Things could get rocky soon, Thienchay warns as NRC members air their views

Things could get rocky soon, Thienchay warns as NRC members air their views
Nitipol Kiravanich
The NationBANGKOK: -- National Reform Council president Thienchay Kiranandana says he has never had a clearer vision for the country, but in the near future the council will face stormy weather.
He was speaking yesterday at the "Vision Workshop" seminar where all 250 NRC members were given the opportunity to predict their vision for the country.
"I am very excited at the moment, because I have been in the educational field for 40 years and there has never been a clearer vision for the country than at this time," Thienchay said.
However, the NRC president warned that although the council had been working in a stable environment, from now on it would have to work harder and prepare to face much criticism and problems in the near future.
"The ship is now sailing towards the ocean. After this the waves will be stronger than before," he said.
He told NRC members they had a limited time to reform the country and they also had to scrutinise constitution drafts ahead of the reform process ending on December 31.
He said a "reform tree" and a "reconciliation tree" were different. A tree grows, meaning the NRC's job is to lay down a structure that could boost the country over the next 20 years.
Its members could not be burdened by previous conflicts.
NRC member Silaporn Buasai, an analyst for yesterday's seminar, explained her views on reducing inequality in society and urged the council to tackle cultural issues as well.
"We should focus on making sure citizens who have different ideologies stay together in the country peacefully," Silaporn urged.
Seeking tangible benefits
She said this reformation should focus on a new political alignment by developing civil rights, elevating people's quality of life and maintaining social stability, because past disputes emerged as a result of political issues and disputes.
She wants the 18 areas of reform the NRC is working on to produce tangible benefits for the public and to motivate NRC members to see that development plans are reduced to a five to 10-year duration instead of 20 years.
Silaporn said national resources could benefit the country and Thailand should consider developing its border regions by expanding investment.
NRC member Suvit Maesincee said Thailand had vast issues that were affecting the country's development including business, political, social, cultural and environmental aspects.
"These issues have stalled the government's development plans until we lag behind neighbouring countries. Therefore Thailand has never defined the country's vision clearly," Suvit said.
He compared Thailand to Singapore, Malaysia and other countries that have experienced rapid development by specifying their vision for the country.
NRC member Orapin Sopchokchai suggested Thailand's advantage in the national reform process was its social capital, saying the country has a strong family culture, which other countries envied.
"Though other developed and developing countries such as America and Korea are well managed in many aspects and considered highly successful in their financial standards, they also do not have social capital as we have," Orapin said.
NRC member Sayan Charupakwong said Thais admired Japan and Korea, but their suicide rates were high due to their culture of intense competition.
NRC member Wanchai Sornsiri said the council had to work very hard, but had still been criticised by the public.
He voiced concern that whatever the NRC does the public may not see the importance of what its deeds and the tangible plans being put together for them.
-- The Nation 2015-01-20