PM says no time for Clubhouse, lashes out at Thais who “love to listen to criminals”

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said Tuesday he does not have time for Clubhouse and criticized people who like to listen to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, calling him a criminal.

Thaksin spoke late Monday in one of the chat rooms of the fast-growing audio-only application Clubhouse about the now-dissolved Thai Rak Thai Party that he founded and his time as premier from 2001 to 2006.

Thaksin was heavily criticized by some netizens afterwards for brushing off a question about the 2004 Tak Bai killing of 85 protestors by security forces, and his silence on the Prayut government’s use of the lese-majeste law to arrest pro-democracy protestors.

On Tuesday, Prayut said his communication team has opened up a new channel for the government to communicate with the public via a weekly podcast.

When asked about the former PM’s comments Tuesday, Prayut snapped that “I do not have that much free time” to be using Clubhouse.

“Why do I have to be listening? People love listening to this criminal who destroyed the law and people are still giving him credit,” he added.

The PM also criticized the press for asking such shallow questions in the first place, which he said create social and political conflicts.

Prayut came into power following a coup that he led in 2014 before he was elected under the current junta-drafted constitution in 2019.

Pro-democracy protestors have been protesting against his government since June. Police have so far charged nearly 400 people with crimes related to the political rallies. Of those, 59 people have been charged with lese-majeste.

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