PM: No cabinet reshuffle now

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BANGKOK, Nov 6 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday ruled out a cabinet reshuffle during this period following criticism of mishandling the country’s worst flooding crisis in decades.

The premier stated the government needs to focus on urgently solving flood problem first but will keep evaluating the performance of ministers before considering what to do next.

Ms Yingluck added that a cabinet reshuffle has not yet been discussed but she will collect more information on that.

Regarding the possible relocation of the Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) headquarters from Energy Complex to Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) on Bangna-Trad Road, Ms Yingluck reaffirmed the government has no plan to move the centre although the compound is now being surrounding by floodwater.

FROC, the government’s flood response center, was earlier forced to move from Don Mueang Airport to the Energy Ministry, located inside the Energy Complex behind PTT headquarters at Ha Yak Lat Phrao intersection, which is now already submerged.

Meanwhile, a survey released by Suan Dusit Poll reported on Sunday that 41.53 per cent think that the government cannot solve flood problems due to lack of good preparations and limited flood relief operations which do not cover all victims.

The survey was conducted with 1,454 flood-hit Bangkokians and residents in adjacent provinces, both staying at home and in temporary shelters, between November 1-5.

Some 39.18% of evacuees said they left homes to stay at temporary shelters as their houses are under water and they have no other place to stay, while 30.42% moved because infrastructure has been cut off.

Of those who remained at flooded home, 51.16% said they did not move as they could still stay on the second floor and were afraid of looting.

Another poll agency, ABAC Poll, conducted during the same period among 1,478 poll respondents in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, said the army topped the poll on public satisfaction over the performance of all flood relief agencies, followed by volunteers and media workers.

The poll showed army operations received a score of 9.56 out of 10, while the volunteers 9.10, followed by media at 9.08.

Meanwhile, the government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration garnered similar scores at 8.34 and 8.3 respectively.

A majority 93.8% of respondents urged all parties to stop slandering each other, while 60% wanted concerned agencies to tell the truth to the public about the flood situation, 55.9% wanted to see improvements to the warning system and 54.9% said better means of communications for the public was needed.