ODDBALL NEWS OF 2012
The conduct of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was called into question on Feb 8, when news broke about her having a ''private'' meeting with business people at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok.
Staff at the Four Seasons Hotel block Pheu Thai Party MP Pracha Prasopdee, centre, from entering the hotel. Mr Pracha wanted to show reporters the seventh floor room of the hotel where Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra held a private meeting with businessmen. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
The issue was raised by Ekkayuth Anchanbutr, former head of a collapsed pyramid scheme, who claimed he was assaulted by one of the PM's security guards while sitting at a coffee shop in the hotel.
The media scrambled to find out what Mr Ekkayuth could have witnessed.
The spotlight finally turned to a property tycoon as the man Ms Yingluck met on the hotel's seventh floor.
Ms Yingluck said the meeting was no secret because the hotel's seventh floor is the executive club.
After weeks of speculation and rumours, Srettha Thaweesin, president of listed property developer Sansiri Plc, finally confirmed reports he had met Ms Yingluck at the hotel.
The property tycoon said it was not a one-on-one meeting, as six or seven other people were present as well.
His admission fuelled a set of questions: What was the discussion about? Did it concern the government's pans to appropriate land for floodway projects? If so, was it appropriate?
The opposition party filed a motion in parliament against the premier regarding the meeting.
As the government rallied against suggestions of impropriety, a Pheu Thai MP went so far as to arrange for the media to visit to the hotel's seventh floor to prove it was an open space. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to visit the floor without also checking in.
About the author
- Writer: Nauvarat Suksamran