From Royal Initiatives to Solutions of the Country’s Problems,King Bhumibol Adulyadej,Rama IX,Thailand

Since his accession to the throne, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has initiated
more than 3,000 royal development projects, all of which are derived from his determination
to save his people from deprivation and suffering. His projects have covered many
areas – agriculture, water source development and irrigation, medicine and public health,
education, experiments and research projects.

 

Agriculture:
His Majesty the King is aware that the majority of the Thais are in the agricultural sector.
His royal development projects, therefore, focus on seeking full cycle solutions to
agricultural problems in all parts of the country to yield the best and to increase
productivity. This means better living conditions for farmers, which will in turn contribute to
an improvement in the country’s economic condition. As he has stated on February
5th, 1981;

Though our country can earn its income from other sectors, it still pretty much relies
on agriculture. It is thus always vital to develop and promote all branches of
agriculture side by side with agriculturalists at all levels to ensure high quality
productivity, without too much wasting of natural resources. If there are enough
agricultural products to sustain our lives and for sales, agriculturalists will be able to
earn more income. They constitute the majority of the population and are the
major work force of the country. Their secure living conditions will result in the
nation’s stability and prosperity.(1)

1 Bhumibol Adulyadej, His Majesty King, unofficial translation. “Royal Address by His Majesty
the King Delivered
at the 4th Ceremony of Conferring Degrees to Maejo Institute of Agricultural Technology (MIAT),
Chiang Mai Province,
B.E. 2522 (1979), on Thursday, February 5th,1981 Available at
http://dnfe5.nfe.go.th/reign/king72/north/chiengmai/king/speech111.htm

Development of Water Sources:
Water is a major and necessary factor in farming.
Thai farmers today still face a shortage of water for farming due to unreliable or irregular
rainfall. Water shortages are common for those living in the remote areas. His Majesty thus
wants to help them through introducing development projects and providing water sources in
different forms. His aim is to ensure that farmers will have enough water for their farming
activities so that they can develop themselves and their families and thus can ease their
suffering. This is illustrated by his statement granted on March 17th, 1986;
Water is most vital for agriculture. If problems related to water resources for farming
can be solved, other issues can be improved in consequence.(2)

2 Bhumibol Adulyadej, His Majesty King, unofficial translation. Royal Address of His Majesty
the King given on March 17th, 1986, Available at
http://irrigation.rid.go.th/rid4/Homepage%20oe49/information/ne20.htm

The fact that many agricultural areas lack water for cultivation and consumption while
others suffer from severe floods that devastated their farmland caused His Majesty to request
the Royal Irrigation Department and other related government sectors to conduct a survey and
search for information to be used for establishing projects for the development of water
sources for agriculture and irrigation. These are projects for the development of water sources
for farming and consumption, those for the conservation of the watershed areas and those for
the alleviation of flood problems. An example of a project of the latter kind is the Kaem Ling
Project or the Monkey Cheek Project, which manages and controls the amount of water during
the flooding season and reserves water for agricultural use.

Education:
His Majesty considers that education is the key to the development of
knowledge, thought and ethics. Any country that can afford to give a good education to its
youth will be blessed with quality citizens, as His Majesty has stated in his speech,
Education is an important instrument for the development of knowledge, thought,
behaviour, attitudes, values and virtues of the citizens so that they can become
good quality and efficient citizens. Then, the development of the country can be
carried out with ease.

Medicine and Public Health:
From his visits to his people in all parts of the country, His
Majesty has found that a number of people are ill because of their lack of knowledge and
understanding about healthcare and consumption. Some cannot afford to pay for healthcare.
He takes this as something that is urgent to manage. As he has stated,
If people’s health deteriorates, it will be impossible to develop the country because
people are its significant resources.
In order to solve immediate problems, His Majesty had his private physicians and
those in his entourage examine specific patients he saw among the people who came to
greet him. Later, the number of patients increased, so he had to initiate more health projects;
for example, the project of the medical team supported by His Majesty the King, and the
project for the promotion of iodine consumption. He encouraged the study of how to add
iodine to salt without affecting the form, taste and smell of the salt.

Research, Tests and Experiments:
His Majesty the King understands that people from different parts of the country are different
in terms of geography, environment, customs and culture, resulting in the differences in their
ways of life and status. To ensure that his attempt toraise his people’s life quality is based
on reality, he has had the Royal Development Study
Centres established in all regions. They are to conduct research, tests and experiments to
establish development guidelines appropriate for different environments. The Centre also serves
as a place for the education for farmers; its activities are considered to be a model of
success that farmers will be able to adapt to their land to ensure success in their
agricultural activities.
It is also a complete service centre in that it offers all kinds of knowledge in farming – soil
improvement, cultivation of farm and orchard plants, husbandry, fisheries, forestry, irrigation
and supplementary occupations. These works are exhibited in the form of a living natural
museum.

Principles, Methods and Aims of His Majesty’s Work Principles
Besides relying on the Dhamma principles as strategies in administration and development,
His Majesty the King has developed his own work method to yield the highest benefit to his
people. Instead of using the profit-oriented theory commonly applied in the West, he has
initiated a two-dimensional guideline that encompasses both economic and social aspects in
order to yield sustainable well-being in the general public. He has initiated different methods
and strategies in tackling and solving problems. No matter how remote and rough the
geographical location may be, he will tirelessly reach there to obtain first hand experience.

His main objective is to help those who need help. His talents in different fields have been
turned into a variety of projects that have helped improve the quality of life of his people.
HisMajesty has the following work principles.

His Majesty’s Work Principles
– Having enough to live on and to live for, Cost Effectiveness not cost benefits(3), and “Our
Loss Is Our Gain”(4): This development principle is, in the first place, derived from His
Majesty’s intention of enabling his people to directly benefit from the project so that their
immediate problems can be alleviated. This will enable them to have enough to live on and to
live for, which, at the same time, will be used as the grounds for their being able to enjoy a
quality life in the future. The success of his work is based on how valuable it is rather than
how it can break even. This means that his problem solving methods should be efficient and
effective by relying on the smallest sum of investment, which can be illustrated by His
Majesty’s statement granted on December 4th, 1991;

3 Bhumibol Adulyadej, His Majesty King, revised and translated. “Royal Speech given to the
audience of Well wishers on the Occasion of the Royal Birthday Anniversary at the Dusidalai
Hall, Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace, on Wednesday, December 4th, 1991”, Royal Addresses and
Speeches, Bangkok: Office of His Majesty”s Principal Private
Secretary, 1991, p. 460.
4 Ibid.,

 

In English it is shorter. So we have to tell you what it was in English. In English, “Our
means “of us”.”Our loss…”, “loss” means “deficit” or “what we lose”. “Our loss
is…”, “is” means “constitutes”. “Our loss is our…”, “our” means “of us”. “Our loss is
our gain…”, “gainé means “profité or “what we receiveé”, “the part that is the
income”. This is what we told him: “Our Loss Is Our Gain”, meaning “Our deficit
constitutes our profit” or, “We incur a loss to reap a profit”(5).
– Do not be too dogmatic about theory( 6): The royal development projects comply with
natural and environmental conditions. They also take the socio-psychological aspects of the
community into consideration. This means that they do not adhere to bookish knowledge, nor
academic matters and technology that are inappropriate to the Thai way of life.

5 Ibid.,
6 Ibid., p. 459.
– One stop service: His Majesty emphasizes the significance of unity and cooperation
among different sectors to shorten their gap in work since they tend to be on their own and
some are very possessive with their work. This is changed into collaboration and unified group
work, which will yield the most benefit to the public. This can be illustrated by the operation
Each centre offers a one-stop service, the first of its kind in administration in the country.
– Starting from the micro level: His Majesty the King usually looks at problems from the
macro level but in problem solving, he will always start from the micro level by solving
immediate problems that most people take for granted, as can be seen in his speech,
If you have a headache, you won’t be able to think about anything… In that case,
you have to take care of the headache first… That is not the real solution to the
problem but you have to get rid of the headache first so that you will be in a
condition where you are able to think… In solving problems from the macrocosm,
one has to pull down everything. I don’t agree with this. An example can be seen
in a house in a dilapidated state… its many parts are in ruins and it is not worth
repairing… The whole house has to be demolished… but then where are we going
to live… our dwelling place is gone. Repair has to be made bit by bit; the whole
structure should not be pulled down.

Explosion from within:
His Majesty’s royal development projects focus on creating strength within the community. Once
the village community is strong, it can emerge into the outside world. He disagrees with
introducing progress or people from outside to a local community whose inhabitants are not
ready for change. He refers to this method as “explosion from within”.
– Simplicity: His Majesty’s versatility enables him to create, adjust and improve his royal
development projects, which are not complicated to operate and, most importantly, can exist
in harmony with the people’s living conditions and the environmental system as a whole. His
Majesty loves to simplify things: difficult matters will be explained through simple procedures
to make them understandable to all. He makes use of the Natural Rule as a means to problem
solving. Ironically, to simplify things turns out to be even more difficult; however, it is the
key to

His Majesty’s development guidelines, which adhere to the “simplicity principle”.
Using vice to defeat vice:
As well as the use of the principle of simplicity, His Majesty
employs natural principles to deal with problems or to improve unfavourable conditions; for
instance, the use of clean water to get rid of or to dilute polluted water according to the ebb
and flow of the natural tides. Water hyacinths that grow naturally in waterways are used to
absorb polluted substances in water, illustrating His Majesty’s notion of “using vice to
defeat vice”.
– Remaining neutral and impartial: This means that people should not be affected by
anger, obsession and prejudice. They should try to create understanding based on knowledge
and fairness physically, verbally and mentally. The philosophy concerning impartiality is a way
for people of reducing conflict, which is unavoidable when people work together. His Majesty
remains truly impartial and uses it as a weapon to deal with problems, even serious political
conflicts.
As he once stated:
We should learn to remain mentally firm, impartial, reasonable and sincere so that
we can be clear, accurate and careful in our judgment. This will enable us to give
an accurate judgment on problems.

– Knowledge in depth and in breadth:
This means that we should have our area of specialization but at the same time we should have
general knowledge pertaining to what is going on around us. The new type of people the world
today needs are generalists and specialists in one, not experts in only one field as before.
His Majesty is both a specialist and a generalist because he is able to link different
branches of knowledge and use them together to yield the utmost benefit to work. This can be
illustratedby his speech:
The most important thing is that all branches of knowledge are related and enhance
each other. Those who specialize in one field need to know other areas as well.
May I remind all of this fact so that you will look for the opportunity to broaden and
improve your knowledge, in breadth and in depth or through generalization and
specialization. You should try to reap the best profit from your knowledge and not
let it go to waste.
If you can fulfill all these requirements, you will undoubtedly be successful in your work and
then you can be considered as useful part of the nation.

– Shared work and shared benefit:
This refers to how we should treat our people with
sincerity, how we should assess ourselves with accuracy and how we should share work and
benefit. This is His Majesty’s work principle. In order to achieve the goal of his royal
development projects, he emphasizes the fact that the country’s development depends on the work
being shared by the government and private sectors as well as the general public. He does not
wish to work alone. His royal development projects are a collaboration of all parties
involved and conflicts are thus not common. He Majesty earnestly wishes that all
people involved can achieve their work goal through shared work and shared benefit, as can
be seen in his speech:
It has to be clearly understood that all kinds of work are related and contribute to
each other. You all should learn to collaborate through wisdom, friendliness, kindness
and compassion.

Work Methods
It can be concluded from the documents and
information available that His Majesty the King performs his work according to these
procedures:
– Studying problems and information thoroughly,
– Working and relying on academic principles,
– Experimenting, researching, disseminating, expanding
and developing the experiment and research results,
– Relying on the principle of nature and simple work
methods,
– Applying language competency to work,
– Using strategies in giving guidelines and initiatives,
– Encouraging public participation and self-reliance,
– Creating work motivation,
– Choosing appropriate means and methods,
– Disseminating knowledge, creating understanding and
giving examples,
– Operating work in full-cycle,
– Carrying out, supervising and assessing the work
continually by himself.

The work that His Majesty has done suggests his relentless efforts in using his unsurpassable
ability for the well-being of his people. It is thus fully realized by his subjects that he has
devoted and sacrificed himself for the public without expecting anything in return. His earnest
wish is to see his people live in peace, happiness and unity.

 

 

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2 Responses to “From Royal Initiatives to Solutions of the Country’s Problems,King Bhumibol Adulyadej,Rama IX,Thailand”

  1. […] Since his accession to the throne, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has initiated more than 3,000 royal development projects, all of which are derived from his determination to save his people…Continue reading […]

  2. […] Since his accession to the throne, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has initiated more than 3,000 royal development projects, all of which are derived from his determination to save his people…Continue reading […]

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