BANGKOK — More than half of the newly-appointed Senate Committee on Tourism are military officers turned senators – including PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s younger brother.
The list of 23 members, among them Gen. Preecha Chan-o-cha, was announced in the Royal Government Gazette on Thursday. Besides Gen. Preecha, other 14 military generals named to the post include former deputy PM Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, who will chair the senate committee.
The appointment came amid a growing crisis among Thailand’s once prospering tourism industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. But many netizens questioned how appointing military strong men will help the situation.
“Their profiles are not ordinary… People in the tourism industry should no longer worry. Tourism industry will definitely make it!!!” wrote a Facebook page in what could be interpreted as sarcasm. The list and comment posted on Thursday night was shared 10,000 times as of publication time.
“Though it was a senate committee on military tourism,” Facebook user Chanakan Philarak wrote.
“Do they have knowledge about tourism or management???” asked Facebook user Sorasak Suwanprteep.
“Utter disgrace,” said Facebook user Chue Nam.
Nearly all of the Senators were handpicked by PM Prayut himself while he was serving as the Prime Minister under the junta regime.