Poll shows most Thais back draconian lese majeste law, agree with charges against Thanathorn
A recent poll shows that more than 97 per cent of Thais back the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry’s decision to hit Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit with lese majeste charges for linking Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccine plans to a royally owned pharmaceutical firm, said Asst Prof Noppadon Kannika, director of Super Poll Research Centre.
Thanathorn on January 18 went on Facebook Live to slam the government for its tardiness in providing Covid-19 vaccines and pointed out that the company – Siam Bioscience – tasked with manufacturing the vaccine locally is owned by the Crown Property Bureau.
“A Super Poll survey conducted from January 21 to 24 among 1,807 Thais nationwide revealed that 97.4 per cent of respondents agreed with DES’s move, and only 2.6 per cent disagree,” Noppadon said.
“Moreover, 93 per cent of respondents believe Article 112 helps maintain peace in the country, while only 7 per cent disagree.”
Besides, 98.4 per cent of the respondents said they support DES Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta’s move to crack down on persons who defame, insult or threaten the monarch via the net and social media, while 1.6 per cent refuse to support him, Noppadon said.
When asked what would happen if politicians, business people, media, foreigners or some Thais were allowed to criticise, insult or threaten the monarch, 75 per cent said this would deepen the divide in society, while 14.3 per cent saw moderate effects and 10.7 per cent said there would be low to zero effects.
The Criminal Code’s Article 112 states: “Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years.”