The simplistic argument that Thailand’s political crisis boils down to a class war between poor, upcountry rice farmers and corrupt Bangkok overlords just got a whole lot more ammunition.
Why? Because two young and mega-wealthy PDRC protest leaders let themselves be filmed gallivanting around Bangkok in a vintage Ferrari, sipping fine cognac at Maggie Choo’s and saying things like “he is an assassin” about their bodyguards.
Indeed, the Vice News video “Driving Ferraris with Thai Royalists” has just been released, and the two popped-collar poseurs they profiled – Thanat “Nat” Thanakitamnuay and Victor Kritsanaseranee – sure do a successful job of making themselves look like pompous asses.
Nat, an heir to the Noble Home Development fortune, is already infamous for driving his Porsche 911 into a group of Red Shirt protesters. He discusses the incident at the four minute mark, saying “I was just taking a joyride” before he ran over the protestors.
Some choice soundbites:
“When I had a problem, they [my parents] sent me to a better school. When I have another problem they send me to an even better school. And when I have lots of problems, they send me to the top school.”
“The motivation for the Red Shirt mob is that rich city people take advantage of poor countryside people, so being in a Porsche 911 doesn’t help.”
“There are some things I love about you. You have a number of Ferraris, but not even one in red color. It takes a lot of guts for you not to get a red Ferrari.”
Several incidents in recent years of wealthy Thai kids killing people in Bangkok road accidents have outraged the country.
First “Moo Ham” plowed his Mercedes into a bus stop crowd in 2007, killing one. He got a suspended sentence for mental illness.
Then there was 16-year-old and unlicensed Praewa, who was texting on her smartphone minutes after causing nine people to plunge to their deaths on an expressway overpass in 2010. An appeals court just upheld her two-year suspended sentence. She’ll perform a few dozen hours of community service for her transgression.
In 2012, Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya – while allegedly drunk and possibly high on cocaine – rammed his Ferrari into the back of a motorcycle police officer, killing him instantly and dragging his body 200 meters as he fled home. His indictment has been postponed at least four times, and he’s rumored to be hiding in Singapore.
Perhaps this is the justice that the Bangkok elite are fighting for?
“Driving around a city like Bangkok in your precious little pony, that’s about as good as it gets. That’s exactly what we fight for. The small moment like that makes it all worthwhile,” says Nat.
Watch the video here: