"The government and the National Council for Peace and Order treats as a top priority the fight against corruption. This problem must be tackled urgently and there must be concrete results," he said over the weekend.

"If we allow the problem to continue, there will be more damage to the country in many ways".

Prayuth, who is also the Army Chief, said that corruption would be among the first reform issues to be tackled, adding that the problem had been accumulating for a long time in Thailand and had severely damaged the country's economy and reputation.

"The worsening corruption problem has led to political unrest, a division between people in the country, social inequality, and a bad image of Thailand in the eyes of foreigners," he added.

Thai Chamber of Commerce President Issara Wongkusolkit said the agency was determined to build a corruption-free society and instill in Thai people the virtues of honesty and integrity.

Federation of Thai Industries president Supan Mongkolsuthee also attacked corruption saying it would not be wiped out if it were not attacked at its roots and without harsh punishments being imposed.

General Prayuth seized power in a military coup three months ago and became the country's Prime Minister, the first serving army officer to assume the top office in 22 years.

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