Connect with us

Bangkok

Prawit apologises after insensitive comments about Chinese boat disaster

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

“They build their own ships, don’t follow our rules.”

Thailand’s #2, deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan is again in hot water, this time for making comments about the Chinese that died in last Thursday’s boat disaster in Phuket, the second worst maritime disaster in Thailand (after the 2004 tsunami).

He suggested that Chinese people are to be blamed for the tourist ferry incident that killed at least 46 people when they drowned following the sinking of ‘Phoenix’.

In his Monday remarks, sparking anger on Chinese social media, Prawit made claims that ‘Phoenix’ was operated by an illegal Chinese business. He also said that ‘they’ ignored the forecasts on the day. Police said the incident remains under investigation.

“The Chinese did it to the Chinese. So what can I do about it? They build their own ships, don’t follow our rules.”

The controversial deputy PM was referring to current investigations that the company who owned and operated ‘Phoenix’ was a Thai shelf-company which was, on paper, Thai but in reality just used as a smokescreen to disguise the Chinese funding and operation of the boat in the waters off Phuket. The operators and some staff have also been revealed to be part of the Tranlee Travel Company that had its assets seized last year in a zero-dollar tour crackdown on Phuket.

Read more about the investigation HERE.

In a later interview with reporters the 72 year old deputy apologised saying he was only speaking based on what he was told.

“If I said anything that upsets people, I apologise.”

Thailand’s defence ministry spokesperson , Kongcheep Tantravanich, also jumped to the deputy PMs defence later re-affirming the apology. He said Thai officials are continuing to assist survivors and have been co-ordinating with Chinese officials at all times.

Read more about zero-dollar tourism HERE.

A Thai Facebook page following Chinese social media said Prawit’s comment drew widespread condemnation from Chinese netizens.

Investigators have so far called into question the design of the ‘Phoenix’, the quality and manufacture of the buoyancy vests, the Thai officials who may have issued registration paperwork and the bonfires of the actual company running the tour operation.

The Chinese tourism ministry in Beijing has already issued a statement urging Chinese travelers to closely monitor weather and sea conditions and obey all warnings.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport4 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand5 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand6 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Crime6 hours ago

Krabi men arrested after TikTok video of a shark shot and killed goes viral

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand’s FDA doesn’t approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, cites missing data

Best of8 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Krabi

Thailand8 hours ago

Thai government apologises for data leak, blames “temporary glitch”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket10 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid-19, food delivery brings rise in plastic and infectious waste

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending