The prime minister was criticised yesterday for saying he felt like punching a reporter for asking him a question he disliked. Thai Journalists Association spokesman Manop Tip-Osod said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's remark during his weekly TV programme on Friday night that he "would almost punch the reporter in the face" was unbecoming given his status.
Manop said he understood that the premier was perhaps frustrated with his work, but he still should not have made the comment because it demonstrated his lack of respect for human dignity and was not helpful amid the current mood in the country.
"Thai people and society have given the premier a good amount of time [to do his job]. The premier should now look into himself as a leader," Manop said. BBC Thailand said the remark was symbolic of the intimidation of the press.
In response to the BBC comment, Manop said past Thai leaders had various styles when dealing with the media, but none had used [physical] intimidation.