Sometimes, a commentary doesn’t need much commentating. Just lay out the facts and let the facts speak for themselves.
Senator Seri Suwanpanont
In June 6, 2019’s parliament session, Senator Seri earned his military junta appointment to the senate and maximum monthly compensation package of 242,560 baht, by saying these these words:
“I believe in democratic dictatorship. I don’t believe in fake democracy.”
This past week, #MobFromHome has been trending on Twitter, as students around Thailand protest against the government via social media.
Senator Seri proved once again that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has chosen the right person for the right job, with this response to the students:
“Students should use reasons and judgements that are beneficial to the people as a whole. Don’t be a political tool for some people. Don’t create a circumstance that only benefits yourselves and the people who are behind this. Thailand wants a new kind of politics, the kind that comes from the students of today. But if students refuse to change and create this new kind of politics, the future will be like the old days. People only look out for their own benefits and those of their own groups. No rule of law. Elections again and again. All the time, the losers try to chase out the winners. Causing divisions among the people. There is no peace in the land. Causing hardships to all the people everywhere. Students should create something new in the near future. This is what I hope for.”
That’s the most literal translation of his words in Thai. If it sounds confusing, perhaps it’s because the logic behind those words do not exist.
Senator Wanchai Sornsiri
The former lawyer first gained fame from this video clip, in which he said:
“I wrote in the constitution…that 250 senators have the rights to vote for the prime minister.”
He then asked for the room to give him a round of applause. After which, he said:
“Kor Sor Chor [the junta government] now have 250 people in the pocket to vote for him to become prime minister.”
#MobFromHome also calls for the removal of senators, who many believe do not deserve their salaries, especially because they are not elected, but appointed by the previous military junta.
Students also call for the reopening of parliament, so that the opposition can provide check & balance to government measures.
This was Senator Wanchai’s response on April 26:
“I can confirm that senators conduct ourselves within the law. Specific to the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone of us do things that aren’t even specified in the constitution. We help with goods and with money. We help medical professionals. Our help is no less than anyone else’s.”
“Before COVID-19, senators supported the opening of parliament. But with COVID-19, several people changed their minds. We believe the government is on the right path and is doing everything possible. The opposition is also important, but it’s not necessary to use the old method. Now, everyone is changing their methods. If the opposition doesn’t change, society will chastise and condemn them.”