PM makes appeal for patriotism

PM makes appeal for patriotism - TNA, June 16, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday joined a long tradition of Thai premiers by appealing to the public to show a spirit of patriotism, saying that democracy could only fully develop if people set aside their own personal interests...
"The weak spot in the Thai society lies within the system of news and information--in the system of news analysis", Mr. Thaksin said.
"Where there is insufficient knowledge, there is little intelligence", he noted...


[2015 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from the early days of the Thai internet, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.]

PM makes appeal for patriotism

BANGKOK, June 16 (TNA) - Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday joined a long tradition of Thai premiers by appealing to the public to show a spirit of patriotism, saying that democracy could only fully develop if people set aside their own personal interests.

Addressing radio performers and presenters who are particularly in a national security programme, the prime minister said that no country could progress if its people looked out for their own personal benefits, rather than for the good of the nation as a whole.

But while Thailand is a democratic society, social problems could never be solved if the ill-informed were debating with the ill-informed. "The weak spot in the Thai society lies within the system of news and information--in the system of news analysis", Mr. Thaksin said. "Where there is insufficient knowledge, there is little intelligence", he noted.

Pointing out that the Thai public had often argued with their emotions, and on the basis of politics and their own personal interests, he said that people should "take into account what is for the national interests and what are the things we need to preserve. "This would considerably improve our understanding of events", he said.

The Thai leader also noted that the nation is more important than the government, and that it is legitimate to disagree for the government when it is not acting for the good of the nation. The role of the government, he said, is to make sacrifices for the national good.

Promising to create new political rules and a political culture in which politicians no longer look out for their own interests, Mr. Thaksin, nonetheless, warned that this would take time due to the entrenched nature of the Thai political system.

"The public don't know who to elect; so they elect people who give them money", he noted. "We are currently in a period of transition", he said, calling on the public to take action.

"This will lead to us taking a new step, which will lower the cost of politics. Once there are better systems of investigation within the political system, it will become more difficult to cheat the nation, and the politics will start to become cleaner", he said.

The prime minister, who admitted to being exhausted by the task ahead of him, said that he, nonetheless, has no problems with his rivals as long as they are acting for the national good. (TNA)
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