Nothing infuriates social conservatives as much as a confident woman in possession of her sexuality, and mixing haughty sex appeal with a national symbol has driven one royalist into a seizure of outrage.
Sonthiya Sawasdee vowed to file a legal complaint this afternoon at the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau against Miss Universe Thailand for allegedly violating three sections of the 1979 Flag Act in a promo image.
Sonthiya, a staunch royalist, alleges that Anchilee Scott-Kemmis desecrated the sacred symbol in an image showing her astride the Chao Phraya River atop the flag’s colors – a no-no among the foot-shame fixated – despite it being an obvious digital background.
Her crimes, he alleges, include presenting the flag in an “inappropriate manner” – we’ll guess that has to do with the side-boob poking out of her sleeveless speedsuit – and insulting the flag. Section 118 of the law mandates up to a two-year jail term and THB4,000 fine for those who insult flags or symbols of the state.
Sonthiya, 61, was a member of the ruling, military-backed Phalang Pracharath Party. His other recent hits include threatening sanctions against any lawmaker supporting a bid to decriminalize pornography, and demanding the daughter for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra be pre-emptively investigated for corruption before she gets any ideas about running for office. In 2015, he orchestrated a police investigation into the former U.S. ambassador for “insulting the king.”
Anchilee’s photo in question was part of a set themed Tricolor of Unity. Three Colors and One Real Body released last week, promoting her trip next month to Israel to vie for the international crown on Dec. 12.
The photo has been removed from Miss Universe Thailand’s social media feed.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that Sonthiya is currently a Member of Parliament. In fact, he is a former member of the ruling, military-backed Phalang Pracharath Party. We regret the error.