PM is Thailand's 'Lord of the Rings'

The Thai PM dismisses a claim that he doesn't like the press, but acknowledges that he can sometimes get moody with the media.

THAILAND - Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha flirted with the media after his first official Cabinet meeting yesterday, saying they were among his best friends.

He explained to reporters about his rings and a bracelet that he has worn for a long time due to traditional mystic and religious beliefs.

"The four rings which are named Wan-Phra, Wan-Namoh, Wan-Sondej, Wan-Noppakao. When I wear my [army] uniform I have to move them to my left hand, because wearing them on the right hand makes it hard to salute," he said.

Prayuth seemed to be in a cheerful mood yesterday and was asked by reporters why he generally seems happier than when he was Army chief.

He said: "I am always in a good mood, it's just sometimes I have to be patient.

"Sometimes it's not good if I speak too much, I get criticised if I say things that haven't been done, although they have been authorised."

He asked for reporters to support him by giving him time, rather than being quick to criticise.

"In the past four months the government has tried to solve problems that have been going on over the past few decades," he said, inferring that these problems would take time to be addressed.

He dismissed a claim that he doesn't like the press, although sometimes he can get moody with the media.

"The press is my great friend, together we survive."