Recently, the soon-to-be Prime Minister Srettha made his way to the bustling Muang Thai Phatra Market. He engaged in candid conversation with the street food vendors, eager to understand their business costs from the crux. Fresh food ingredient prices, cooking oil cost, cooking gas pricing, and much more were on his list of inquiries. The vendors were informed that their concerns about escalating prices and inflation wouldn’t go unnoticed once he comes into power officially.
The newly formed Cabinet will step into their roles after the formal swearing-in before His Majesty the King, followed by an announcement of the government’s policy statement before Parliament. While interacting with the locals at the market, Srettha explored the urgent issues they wished to be addressed by his governance. The majority voiced their concerns for the increasing cost of living, especially public-utility costs.
Addressing the press, Srettha liked to mention his visit to the market was an initiative to gather firsthand information about costs of living and running businesses straight from the horse’s mouth– the vendors. He revealed that the first meeting with his Cabinet would revolve around discussing electricity prices, even though he wasn’t sure about the extent of the possible price reduction at that moment. A reduction in electricity cost can be expected within four months of his governance.
Srettha, who secured a vote of confidence from Parliament and endorsement by royal command recently, wisely chose the subway for commuting from Phetchaburi MRT station located around the Pheu Thai Party headquarters to Sutthisan station, a mere four stops away. The commute was barely a stone’s throw from the market covered by a roof, a mere two-minute walk from the Sutthisan station.
Dressed casually in a brown jacket paired with a white shirt, Srettha was accompanied by a few senior party figures who are set to join his Cabinet, including Julapun Amornvivat and Puangpet Chunlaaid. While commuting to the market, Srettha and his group maintained decorum by joining the queue with other passengers. His presence was greeted with admiration as many requested to have their pictures taken with him.
On reaching the market, a warm welcome awaited Srettha with people carrying posters hailing him as the “prime minister of the Thais”. They were seen chanting with spirit, “PM Srettha will make Thais wealthy”. Nualphan “Madam Pang” Lamsam, the CEO of Muang Thai Insurance Plc, also greeted him. Upon their interaction, Srettha playfully referred to her as “madam president,” given her recent announcement of her candidacy President of the Football Association of Thailand.
Sharing his longstanding acquaintance with Nualphan, Srettha admired her dedication to work. While wishing her luck for her FAT presidency campaign, he made it clear that maintaining neutrality is his foremost duty as an active politician. A minor incident took place where a woman hollered at Srettha, alleging that the Prime Minister’s post rightfully belongs to Pita Limjaroenrat, the Move Forward Party leader. However, the woman’s rant seemed to fall on deaf ears as Srettha’s security details overlooked her and she eventually left the scene.