ACM Prajin won’t quit as THAI board chairman

Friday, 27 June 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 26 By  MCOT

Thailand’s Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, also deputy leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), on Friday said that he would not resign as Thai Airways International (THAI) board chairman as he had said earlier.

He said he wanted to improve the business performance of the national flag carrier.

ACM Prajin is economic team leader for NCPO. He was appointed THAI board chairman in March this year.

NCPO decided recently to waive the benefits, including 10 free domestic and 10 free international flights annually for each board member, in an attempt to improve the airline’s business performance which has suffered from heavy losses for several years. The free flights perk for board members is now no longer valid.

THAI suffered a net loss of some Bt13 billion in 2013. Of the total losses, Bt3 billion was due to management problems while Bt5-6 billion resulted from foreign exchange losses.

As board members at a number of state enterprises are resigning from their posts, aimed at paving the way for NCPO to restructure offices including business performances, five of 16 THAI board members also tendered their resignations, effective immediately.

ACM Prajin told journalists after Friday’s board meeting that the rest of board members agreed that he is empowered to improve THAI business, therefore, he would continue to serve as the airline board chairman.

In another development, MCOT Public Co., Ltd. workers’ union submitted a letter to Panadda Diskul, deputy permanent secretary for Interior, voicing support for NCPO and to him personally as he oversees MCOT.

The workers union for MCOT, operator of Modernine TV and a number of radio and television stations in Thailand, urged Panadda, now also acting permanent secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister, to appoint a new set of board members who are efficient and knowledgeable, replacing current board members. Some members have already resigned.

The MCOT workers’ union also plan to submit a letter to NCPO leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, army chief, requesting him to take action and to make MCOT the model in suppressing the malpractice prevailing at state enterprises.

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