Minister Teerakiat apologizes Gen Prawit over wristwatch remark

Education Minister Teerakiat Jaroensettasin has offered an apology to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon over his criticism of the latter’s “borrowed” wristwatch controversy that he made to Thai students and businessmen at the Thai embassy in London last Friday.

In his interview with the BBC Thai-language service in London, Dr Teerakiat was quoted to have said that if he was exposed in the media of just one wristwatch, he would have already resigned.  He also said that Thai politicians and top administrators would never resign like Michael Bates who resigned as a member of the House of Lords because he felt ashamed for being late at a parliamentary meeting.

The education minister who returned from England this morning (Feb 13) met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House in the afternoon.  He did not attend the cabinet meeting.

After the private meeting with the prime minister and Gen Prawit, he told a press conference at the Government House that he had apologized Gen Prawit about the wristwatch remark he made in London, admitting that he broke the etiquette.

In this photograph taken on December 4, 2017, Thailand’s junta number two Prawit Wongsuwan covers his eyes, displaying a watch he is wearing, during a photo call with other members of a new cabinet in Bangkok.

Dr Teerakiat admitted that the voice in the BBC Thai’s clip of his interview in which he talked about the wristwatch controversy was his.

He said that he had faith in the prime minister and would stay on to work in the government until he is relieved because he is not suitable for the job.

The education minister went on saying that he did not have any problem working with Gen Prawit before and, therefore, could carrying on working with the deputy prime minister.

Gen Prawit declined to talk with the press, claiming that he had sore throat while the prime minister said that the case was over after Dr Teerakiat had apologized the deputy prime minister.