BANGKOK – A picture of a member of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) dozing off during the session discussing the national budget on Thursday and published in National Newspapers has touched off an uproar.
Even Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha also had something to say about it.
While dismissing the incident as “nonsense”, the prime minister, nevertheless, said he had asked NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai to look into.
“This is something not permissible in the future. Anyone who wants to take a nap should do it at home,” a visibly-annoyed Prayut said in response to questions concerning the incident from reporters.
However, the messenger apparently didn’t escape Prayut’s outrage either. “Enough of it. Your question is nonsense. It has been nothing but nonsense,” the prime minister quipped when a reporter raised the question.
Gen Prayut said all NLA members found sleeping would be blacklisted from working with him in the future.
“Any members who sleep while at work will not be selected for work in the future,” he told reporters at Government House, clearly upset that the topic was raised.
Earlier a fellow NLA member Somchai Sawangkarn came out to lambast the media for publishing the picture which he claimed painted the NLA in a negative light.
“They showed photos of NLA members sleeping via social media. Throughout four years, I think the media is the area which never reforms itself. Over 90 per cent are good but the rest create distortion and conflict,” said Somchai.
The picture has gone viral on social media with the sleeping NLA member being criticized for dozing off during an important session to deliberate the Bt3-trillion budget bill. It’s believed that the NLA member in question dozed off while Gen Prayut was making his 90-minute defence of the bill.
“I didn’t see him. He was down there,” Prayut said.
Source: Thai PBS, Bangkok Post