FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

PM shrugs off Somchai job protest

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has shrugged off the resignation by permanent secretary for finance Somchai Sujjapongse, who was reportedly upset by his Tuesday (Apr 10) transfer order, saying civil servants “cannot express dissatisfaction” with superiors’ orders.

politics
Agency: Bangkok Post

Thursday 12 April 2018, 08:50AM


Somchai Sujjapongse, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, resigned when he was ordered to take up another post. Photo: via mof.go.th

Somchai Sujjapongse, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, resigned when he was ordered to take up another post. Photo: via mof.go.th

Mr Somchai was ordered by the cabinet to serve as secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), a role perceived to command less respect as it focuses on policy-making.

He was to replace Porametee Vimolsiri, who was made the new permanent secretary at the Social Development Ministry.

Former permanent secretary Puttipat Lertchaowasit was temporarily dismissed from the civil service pending a probe as he faces an investigation into the widespread embezzlement of financial aid for the destitute.

Asked whether he would stop Mr Somchai from stepping down, the premier responded: “What would I stop? Why?”

Responding to reports Mr Somchai was unhappy with his transfer to the NESDB, Gen Prayut said: “Who was he unhappy with? Can civil servants express discontent? If that is the case, they cannot be civil servants.”

He insisted there is no rift within the government, adding: “If anyone wants to leave, just do it.”

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said Mr Somchai signed his resignation letter on April 5, five days before the cabinet approved his transfer. Mr Apisak said he just received the letter yesterday (Apr 11).

Mr Somchai also resigned as chairman of the board of directors at Krung Thai Bank Plc, according to the minister.

“I can confirm this transfer is not a political issue,” Mr Apisak said. “It is the matter of the country where a suitable person was sought to serve as the NESDB secretary-general, to follow through on the 20-year national strategy.”

The minister said he notified Mr Somchai about his transfer when the permanent secretary attended the Asean Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore earlier this month. The intention, Mr Apisak said, was to bring in Mr Somchai to help put the national strategy into practice as he was seen capable of doing the task.

Mr Somchai, however, refused to take up the new position, saying he wanted to stay where he was, according to the minister.

He said the government wanted to move Mr Somchai to the NESDB to help move the country forward.

“But he may have felt belittled as he might have thought the new position was too small for him,” said Mr Apisak.

He insisted Mr Somchai never had any conflicts at work with him or Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, in charge of economic affairs. Some of the work may have made slow progress but this is not unusual in the civil service.

According to the minister, Mr Somchai asked for his resignation to be effective on May 1. Before the date, he requested to take leave until the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Social Development Minister Anantaporn Kanjanarat said Mr Somchai’s resignation would not affect the cabinet resolution that transferred Mr Porametee to serve as permanent secretary at the ministry, he said, noting he believes the cabinet would not retract the order.

The minister said he is close to Mr Porametee. The new permanent secretary is likely to streamline the Social Development Ministry more quickly, he noted. He admitted the transfer of an outsider to serve as the ministry’s permanent secretary would affect morale among ministry officials, but there was a need to pursue the matter to regain the public's confidence after embezzlement scandal.

Former energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan, of the Pheu Thai Party, lashed out at the government’s move to transfer Mr Somchai and Mr Porametee, who he said have strong economic knowledge at a level hard to find among officials. The move showed the government does not pay attention to officials’ capabilities, but rather focuses on individuals who are their allies, he said. The move would also demoralise officials in the ministries concerned, Mr Pichai added.

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket tour boat disaster: Wave of cancellations spurs damage-control offensive

Mandatory pics to ID your corpse is really not thought out well, IMO....(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

Sorry, too little too late. Everyone can see this is just “show” again for a few minutes then ba...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The deadly face of shame

Scathingly accurate -well done....(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

Take a trip to Rawai and look, no safety filling of gasoline on the beatch and Chines sitting like c...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The deadly face of shame

6 star (⭐️) Article very very good PN....(Read More)


Navy tasked with ensuring marine tour boat safety in Phuket

Maritime rules and safety are not followed or enforced because tea money is paid. Nothing will impr...(Read More)


Chinese tour cancellations for Phuket ’worse than estimated’

If this publication was distriburted to prospective Chinese tourists, the cancellations would be 100...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The deadly face of shame

Bingo! Well done PN...Thai officials need the blankets pulled right off of them so the world can see...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The deadly face of shame

Yes,yes!Shame on Thailand! Agree 100% with this opinion. And good that there is a news magazine that...(Read More)