BANGKOK — Public health officials defended their donation of 1 million baht to a rockstar running cross country to raise money for public hospitals after people pointed out they were essentially donating to themselves.
Inspector-General Pisit Sriprasert said Thursday that the money handed over came from public health workers all over the country, not just the 11 hospitals that Artiwara “Toon Bodyslam” Kongmalai is raising money for.
“Doctors, nurses and employees from all over the country gave what they could, be it 10 or 20 baht. Giving gifts in itself is a joy,” he said. “What we did was we just collected all the money and then donated it as an organization.”
Netizens on Wednesday slammed a post by the Public Health Ministry showing Permanent Secretary Jessada Chokdamrongsuk hand over 1 million baht in a photo op. Many were the Haha and Angry reacts punctuating a slew of salty comments.
“I’d like to thank the Ministry of Public Health for donating to P’Toon so that P’Toon can donate it back to the Ministry of Public Health,” Facebook user Woradet Settha wrote.
They also faulted the ministry for collecting the money from its employees.
“They did this just because they wanted to boost their image and get on the bandwagon, but they failed because of crappy management,” Supakit Chaithip wrote.
The Kai Maew webcomic illustrated the issue by drawing Toon running in a circle, collecting then returning the money to Jessada.