Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gave an cold shoulder to a troop of reporters at Government House as he arrived for a meeting yesterday.
Before attending the annual internal security meeting in the morning, he encountered the reporters, who greeted him a “wai” of respect. Prayut returned the gesture, but remained silent and stony-faced before walking past them to the meeting room.
The Premier later told the meeting that people may or may not understand his recent bouts of anger, but he had been trying his best to curb his emotional expressions.
“Soldiers are hot tempered, but once addressed, we are always ready to improve [our responses],” he said.
PM Prayut has lost his temper in public while giving press interviews on a number of occasions, and last Tuesday’s outburst exceeded the level of his previous anger.
He later apologised for losing his temper and scolding journalists through his spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd, who said the premier was under pressure as he had been left to “walk alone”.
“The prime minister asked me to convey to media and [others] that he regretted his outburst on Tuesday,” Sansern said. He was also worried [about public sentiment], but we should understand that he is working under pressure due to high expectations of the people.”
One of the prime minister’s New Year resolutions was to try to be a “good guy” – at least in the eyes of the mass media – by avoiding hot-tempered exchanges with critical reporters.
That resolution appeared to have been broken when the PM – described by reporters as “furious” – was asked about the draft charter and the election road map at Tuesday’s press briefing.