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Pro-PM Prayut public relations campaign draws criticism

Neill Fronde

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In what critics believe to be an ill-conceived plan, the Prime Minister Operations Centre has launched a campaign to tell people to lay off the criticism of Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. In a charm offensive to encourage Thais to think “the PM is cool, so just chill out”, critics say the PR campaign has across as “aggressive and pompous”.

The PR campaign for PM Prayut is called “Uncle Tu, 7 years. So, what’s wrong?” Uncle Tu is the endearing nickname supporters gave to PM Prayut, and the PMOC is calling on that warm fuzzy adoration in hopes of calming vocal critics of his grip on power in Thailand.

The plan was to show Thailand all the wonderful things PM Prayut has done and how Thailand has benefitted under his 7 years of leadership. The PMOC is focusing on many of the development projects that Prayut has backed and pushed for while holding the top position in Thai politics.

Some accomplishments of PM Prayut the campaign is highlighting include expanding electric rail services and developing regional airports, as well as improving marine transport on Thailands waterways. The PMOC also points to improvements in the quality of life in Bangkok and other urban communities throughout the country, including the Pracharat housing project in Din Daeng district.

The PMOC had previously released a list of 15 reform areas in defence of the military rule in the 7 years since the coup. That list included the above, as well as improvement in transportation, digital technology infrastructure, low-income welfare, pension reform, universal healthcare, education, agriculture, water resources, landowner laws, flooding and traffic in Bangkok, and their original successful handling of Covid-19, though opinion on that has changed since the third wave outbreak.

The Uncle Tu, 7 years campaign was launched on the PMOC’s Facebook with flattering photos of PM Prayut at related project functions. But there was plenty of critical response as well, mostly pointing out that 7 years is just too long for the leader of the 2014 military coup to retain power without passing it on.

In the March 2019 general election General Chan-o-cha did not stand for election as an MP but was nominated to the position by the hand-picked 250 Senators.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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