, and a royal blessing to the King's subjects.

The issuing of the card is a royal tradition which the King has bestowed on Thais for the past several years.

Later New Year's morning, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived at the Grand Palace to sign the New Year wishes book for Their Majesties the King and Queen and other members of the royal family.

Many diplomats, dignitaries, cabinet members, senior officials and members of the public visited the Grand Palace to sign their New Year messages for Their Majesties and the royal family.

Meanwhile, good health for the King tops the people's New Year wish lists, according to a Suan Dusit Poll.

The nationwide poll conducted between Dec 25 and Monday asked people about their New Year wishes and found 51 per cent want His Majesty to be in good health.

It is followed by 26 per cent who want an end to social conflicts, and 21 per cent who said they wished for better economic prosperity.

Those surveyed were also asked about what they expect from politicians this year.

The survey showed 60 per cent think politicians should stop bickering and should instead work to heal rifts in society, while 25 per cent are demanding political office-holders stop corrupt activities and not put their own interests ahead of those of the public.

Another 14 per cent said they want politicians to do more to improve the image of politics and earn the people's trust.

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