‘Can you not put your leg down?!’ Distressed Thai PM demands female reporter uncross her legs

File photos of Prayuth face, at left, and his professed pet peeve, at right.
File photos of Prayuth face, at left, and his professed pet peeve, at right.

What was distracting Thailand’s army commander turned coup-leader turned prime minister from delivering comments to reporters yesterday? 

What so bothered him that he interrupted his own news conference to admonish a reporter for how she sat? Prayuth Chan-o-cha’s discomfort with a female reporter’s legs, which he suddenly asked her to uncross, is again raising questions about his leadership and maturity just weeks after he made headlines for spraying reporters with a bottle of disinfectant. 

“Can you not put your leg down?! You’re crossing your legs like that before me. Can you? Your leg, your foot. Eh?” Prayuth said into the microphone just as he began to discuss the day’s cabinet meeting.

The reporter was only identified as a Thai employee of a foreign news agency. 

In traditional Thai culture, leg-crossing is yet another part of the power hierarchy, and youth were not supposed to cross their legs in the presence of their seniors. But it has faded from practise in contemporary, mainstream society.

Prayuth was roundly criticized for his petulant behavior and antediluvian values. Some media outlets including Matichon compared Prayuth to other political leaders who were not at all bothered by the sight of crossed legs at news conferences. 

Some argued that it’s just another example of Prayuth’s rudeness that is routinely chuckled off as “eccentric” by the accommodating Government House press corps.


Prayuth cold to ‘Clubhouse’ after political nemesis Thaksin’s debut

Prayuth backs out of AstraZeneca vaccination on unfounded EU scare


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on