The Move Forward Party leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, has captured the imagination of Thai social media today after arriving on a motorcycle taxi to attend a meeting at the Federation of Thai Industries. While Pita didn’t make it clear his reason for choosing a ‘win’ bike, it’s no secret that Sathorn Road, where the FTI is located, is notorious for its bad traffic congestion.
This marked the second instance in which the hopeful incoming Thai PM had opted for a motorcycle to reach a meeting, following his party’s success in securing the most House seats in the recent general election.
The first occasion took place last week when Pita made his way to a hotel to conduct his inaugural post-election meeting, during which he unveiled plans for his government’s formation. At the time, he mentioned his desire to evade the hassles of traffic congestion.
His informal approach, despite his PM-elect status, has been a hit on Thai social media.
Prior to entering the FTI meeting, Pita addressed the reporters, expressing his intent to gain further insights into the six proposals put forth by the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking. Furthermore, he aimed to elucidate his party’s economic policies amidst a sluggish global economy. He hoped that his explanations would offer business leaders a clearer understanding of his party’s platforms.
The election manifesto of Pita’s party pledged an immediate increase of the minimum wage to 450 baht if they emerged victorious. Taking this commitment seriously, Pita informed the media that he would consult with representatives from the private sector and labor groups, specifically those from small and medium-sized enterprises, to gather information regarding the minimum wage.
Subsequently, he intended to discuss the matter with his party’s transition panel, as well as his coalition partners, in the coming week.
Pita stressed that the idea of raising the minimum wage had received the support of the Pheu Thai party, the second-largest party in the coalition. He pointed out that a similar increase had previously been implemented during the tenure of PM Yingluck Shinawatra, when the minimum wage was raised to 300 baht nationwide. Pita revealed that his transition panel was currently examining the impacts of that wage hike in 2013.
Meanwhile, Isares Rattanadilok na Phuket, Vice Chairman of the FTI, expressed his optimism regarding the meeting, anticipating that it would foster mutual understanding and instill confidence concerning daily wages, electricity and water costs, as well as the potential reforms of obstructive laws hindering economic growth.
He commended the newfound level of collaboration between the core party of the incoming government and the private sector.