On 21 July, Minister of Digital Economy and Society Chaiyawut Thanakamanusorn said:
“Celebs, stars, and influencers are public figures who the people love and trust. So please, do not use your position to attack the government as this constitutes distorting information and making fake news on social media.”
Dear minister, distortion and fake are this:
“Formally ask” for 10 million doses monthly in April.
“Telling” the public that Thailand “will have” 10 million doses monthly.
The difference between “asking for” and “will have” is oceans apart. Especially since AstraZeneca itself never said “yes,” but instead said it could only deliver five to six million doses. More especially since the agreed-upon number back in September 2020 was around three million doses, according to the drugmaker.
So, have a talk with the prime minister and the health minister, not celebs and the people.
On the other hand, the people who “attack the government” are your “real boss.” The real bosses exercise free speech through criticisms, which is a democratic tool of checks & balances to demand good governance of transparency and accountability.
But the minister doesn’t realize this because his mentality is to serve the “fake boss,” General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, blindly.
Sonthiya Sawadee is an advisor to the parliament committee on law, justice, and human rights. He filed police complaints against 20 celebrities who have been critical of the government.
He, too, tramples on human rights because he blindly serves the “fake boss.”
Danupha “Milli” Kanateerakul is an 18-year-old rapper who criticizes the government. Upon hearing news about the police summoning her, she posted a photo of herself with the caption: “เอารูปนี้ค่ะ สวย” (“use this photo, pretty”).
Twitter exploded with #savemilli.
If only Minister Chaiyawut realizes that Milli is his boss, not the general. If only Sonthiya realizes the people are the boss, not the general. They, too, would #savemilli and #prayutgetout.
But alas, Thailand’s tragedy: to blindly serve the wrong boss.