BANGKOK – The father of Singha beer heiress and core anti-government protest leader Chitpas Bhirombhakdi on Monday announced his daughter will change her surname, to allow her to continue political activities without further hurting the family business.
In an open letter sent to the media on Monday evening, Jutinan Bhirombhakdi, executive vice-president of Singha Corporation, said he had talked to Ms Chitpas several times about her expression of opinions on political matters, but they had different opinions on several issues.
Ms Chitpas, who was formerly deputy spokeswoman for the Democrat Party, insisted on continuing with her political career, he said.
He said said, “My wife and I and Ms Chitpas have discussed this for a while and agree that [she should] change her surname.”
Mr Jutinan did not say what surname his daughter would adopt, but Ms Chipas can use the maiden family name of her mother, ML Piyapas Pirompakdee, née Kridakorn, if she takes the step advocated in the letter.
In the letter, Mr Jutinan also apologised for his daughter’s views expressed in an interview with foreign reporters, whch he said had caused resentment by many people.
Mr Jutinan last week warned his greater family of the possible affects on the family’s Boon Rawd brewery interests if Ms Chitpas continued her political acivities.
The British-educated 27-year-old was quoted in a report by AFP last week as saying: “… many Thais lack a true understanding of democracy… especially in the rural areas”.
The announcement came after Singha family patriarch and managing director of Boon Rawd Brewery Santi Bhirombhakdi last week sent a letter to Mr Jutinan, which was somehow leaked to the public, warning the company and family had now been dragged into involvement with politics by Ms Chitpas’s political activities and asking him to review his earlier warnings and advice on the issue.
Mr Santi is Mr Jutinan’s cousin.
Last week, four petrol bombs were hurled into the grounds of Ms Chitpas’s family home on Soi Ramkhamhaeng 12 in Bang Kapi district. Not one was injured and police say the attack was likely politically motivated. – Bangkok Post