'Aed Carabao' in hot water over offensive rant

Yuenyong: Prepared to face the music

SUPHAN BURI: The provincial cultural office has asked the National Culture Commission (NCC) to look into the conduct of national artist Yuenyong "Aed Carabao" Opakul, who insulted governor Nattapat Suwanpratheep last week, a source said.

At a social function on Wednesday in Suphan Buri's Song Phi Nong district, the Carabao frontman called the governor names as he slammed him for not inviting him to play at an annual fair in the province, his hometown, early this year.

His remarks, made before hundreds of people, were widely seen as demeaning. Some netizens urged the NCC to reconsider if Mr Yuenyong still fits the title of national artist.

Under ministerial regulation, a national artist may be stripped of the title if he or she is found to behave inappropriately or is convicted of a serious charge.

A vote to revoke the title must be supported by at least two-thirds of members.

Mr Yuenyong's remarks prompted Mr Nattapat to clarify the matter, and the singer subsequently made a public apology on Facebook.

He said he felt guilty after hearing the governor's side of the story and that he was prepared to face a lawsuit.

Mr Nattapat, meanwhile, said he accepted the apology and had no grudges against the singer, but added that as a state official he must protect his dignity.

The governor on Sunday had a defamation complaint filed against Mr Yuenyong with police at Song Phi Nong station.

His representative said it was up to investigators to decide whether to accept it.

Pol Maj Gen Kriangkrai Wuttipanich, provincial police chief, said police would take statements from parties involved and the accused was likely to face a defamation charge under Sections 326-328 of the Criminal Code.

He said Mr Yuenyong would be summonsed to answer next week.

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