Future Forward Party vows to cut army budget
The Future Forward Party (FFP) has vowed to cut the military budget and reduce the number of generals in the army, according to its secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul.
"In today's world, no one engages in wars any more," said Mr Piyabutr, adding the saved money would be spread among the people, including as educational scholarships for the young and an old age allowance hike for the elderly.
Mr Piyabutr was speaking as the party held a public forum in Wat Nong Bua in Trat's Muang district to listen to concerns raised by locals.
Heading the forum were Sayan Boonkhu, chairman of the party's provincial branch, as well as Sakchai Noomchu, who is likely to contest the Trat constituency on behalf of the party. More than 100 people attended the event.
Many villagers complained about tumbling rubber prices, which have forced them to fell rubber trees.
They also cried foul over the 2015 Fisheries Act, saying various fishing trawlers have faced prosecution under the law and been forced to pay fines amounting to several millions of baht.
Many fishermen, therefore, have now sold their boats and had to find other jobs, they complained.
Mr Piyabutr said if the party is in power, priority will be given to amending the legislation after seeking input from the public and fishermen.
Fishermen across the country have been troubled by the law as it was enacted without due consultation, he said.
Referring to measures to assist rubber farmers, Mr Piyabutr said the party will gear up efforts to raise prices, bolster production of rubber-based products and boost the value of rubber products, rather than merely propping up sales of rubber latex like the current government.
Meanwhile, Sayan Intarapak, head of the Khlong Thai (Thai Canal) Party, led members to rally for support in key markets and roads in Phatthalung's Muang municipality Sunday.
He said the country's economic problems can be addressed by the Thai Canal, or Kra Canal, project, which aims to connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea across southern Thailand.
The 135km route would pass through Krabi, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla.
Mr Sayan, who was former governor of Yala and Trang, said he wants the government to form a committee to conduct a feasibility study into the project.
The party, he said, has other key policies, including the optimal management of national energy. Mr Sayan was reported to have received a warm welcome from locals as it is unprecedented for a Phatthalung native to have formed a political party.