Not butthurt by what people say online, Prayuth tells biz forum

Prayuth Chan-o-cha speaks at the opening of the 2017 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok. Photo: World Travel & Tourism Council
Prayuth Chan-o-cha speaks at the opening of the 2017 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok. Photo: World Travel & Tourism Council

Worrying about haters on social media is a waste of time, Thailand’s prime minister announced this morning in response to top-trending rumors he gets so upset about what’s said about him he has to go pray.

Seeking to shoot down the notion he spends his time poring over the salty things said about him, Prayuth Chan-o-cha told an audience of regional governmental and private-sector business partners this morning that he in fact does not.

“Two or three people have been saying I’m addicted to social media, but I guarantee that I am not,” he said at the Renaissance Ratchaprasong Hotel. “I use the internet and social media only to educate myself and do research about things I’m ignorant about… Why would I read negative comments about myself? It’s nonsense.”

Because, of course, nothing projects confidence and assurance like using a serious business forum to address unrelated image issues.

Word of Prayuth’s social media fixation began spreading Saturday after famed military reporter Wassana Nanuam discussed the prime minister’s digital habits during a panel discussion about online hate speech.

“Prayuth likes to go on social media and gets upset after he reads the comments,” she said, adding that sometimes the prime minister would get so upset that he takes breaks to go pray.

“But in the end, he reads all the comments because he says he wants to stay alert,” she added. Wassana, who nominally writes for the Bangkok Post, spends considerable time traveling with top government officials and military officials.

Though Prayuth maintained that he doesn’t religiously read comments, the prickly junta leader expressed frustration that people “nit-pick” his behavior rather than discuss his hard work over the last five years.

He said that it makes people who do the right thing (him, presumably) not want to do it anymore.

“This is what I’m like, I’m a really sweet person,” the Prayuth told the captive audience of dignitaries toward the end of his speech.

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