BANGKOK — A pro-junta music video released in response to a wildly popular anti-establishment rap, was widely mocked Monday online.
Netizens were unsparing in their criticism of “Thailand 4.0,” a music video released by the military government last week, days after a track that harshly criticized its rule went viral in the country.
“I’ve lived for 29 years, and this is the first song I’ve heard that claims to be rap. I thought it was a Sports Day song at a temple,” user Suphachon P Phattara wrote in a comment. “So lame. The beats are so out of date. Is this era 0.04? Don’t make more songs like this, I’m getting second-hand embarrassment.”
“Thailand 4.0” was presented Thursday at a government conference on business startups and played to introduce junta chairman Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha. It was released Saturday on YouTube. By Monday morning, the track had gained 1.3 million views and 20,000 dislikes in contrast to 871 likes.
It’s seen as the state’s answer to “Prathet Ku Mee,” or “My Country’s Got,” a viral anti-junta track released Oct. 22, which to date has more than 28 million views, 950,000 likes and 25,000 dislikes. It features 10 underground rappers who take turns tearing down political and social injustices in Thailand and criticizing the junta’s ongoing grip on power.
Police flirted with prosecuting the rappers, even threatening the safety of their families, but have since backed down.
Some netizens, such as user Yaha Inv said having a response at all was undignified on the regime’s part.
“Is this the government’s response to ‘Prathet Ku Mee?’ Are these the actions of poo yai who think youngsters are being silly? Did they really have to respond at all?”
The video also made its way across Facebook.
Some were inspired by the song, however.
“Su su. Thailand can do it,” Facebook user Sarawut Glinliam wrote.
Here’s the unofficial translation of “Thailand 4.0.”
Sawasdee, good morning Thailand,
Stop yawning, get up, get up!
Don’t just sit there sighing,
Let’s get it going, make it more wow, more wow!
The world is changing so let’s adjust to it,
Think of new things to build it up, build it up!
Wanna be cool, pretty, rich,
Nothing’s for sure. You gotta make it, make it!
Us, our kids, our grandkids,
Won’t be worse than anyone if our world is more open,
The coconut that’s covering our heads,
Take it off, so it’s brighter, brighter!
There are many talented Thais,
If we work together, we’ll be stronger, stronger!
Just come outside the coconut shell,
Whoever says we’re crazy will only get stupider, stupider!
Let’s meet up, Thais,
Think of new, great ideas together!
Think of far-out ideas,
It will get us far, if we work together!
We just need to cooperate,
So we can go farther, do better!
The world keeps spinning,
New innovations help Thailand fight!
Do your best today and tomorrow,
Things will be better if we agree,
Do good. Be cool, you can do it,
Just understand the new world, then you’ll be cooler, cooler!
Gen M, Gen Z, any Gen,
If you say yes, things are easier, easier!
Thai brains are all over the world,
It’s not a joke, Thais are smart.
We’ve got brains and good ideas,
Just add technology, we can go farther,
Who says innovating is hard?
Know. Think. Create. Build it up, build it up!
Whether you’re farming, growing vegetables, tilling fields,
Add in ideas, the prices will be better, better!
Inventors, app developers, rocket makers,
Enter contests to be sharper, sharper!
Employees, students, university students,
Think outside the curriculum, and get ready to be richer!
Office workers, manufacturers,
Don’t stop thinking, and your lives will get better!
Pull out the roots! Dig out the stumps!
Hit the coconut shell on the head. Thailand is leaping farther ahead!