Thai PM Prayut turns 61, seeks media support as birthday present

After listening to reporters sing 'Happy Birthday' to him yesterday, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha - who turns 61 today - said he would like to have the hearts and support from members of the press as his birthday present. Meanwhile, a Government House journalist wished him success in his work - and a lot of patience in return.

"I would like to have the support of all members of the press, and I would like to thank you all [for the birthday wishes]. I would like everyone to contribute their utmost best to society," the premier said.

A representative of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn yesterday also presented a vase of flowers to Prayut to congratulate him. The Armed Forces commanders and other state agencies also showed up at Government House to offer their best wishes.

The premier was on his way to the Santi Maitree building to preside over a ceremony to hand awards to the winners of essays on the government-initiated Twelve Core Values, when the press gathered to sing him 'Happy Birthday'. He waited until the song ended and gave them a wai to thank them in return.

During the ceremony, the premier came up with an idea to translate the government-initiated songs on the Twelve Core Values into English. The premier said that around 5,000 people had taken part in the contest.