Thai reporters come up with new yearend handles for govt, ministers
In keeping with traditions, reporters on the Government House have come up with nicknames for the government and its ministers. Here are some of the monikers handed out this year:
Government: "Yue Yut" (Holding on Prayut)
This government continues to give all authority to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha with no concern about citizens and the country’s development.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha: "Chamrut Yut Som" (Worn out Prayut)
Prayut has been single-handedly running the show all year, yet most people find his management style a complete failure, especially in terms of the Covid-19 crisis, economic stimulus measures and politics.
Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan: "Rong Chum" (Suffering Deputy Prime Minister)
As the eldest of the 3Ps – including Prayut and Anupong “Big Pok” Paochinda – Prawit has had a difficult year, especially in terms of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party’s internal conflicts.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul: "VAAAACCINE"
Anutin has had to defend himself against pressure and severe criticism related to the delay in the delivery of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines and general confusion over Thailand’s response to the pandemic. He has been the subject of unmerciful jokes on social media.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit: "Nayok Bang Poll" (Prime minister in some poll)
Some surveys show that Jurin is a preferred PM choice for many political party leaders.
Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow: "Maha Choei 4D" (Superslow 4D)
The minister’s policies to deal with economic issues, such as rising oil prices, have been seen as ineffective. His growth projects like the 4D scheme have been labelled as just “daydreams”.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin: "Suchart Chom Keng" (Great with compliments)
Suchart is always full of praise for Prayut and Prawit when asked about the government’s policies or even his own work. His loyalty to Prayut is so strong that he even accepted the kickboxing challenge posed by Thai Civilised Party leader Mongkolkit Suksintharanon on the premier’s behalf. Mongkolkit had challenged Prayut to fight him in the ring and dared that the loser steps down from his post.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob: "Sai Khom Nom Chompoo" (Bitter nature disguised as strawberry milk)
Saksayam has not been able to solve the long-standing bitter battle over the BTS Green Line. He was also linked to the Covid-19 cluster that sparked the third wave in April this year after a photograph of him at a bar in Bangkok’s high-end entertainment district Thong Lor began doing the rounds on social media. The minister defended himself by saying the photograph only reflects the life of a single man who sings karaoke and drinks “pink milk” for happiness after work.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn: "Deal Lom Radab Lok" (World-class deal crash)
Phiphat's dreams were dashed and the government’s credibility shattered when South Korea’s YG Entertainment rejected his offer to have BlackPink’s only Thai member Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban lead the New Year countdown in Phuket.
Quote of the year: "Naja"
Prayut often uses the endearment “naja” to soften his comments. However, this has sparked a wave of criticism online, with netizens accusing him of making light of the Covid-19 crisis. The hashtag #นะจ๊ะ (naja) was top-trending on Twitter on June 28.