Thai Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, has surrounded himself in controversy yet again after images circulated online showing him dining with 10 friends at the same table, ignoring the strict rules that apply to everyone else.
The Minister has already landed himself in hot water throughout the covid-19 pandemic, previously taking aim at tourists by saying “any foreigners who do not wear face masks should be kicked out of Thailand.”
He also used xenophobic slurs against white, western tourists, calling them “dirty farangs” who do not shower.
Now, Mr. Charnvirakul has completely disregarded social distancing measures that are heavily promoted by his ministry. The photo shows the Health Minister enjoying a meal with 10 friends at the same table without any plastic screening or other preventative measures visible.
The image instantly went viral on social media, angering the Thai public who traced the photo to being taken on May 20th, just after restaurants were allowed to reopen under very strict rules.
The original photo had been posted on the Facebook page of the restaurant where the minister dined by the owner who expressed his gratitude toward Mr. Charnvirakul. Unsurprisingly, the post has now been deleted.
Some citizens say the image is proof that the state of emergency is not about health concerns at all and is more about social control measures and government power.
Me. Charnvirakul is yet to respond publicly to image.