BANGKOK — Parliamentary debate was derailed Thursday when several MPs took to the Lower House to raise concerns over the toilets in the new Parliament building.
Virat Worasasirin, a Seri Ruam Thai party-list MP, ignited the debate over fecal matter when he chose parliamentary debate as the setting to point out the building’s lack of bidet sprays, which are commonly used instead of toilet paper.
“This building cost over 10 billion baht, I don’t understand why it doesn’t have bidet sprays,” Virat said to Lower House Speaker Chuan Leekpai. “My butt hurts every time I have to use toilet paper.”
Virat then gave an unasked-for biology lesson to support his claim.
“Men’s bodies are different from women’s bodies. After doing my business, I have to walk meekly while twisting this way and that,” Virat said.
Chuan then interrupted, “Sir, we’re broadcasting live.”
But Future Forward party-list MP Niraman Sulaiman echoed the concerns of his fellow opposition MP.
“This is Thailand,” Niraman reminded. “It’s in our culture to use water to wash down our feces.”
After the session ended, Chuan took it upon himself to personally inspect the toilets.
“I admit that the venue is not 100 percent complete. It’s still under construction,” Chuan said, while examining the restroom. “However, I ask the honorable MPs not to bring up these issues as an excuse for working unproductively.”
“We are being scrutinized by citizens,” Chuan continued. “They believe this is the most comfortable place of all.”
Other dissatisfactions with the new Parliament building were also brought up during the session, from inadequate lighting in the auditorium which “causes drowsiness,” to the height of chairs in the auditorium which blocks the view of MPs in the back.
On Wednesday, Phalang Pracharat MPs brought ten portable radios to Parliament to satirize the building’s inadequate sound system. The MPs from the leading party said they lost a parliamentary vote because they couldn’t hear when voting started.
The 12 billion baht Parliament building was initially expected to be completed in 2015, but construction was repeatedly delayed due to changes in design and land ownership transfers.
Despite ongoing construction work around the auditorium, parliamentary sessions were moved from a makeshift parliament in a rented auditorium on Chaeng Wattana Road to the present riverside location on Kiak Kai Road on Aug. 5.
The Parliament building is now scheduled to be fully functional by December.