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Well known and respected by all

Article - December 5, 2012
A true pioneer and visionnaire for the social development of the Thai kingdom, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s work and dedication have set an example for leaders around the world

“I welcome you as the sovereign of a friendly and allied country with which Great Britain has enjoyed close ties for many generations. The first formal treaty between our two countries was signed over 130 years ago. But the origins of the friendly relationship between us must be sought in earlier times. For it was in the 17th century that British merchants first arrived in Thailand to open up the beginnings of trade between the two countries.
“From small beginnings that trade has grown. But our links today are not confined to trade... One of the happiest aspects of the long-standing friendship between Thailand and Great Britain is to be found in the number of Your Majesty’s subjects who have come here to study and whom we warmly welcome as guests to our country. It is appropriate to remember too that His Highness, the Prince of Chanthaburi, the late father of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, was no more than 10 years ago a distinguished ambassador at my father’s Court.”
(Speech by Queen Elizabeth II at the state banquet given in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit at Buckingham Palace, July 19 1960.)


“His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy – emphasising moderation, responsible consumption, and resilience to external shocks – is of great relevance to communities everywhere during these times of rapid globalisation. The philosophy’s ‘middle path’ approach strongly reinforces the United Nations’ own advocacy of a people-centred and sustainable path towards human development. His Majesty’s development agenda and visionary thinking are an inspiration to his subjects, and to people everywhere.”
“The Sufficiency Economy is an approach to life and conduct which is applicable to every level from the individual through the family and community to the management and development of the nation. Sufficiency has the dual meaning of ‘not too little’ and ‘not too much’. The principle of moderation or middle way is a guide for finding the right balance between internal resources and external pressures, between the needs of society at the grassroots, and the imperatives of the global economy.”
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.


“It is quite amazing looking back 30 or 40 years, when everyone was so happy that Thailand was making rapid growth and they were talking about the Asian tigers, and to see what the King said at that time was ‘being a tiger is not very important. It is much better to have balanced growth, and that most people have enough to live and to eat.’ This became known as Sufficiency Economy. But initially most people did not understand what he was getting at. So after this statement, almost 20 years passed by until the 1997 crisis. At that time, the King said, ‘I have talked about this before, that being a tiger is not very important.’ This is what happened in that financial crisis, out of taking too much risk, being interested only in high growth without the foundation of the economy so everyone said: ‘OK, now we can really take heed of his advice.’ Without the 1997 crisis, no one would have paid all that much attention to the Sufficiency Economy. After that people decided to heed His Majesty’s advice.” Dr Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, Crown Property Bureau.


“I think the Queen came here twice on state visits. Whenever the Duke of York comes here, he is treated like family. They are entertained by the King and the Queen. They get on very well. He represented the Queen when we had a 60th anniversary here. The two institutions are very close. We welcome 800,000 tourists visiting from the UK each year.”
“There is a close relationship between our monarchies. Both of them are the longest surviving monarchies in the world. They have probably seen the greatest success in those terms. They also face common challenges to make themselves relevant to the present day’s needs. I think that sense of individuality is what makes the two institutions rather close. We are doing the same kinds of things and experiencing the same challenges. At times, we go through common crises of confidence, but we remain above it all and become success stories. This year is the Diamond Jubilee, and for us it is 65 years of reign more or less, and I think we both have bright futures under the same system, constitution and monarchy.” Khun Arsa Sarasin, Principal Private Secretary to King Bhumibol.


“The Thai monarchy is a deeply-rooted institution in Thailand, which has managed to adapt relatively well throughout the years. Even to this day, the deep respect that the Thai people have for the King and the Queen is far higher than what you might find in other countries. It is very unique and personal. It might be difficult for non-Thais to understand the depth of our feelings for the institution, which has been an integral part of our history for almost 800 years... The King unites the country and provides it with stability. His many development projects have contributed to Thailand’s economic and social advancement. Apart from that, the King provides continuity. Thailand is a country that has experienced frequent changes of government so the continuity in His reign is a stabilising force in our society... The King has himself told his subjects that he is not above criticism.He believes in consulting with the people.Before implementing his development projects, he would always conduct field visits and talk to his subjects about their needs and views.” Anand Panyarachun, Chairman of the Board, SCB.


“You have got to give credit to the King’s mother, who was both parents to him. She used her practical wisdom and was very protective of her son. The government wanted his brother to become king, but she insisted that if one of her sons had to be king, then they had to live like ordinary persons in Switzerland and prepare to become king, before going back home. She taught her three children invaluable lessons of humanity, simplicity and the importance of listening and understanding. She gave them pocket money, which they had to save if they wanted to buy anything. The Mae Fah Luang Foundation is the her foundation. She started it. She was a hands-on person, who went out and met people in the hills [to see] how we could help.” M.R. Disnadda Diskul, Mae Fah Luang Foundation.


“Thailand’s history takes root from the gathering of the population in various nearby localities that share the common spirit in the pursuit of being free into a state that shares common culture.”
“Our kings are not supernatural, but process ability and prowess to forge an alliance among people that share the same spirit, customs and culture as one society under uniform rules and laws that uphold the people’s pursuit of being free... Many Thais are involved in agricultural activities for their livelihood. This is fortunate, since we can then produce the necessary food to live. We do not need to possess vast mineral or petroleum resources, but need to balance and optimise on the resources that we are endowed with. Being Thai implies that we can make the best out of what we have, that is being ‘sufficient’.” Privy Councillor Air Chief Marshal Kamthon Sindhvananda.


“I met the King on my first day of work. It’s a day I remember very well. He called me to the palace, and he looked at me and said, ‘Thank you for volunteering to help me but I would like to tell you on the first day that I have nothing to give you except I would like to give you the happiness from helping other people’. That was his first sentence and it has stuck in my heart and my soul. The happiness that comes from helping others.”
“His Majesty told me one day that he had been taxed since he was a small boy by his mother. She gave him pocket money and asked for 10 per cent to give back to the world. Nowadays, [through the foundation], he does not give money, populism is not his policy, but he gives knowledge, how to fish and so on instead of giving money to people.” Dr Sumet Tantivejkul, Chaipattana Foundation.


Arthit Klahan Wattana Metharom
16/09/2013  |  21:15
100% of 1

Long live the King! The happiness that comes from helping others