Thai rich to give government their ideas

People sit apart as they wait to be given free meals supplied by the air force at Wat Don Muang in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
People sit apart as they wait to be given free meals supplied by the air force at Wat Don Muang in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Thailand's top business leaders are ready to help the government ease the crunch of the coronavirus crisis, and plan to offer their ideas to lift the country out of the economic quagmire.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha sent an open letter to ask the business leaders how they have helped their employees, insisting the government was not trying to borrow money from them.

"I want to thank all the 20 business leaders. I only wrote to ask if they will do anything in addition to the government's measures so we can work together in sync," Prayut said.

Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said the prime minister's letter was a smart idea.

"Each of the businesses is like one ministry. They are from the real sector and they are running their own micro economy. If they work under the government, the prime minister will automatically have twenty more ministries working for the administration," Mr Suphachai said

CP is one of the prime minister's targets as the Chearavanont brothers retained the No.1 spot with a net worth of US$27.3 billion, or about 888 billion baht, in Forbes' Thailand's 50 Richest 2020.

Harald Link, chairman of B.Grimm who ranks 12th with $2.3 billion, said he received the letter from the prime minister who asked for a response this week, and that he will do so.

Dr Prasert Prasattong-Osoth, co-founder of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, said he planned to spend 100 million baht helping local officials in Sukhothai create ponds, waterways and wells, to help people fight drought after the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

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  • administration: government - รัฐบาล
  • crunch: a situation in which there is suddenly not enough of something, especially money - ภาวะวิกฤต โดยเฉพาะเรื่องเงิน
  • drought (noun): a long period of time when there is little or no rain - ฝนแล้ง, ภัยแล้ง, ความแห้งแล้ง)
  • in sync: in agreement with somebody/something; working well with somebody/something; moving or working at exactly the same time and speed as somebody/something else - คล้องจองกัน, พร้อมกัน, เป็นจังหวะเดียวกัน
  • measure: an action taken to solve a particular problem - มาตรการ
  • micro (adj.): very small -
  • ministry: a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง
  • open letter: a letter addressed to a person or group of people but intended to be shared -
  • pond: a small area of still water, especially one that is artificial - บ่อน้ำ, สระน้ำ
  • quagmire (noun): a difficult or dangerous situation -
  • response: an answer - การตอบ
  • smart (adj): intelligent, clever - ฉลาด
  • well: a deep hole in the ground from which people obtain water - บ่อน้ำ
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