Garbage man declines donation from actress

Garbage man declines donation from actress

Actress Panadda "Boom" Wongphudee yesterday presented Bt50,000 (S$1,975) to Bangkok garbage collector Surat Maneenopparatsuda at Saphan Sung District Office.

Boom also offered to take care of Surat's daughter, who was treated at a children's hospital for a facial tumour.

But after thanking Boom, Surat gave the money back and told her to donate it to charity causes for underprivileged people.

He said he was content with what he had - freedom, a job, a loving family and no debt.

"I'm not arrogant or anything. I am grateful for your kind attention but I'd like to decline this," he said.

"I have already got previous donations that cleared my debts. I'd like to also thank the anonymous person who paid the Bt133,400 fine to free me."

Surat said people wishing to donate money to him should instead give it to charity.

He was released on Friday after an anonymous good Samaritan paid his fine so he did not have to spend 667 days in jail for selling pirated movie and music compact discs that he collected from scrap.

An informed source reported that the Courts of Justice had propose allowing the option of a suspended sentence in cases like Surat's where people are jailed if they can't pay the fine.

The proposal had been forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly, the source said. The law currently only allows verdicts for crimes that carry a jail term to be suspended.

The source said the Courts of Justice had also proposed doubling to Bt400 the amount that goes towards unpaid fines for each day someone is jailed, and allowing defendants the option of performing community service to pay off the fine.

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