PM vows to get ‘Ferrari’ economy humming
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PM vows to get ‘Ferrari’ economy humming

Government firing on all cylinders to get engine performing at its peak, Srettha says in broadcast debut

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin prepares for his first Khui Kap Srettha (Talk to Srettha) monthly broadcast address at Government House on Saturday morning. (Photo: Srettha Thavisin Facebook)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin prepares for his first Khui Kap Srettha (Talk to Srettha) monthly broadcast address at Government House on Saturday morning. (Photo: Srettha Thavisin Facebook)

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has likened Thailand’s economy to a 12-cylinder Ferrari with only six or seven cylinders working. But the government is firing on all cylinders to get the engine running at full throttle, he says.

He made the comments in his first Khui Kap Srettha (Talk to Srettha) monthly broadcast address that aired on Saturday morning on state-owned NBT Channel 11 television. The programmes will also be carried on the MCOT radio network and streamed on social media platforms.

Mr Srettha admitted that no matter how hard he and his Pheu Thai Party work towards the economic betterment of the country, the work might not go as quickly as expected due to various factors.

“Although we always work to the best of our ability, sometimes the work slows down with several other factors involved,” he said in the pre-recorded address. “We can’t simply do just what we want to as we aren’t the only party to decide on and implement new work.”

Other coalition parties, the opposition, parliament, civil servants and non-governmental organisations are all there to scrutinise government, which can lead to delays, he said.

In attempting to tackle the problem of high energy prices, for instance, merely hinting that a nuclear power plant could be considered to help bring down costs has prompted opposition.

“The cheapest energy is that generated at a nuclear power plant,” he said. “However, while everyone seems to want cheap energy, no one wants such a power-generating facility to be built near them.”

In any case, Mr Srettha confirmed that he has ordered a study into the feasibility of making a nuclear power plant an option in Thailand.

The prime minister also defended the coalition’s push to build entertainment complexes that would include legal casino gambling. The underground gambling business, he said, is worth trillions of baht but contributes nothing to society.

“Should we legalise these gambling businesses so that we could reap more tax revenue from them?” he asked rhetorically. “Is it time for this country to accept the fact that many other countries already have allowed casinos?”

The well-travelled PM also dismissed speculation that he gave priority to provinces seen as Pheu Thai political strongholds over other provinces when choosing places to visit.

“I am the prime minister of all Thais in all parts of the country, not the prime minister of only Pheu Thai [and its supporters](#),” he said.

His visits to the provinces, he said, have also brought him an opportunity to discover more traditional crafts, which he has brought with him as souvenirs to give to VIPs he meets on overseas trips.

These gifts, including handmade scarves made of linen-like cloth called Phet Ratchawat from Phetchaburi, impressed their recipients a great deal, he said.

The PM also offered an explanation as to why he likes to make unannounced visits to places, saying it was his way of observing problems the way they are in real life, so that he could recommend effective means to deal with them.

His surprise visit to Suvarnabhumi airport recently allowed him to observe problems there and how they could be resolved to help this airport improve its status in international airport rankings, said Mr Srettha.

Given that tourism promotion is a flagship policy of the government, Thailand can ill afford to lose visitors who might be upset upon arriving by a long queue at immigration, he said.

Suvarnabhumi has improved dramatically ever since his surprise visit, based on key performance indicators (KPIs) he prescribed, he said.

Among those KPIs is that incoming passengers should be able to claim their luggage within 45 minutes after landing, he said. (Story continues below)

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin checks on the progress of construction at a 20,000-seat stadium during a visit to Pattaya on Saturday. Work first began at the site in 2008 but the original contractors abandoned the project. It has now been revived and construction is expected to be completed in 2025. Mr Srettha said he also wanted the stadium to serve as a world-class concert venue to attract tourists and spending to Chon Buri. (Photo: @thavisin X account)

Chon Buri visit

Mr Srettha spent Saturday in Chon Buri, where he visited Koh Lan, a small island off the coast of Pattaya that’s popular with day-trippers. The island attracts more than 500,000 people a month — and their garbage. Consequently, resolving waste management problems is a priority for local authorities.

In a post on his X account, Mr Srettha also expressed confidence that work on a new 20,000-seat sports stadium in Pattaya would be completed next year — 17 years after it first began before being abandoned by previous contractors. The venue will also be an ideal place for staging world-class concerts, he said.

On Sunday Mr Srettha is scheduled to visit U-tapao airport in neighbouring Rayong to discuss a plan on developing commercial space as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme. He then plans to return to Pattaya to visit a site in the Khao Phra Tamnak area where he hopes to see a Formula One race in the future.

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