Thursday, June 10, 2010

Here come Anand and Prawase, the 'Reform Thailand Commission' co-chairmen

A high-level, powerful "Reform Thailand Commission" is to be formed today, co-chaired by former PM Anand Panyarachun and senior citizen Dr Prawase Wasi.

It won't be a direct appointment by PM Abhisit Vejjajiva -- lest it be seen as a government-controlled panel.Not that Abhisit can order Anand and Prawase around. But the committee will have to get things done in such a way that the action plans will have to go beyond the term of this government. It will be part of the bigger national reconciliation process and the co-chairmen will have to make sure that they reach out to all sectors of Thai society to ensure credibility and effectiveness of the commission.

PM Abhisit himself will be releasing a "Letter from the Prime Minister" this evening to all the 63 million Thais. My guess is that he will try to sound all-embracing and all-inclusive, reaching out to the red shirts, yellow shirts and all shades of the political spectrum. He will, I believe, emphasize the importance of taking seriously into consideration the calls for bridging the rich-poor gap and getting rid of the image of "double standard."

Of course, the opposition Pheau Thai Party will try to cold-shoulder the government's grand plan. But in the end, the real proof would be in whether the PM can convince the rest of the country that he is serious, sincere and determined to pull it off.

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