BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (pic) insulted Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha during a Tuesday (Feb 21) evening broadcast on Facebook – saying he was a farm animal that is not so smart rather than a human being.
Thaksin used the derisive term while dismissing Prayut’s allegation linking an alleged Chinese triad boss to his sister Yingluck’s government and a real-estate developer close to it.
Thaksin did not name Prayut, but referred to him as an “old man” while rebutting the allegation he made during a general debate last week.
Thaksin was speaking on a live broadcast on his Care ClubHouse channel. A transcript of the speech – episode seven of Care Talk – was published on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
The transcript used the Thai term with some letters missing but it was easy for Thais to guess which kind of farm animal Thaksin was talking about.
Thaksin was referring to an allegation Prayut made after his government was accused of turning a blind eye to the activities of Chinese triads in Thailand.
Prayut attempted to turn the tables by blaming the government of Yingluck Shinawatra.
Prayut said that alleged triad boss Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant bought property in Thailand through a company linked to Yingluck’s government, apparently to obtain Thai citizenship – before he ousted her in a coup in 2014.
Thaksin – who was also ousted in a coup in 2006 – responded this: “Anyone who says a real-estate firm sold houses with an option for buyers to get Thai citizenship is definitely a…”
“A house doesn’t sell at a very high [price] and the profit is low. So, who will give citizenship as a promotional gift? A developer dares not even give away a motorcycle. It’s not worth doing so, let alone Thai citizenship,” he said, adding:
“Let me ask, what company has authority to give away citizenship? The authority and responsibility to check the citizenship of house buyers belongs to banks and state agencies, so who could give it as a gift for house buyers?”
Thailand has been rocked over the past few months by allegations that Chinese triads have been active in the country with the assistance of high-ranking officials.
Opposition MPs, especially Move Forward Party lawmakers, alleged that the Prayut government had turned a blind eye to Chinese triads operating in the country during last week’s general debate.
They noted that alleged triad leader Tuhao obtained Thai citizenship after marrying Pol Col Wanthanaree Kornchayanant and later changed his name to Chaiyanant Kornchayanant.
Prayut responded: “Under this government, there has been no practice like selling houses with free gifts of citizenship.”
Prayut said Tuhao’s request for Thai citizenship was approved before the 2014 coup.
Tuhao entered Thailand 2011 and bought houses from a real-estate developer, he said.
Thaksin said this made no sense, explaining:
“A foreigner must receive Thai citizenship before buying houses. Selling houses with a gift of citizenship is illogical … I felt sympathetic for the person who said this … The one who said this is not a human being, but a buffalo.”
Thaksin also expressed confidence that his youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, will lead the Pheu Thai to a landslide victory. Paetongtarn is tipped to be Pheu Thai’s candidate for prime minister.
Pheu Thai and Move Forward will win more than 320 House seats between them and it will not be hard for them to seek other coalition partners, Thaksin said during the broadcast.
With overwhelming support in the 500-seat House of Representatives, Pheu Thai will not need votes from senators to select a premier, Thaksin said.
The Constitution allows senators to join MPs to elect the prime minister for eight years since it was enacted. Thailand’s latest Constitution – its 20th – was drafted after the 2014 coup.
The next election is scheduled for May 7, and senators will retain the right to vote for Thailand’s next prime minister.