Nattawut Speaks Out On Photo Showing Him In 'Feudal' Manner

(2 July) Deputy Minister
of Commerce and prominent Redshirt leader Nattawut Saikuea hits back at critics who accuse him of
treating his subordinates like feudal slaves after a photo of 2 officials kneeling down next to him
in a meeting room surfaced in social network.

The photo is said to
originate from Mr. Sirichok Wallpaper Sopa, an MP of the opposition Democrat Party, who posted it
on his Facebook account, with a caption that reads Ammart?

Ammart means feudalistic
rulers, and is a phrase adopted by the Redshirts to attack whom they saw as the oppressive upper
class elite. Another variation of the term is Ammartayatippatai or Ammartocracy.

Mr. Sirichok, nicknamed Wallpaper by the media for his regular appearance behind Democrat
leader Abhisit Vejjajeeva in numerous press conferences, seemed to suggest that Mr. Nattawut
renegades on his Redshirts agenda.The photo was widely shared by anti-government
critics.

Later, Mr. Nattawut wrote on his Facebook that the photo was taken yesterday at the
Ministry of Commerce while he waited for the Minister of Commerce to attend a meeting. He said the 2
officials briefly went on their knees to tell him about the meeting procedure. Mr. Nattawut added
that the encounter was longer than a minute.

He denied accusation of harboring aloof attitude
as Deputy Minister, insisting that officials at the Ministry are familiar with his humble, friendly
behavior.

I eat the rice from the same pot as the officials, housekeepers, and the security
guards everyday because I invite them to have meals in my office. We share what we have and we make
jokes all the time. No one gossips behind my back – unlike the Wallpaper′s Prime Minister who ran
away from military service, Mr. Nattawut wrote, referring to Mr. Abhisit′s failure to report for
mandatory military draft few decades ago.