UPDATE: Bangkok governor candidates answer Russell Crowe’s questions on TV

screenshot via CH7 News

UPDATE: Bangkok governor candidates answer Russell Crowe’s questions on Thai TV

Russell Crowe’s pre-recorded questions for Bangkok governor candidates were streamed on Channel 7HD’s live programme “22 May: Deciding Bangkok’s Fate” this afternoon, prior to the election coming up this Sunday. Crowe asked the questions in English, and three Bangkok governor candidates answered in Thai. Each candidate was given 2 minutes to answer all three questions.

Crowe asked the Bangkok governor candidates…

  1. What are your thoughts on the volume of water in the Chaophraya River? Do you have any thoughts on what can be done to mitigate the threat of flooding?
  2. What are your thoughts on visible powerlines? and what will you do to make beautiful Bangkok even more beautiful?
  3. How can you make Bangkok more accessible for foreigners who want to learn about Thailand’s culture and history?

Seetha Teewari, candidate number 11, answered…

  1. Bangkok has already implemented flood defences on the Chaophraya River. However, there are 9 spots in which the water is leaking, which is in the process of being fixed right now.
  2. Putting powerlines underground would cost a lot of money, so the future Bangkok governor probably couldn’t tackle this problem due to limited funds.
  3. I would encourage Bangkok citizens to welcome foreigners and learn English – the universal language – to help them communicate better with tourists. I believe a lot of foreigners come to Bangkok to work in the “digital economy,” so Bangkok should become a high-tech, modern and convenient city foreigners who work here.

Whittaya Jangorbphattana, candidate number 31, answered…

  1. The amount of water in the Chaophraya comes from three places: the north, rain, and the Gulf of Thailand. For this reason, there isn’t much that Bangkok can do to protect the river from flooding.
  2. The budget is too low to put the powerlines underground, and other countries don’t have their powerlines underground anyway. A better idea is to tidy up the powerlines, which won’t require a big budget.
  3. We have to encourage students to train to become tour guides for foreign tourists in Bangkok and encourage Bangkok’s citizens to learn English to communicate better with foreigners.

Phongsa Choonaem, candidate number 30, answered…

  1. We will use advanced technology, a “super computer,” to predict when the Chaophraya will flood, so we can be well prepared. This will be the most helpful way to fix the problem.
  2. The powerlines are symbol of Bangkok, so we should leave them above the ground. To make Bangkok more beautiful, I will encourage citizens to plant trees and plants to make the city greener.
  3. There is a lot of criminal activity going on in Bangkok. I will install more CCTV cameras and use AI technology to recognise criminal activity to make the city safer for foreigners.

ORIGINAL STORY: Russell Crowe to question Bangkok governor candidates on Thai TV

On Thursday May 19, Russell Crowe and six other celebrities will ask questions to seven Bangkok governor candidates live on TV prior to the election which will be held on Sunday, May 22.

From 4:15pm – 6pm on Thursday, Channel 7HD will air the live programme “22 May: Deciding Bangkok’s Fate” hosted by Tin Chokkamolkij. Seven Bangkok governor candidates will have the chance to express their visions for the city and their ideas to solve problems in Bangkok and will each answer a question from seven celebrities, including Russell Crowe.

New Zealand born Hollywood actor Russell Crowe famously loves Thailand, with some even dubbing him a “tourism ambassador” for the country after he spurred foreigners to visit Thailand via Twitter in November last year…

“It’s a beautiful, interesting, exciting place. The people are warm and welcoming. If you have been locked down, isolated, quarantined etc TRAVEL IS BACK.”

Netizens expect that Crowe might ask a Bangkok governor candidate about Bangkok’s haphazard electrical wires, in relation to another of his popular tweets. In October last year, Crowe posted a picture of some messy electrical wires in Bangkok with the caption “Bangkok dreaming…”

Thais thought the tweet was hilarious, and the picture sparked a discussion about the problem of dangerous electrical wires in Thailand. Shortly after the Tweet was published, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called for electrical and communication lines to be better organised and be put underground.

Six months later – to no one’s surprise – electrical wires are still tangled above Bangkok’s streets. Although unorganised electrical wires contribute to Bangkok’s unique character, they do sometimes set on fire or fall down, risking public safety and causing power cuts, so they could be a hot topic at the discussion on Thursday.

Foreigners cannot vote in the upcoming Bangkok elections. To be eligible to vote, you must be Thai and either born in Bangkok or own a property in Bangkok.


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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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