BANGKOK — PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is set to send a letter asking what he described as “Thailand’s richest 20 people” for proposals and plans to assist those in need during the coronavirus pandemic, Khaosod English has learned.
The details were laid out in a draft of the letter, which was obtained by Matichon Group on Monday. Contrary to earlier speculation, Prayut’s request did not involve asking for money from the billionaires, most of them families who controlled Thailand’s most prominent conglomerates.
The letter began with Prayut telling the recipients that Thailand is facing an unprecedented crisis, and the country now needs “utmost cooperation from all sectors”, especially groups of people and organizations that have both knowledge and skills.
It also thanked the recipients for their contribution to the society to mitigate the impact of the crisis. “But I want all of you to do more,” the letter said.
Prayuth then goes on to ask each of the recipients to propose “additional [ideas] that you are ready to carry out in order to help fellow Thais … in a quick and effective manner.”
The document also said that Prayut is expecting the proposals to be submitted to him in writing by next week.
“I will not accept any cash donations,” the letter added.
The list of Thailand’s 50 richest individuals and families compiled by Forbes magazine puts 27 in the billion dollar bracket. Topping the list is the Chearavanont family, which owns the CP Group, one of the world’s biggest conglomerates.
Thailand’s royal family controls the country’s biggest fortune, but Prayuth was clearly calling on the business community.