BANGKOK — A pro-establishment lawmaker on Wednesday urged the Parliament to abolish the current National Anthem and write a new one that extolls the monarchy.
Thai Civilized Party leader Mongkolkit Suksintaranont said in an address to fellow MPs it is unacceptable that Thailand’s anthem does not include any mention of the monarchy or praises past monarchs for their contributions.
“The kings sacrificed their blood and lives to defend this country throughout so many eras,” Mongkolkit said.
He also recommended using a 1971 inspirational ballad authored by King Bhumibol as a temporary National Anthem while the new one is being written.
His address was cut short when House Speaker Chuan Leekpai chided him for bringing the monarchy into a parliamentary discussion.
Thailand’s National Anthem was adopted in 1939, seven years after a revolution that overthrew the king’s direct rule and installed a parliamentary democracy. In line with the political atmosphere at the time, the anthem lyrics stress on unity and sovereignty of the Thai people, without any reference to the monarchy.
The anthem is also considered to be one of the few legacies of the 1932 revolt that ended the absolute monarchy. Other monuments and buildings associated with the revolution have been dismantled in recent years, including a plaque that marked the democratic coup.
Reaction to Mongkolkit’s call to change the anthem is largely negative on social media.
“Doesn’t he have things to do?” Facebook user Benjamas Amornphan wrote in a comment on a news thread by pro-establishment Nation TV.
“Thailand has come to a point where we have this kind of retarded MP in the Parliament,” user Peera Mhuhaa Missdee added.
The Thai national anthem is played on state media and in public places at 8am and 6pm in public places everyday.
Lyrics of the National Anthem:
Thailand unites the flesh and blood of Thais.
The land of Thailand belongs to the Thais.
Long has been our independence, wish sovereignty allowed to maintain it,
Because Thais have been united forever.
The Thais are peaceful and loving, but are not cowards in war.
Our sovereignty will never be threatened,
We will sacrifice every drop of our blood for our nation.
We are ready to die for freedom, security, and prosperity!