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A Call for the Adoption of His Majesty the Kings Sufficiency Economy

4 January 2015 (Readers 953)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on Thai people to adopt His Majesty the Kings Sufficiency Economy philosophy as a major guideline for leading their lives.

The call was made in his message on the occasion of New Year 2015, when he urged all sectors of Thai society to join forces in moving the country forward.

As for the Sufficiency Economy philosophy, the Prime Minister explained that the concept focuses on moderation, reasonableness, and self-immunity. The Government emphasizes the application of this philosophy, which has guided Thailands development efforts for decades.

The philosophy provides guidance on appropriate conduct covering numerous aspects of life. His Majesty had expressed this philosophy in a speech more than 25 years before the 1997 economic crisis as a guideline for the Thai people to help them lead their lives. After the economic crisis, His Majesty reiterated and expanded on Sufficiency Economy in his remarks on several occasions. A working group studied His Majestys statements on the subject and drew up a definition which His Majesty himself approved.

According to the definition, the Sufficiency Economy is an approach to life and conduct which is applicable at every level, from the individual through the family and community to the management and development of the nation. It promotes a middle path, especially in developing the economy to keep up with the world in the era of globalization.

Sufficiency has three components: moderation, wisdom or insight, and the need for built-in resilience against the risks which arise from internal or external change. In addition, the application of theories in planning and implementation requires great care and good judgment at every stage.

At the same time, all members of the nation especially officials, intellectuals, and business people need to develop their commitment to the importance of knowledge, integrity, and honesty, and to conduct their lives with perseverance, toleration, wisdom, and insight, so that the country has the strength and balance to respond to the rapid and widespread changes in economy, society, environment, and culture in the outside world.

Another working group then condensed the approach down to three components, which are defined as moderation, reasonableness, and the need to have a self-immunity system. Moderation is closely linked to the idea of sufficiency. It has two meanings: enough in the sense of not too little, and enough in the sense of not too much. It conveys the idea of a middle way between want and extravagance.

Reasonableness means both evaluating the reasons for any action, and understanding its full consequences. Self-immunity means having built-in resilience, and the ability to withstand shocks, to adjust to external change, and to cope with events that are unpredictable and uncontrollable. It implies a foundation of self-reliance, as well as self-discipline.

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