Thursday, September 24, 2020

PM's brother and tourism committee come under fire

Apr 19. 2020
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By The Nation

Thai netizens are roasting General Preecha Chan-o-cha, the younger brother of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, after it became known through the Royal Gazette that he had been appointed a member of the Senate committee on tourism on Thursday.

Other members on the list are mostly military officers, with only five of 19 being civilians. The opposition party and several netizens have questioned the credentials of the military men to contribute to tourism, especially as the committee was expected to help the tourism industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee has the authority to evaluate bills, conduct activities, examine the facts or study any matters relating to tourism promotion and development.

On the Thai Tourism Facebook Page, netizens posted sarcastic remarks, expressing their concerns over the appointment. Some of the remarks were:

“Are they going to war or something?”

“How do military offers have any knowledge of tourism?”

“Preecha is the right choice. He was on vacation for 364 days instead of attending office. Who would know better about tourism?”

The spokesman of the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, Anusorn Iamsa-ard, criticised the selection and said that if this Senate panel had been selected by other governments, it would have been called out for nepotism.

While serving as a member of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA), Preecha had not attended sessions for 364 days out of 400, he said.

In defense of the panel, the committee's deputy secretary General Boontham Oris, said that all members were experienced and qualified.

There was strict scrutiny before it was proposed to the government and every procedure was in line with Article 270 of the Constitution to reform the country but due to the pandemic, the working system had to be reshaped too.

Preecha said that he was not appointed because of his brother, and he had on his own made the decision to join the committee.

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