BANGKOK – Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha today offered an apology for his remark about foreign tourists wearing bikinis during his recent briefing of government policies to senior government officials.
He said that he felt uncomfortable that his remark caused a misunderstanding, adding that he didn’t mean to offend anybody and had no intention whatsoever to insult anybody.
The prime minister made the remark apparently referring to the murder of two British tourists, one them a female, on Koh Tao in Surat Thani on Sunday.
Like any country in this world, he said that Thailand has bad people and, therefore, foreign tourists should be aware that there are some places which are unsafe and should be avoided. Nevertheless, he assured that, in general, Thailand is a safe place.
The prime minister disclosed that he had instructed the interior ministry to work out additional measures to provide better protection for foreign tourists and to encourage public participation in the effort to improve safety.
As for foreign migrant workers, he emphasized that all of them must be registered so that they can be monitored.
Gen. Prayuth’s apology came after the Embassy of the United Kingdom expressed concern over the general’s remark. In a statement released today, the UK Embassy said it was seeking clarification from the Thai government about the matter.
On 15 September, the general suggested that rubber farmers who want a higher price for their products should go sell rubber “on Mars.”