Googlers tease Prayut on Facebook show

Googlers tease Prayut on Facebook show

Critics say PM 'looking down' on countrymen by suggesting they don't use search engine

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha answers a question during a talk at the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday. (Photo from @ThaigovSpokesman Facebook account)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha answers a question during a talk at the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday. (Photo from @ThaigovSpokesman Facebook account)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has come in for some teasing on the government’s Facebook Live channel after declaring that he relies on Google but only a few Thais use the search engine.

“Prayut tell me how to use Google please,” a commentator wrote on the Facebook Live page that carries the Government Weekly programme.

“Now I can use Google as you have suggested,” another said.

Government Weekly is produced by the government’s public relations team has aired six episodes on Facebook Live. Gen Prayut’s appearance this week was his first. He talked on the pre-recorded show from New York, where he had attended UN activities including the General Assembly.

The controversial statement came on Wednesday when he was at the Asia Society, where he said he regularly used Google to find information, while most Thais igonored the search engine. 

“We — all executives — use Google. People hardly use it. Problems happen because they do not learn things,” he said during a question-and-answer session after giving a speech.

Opposition politicians and others criticized the premier for appearing to look down on his compatriots.

“A good prime minister should not look down on the people and not administer the country with Google,” Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroonruangkit tweeted.

Chaturon Chaisaeng of the banned Thai Raksa Chart Party wrote on his Twitter account that the prime minister had inflicted damage on himself with the Google remark.

Although Gen Prayut claimed only a few Thais used Google, stastics from similarweb.com showed google.com tops all websites used in the country and google.co.th is in fourth place.

The Government Weekly programme on Facebook Live started on Aug 16. For the latest episode, dislikes far outnumbered likes by those who viewed it.

The prime minister is returning to Bangkok on Friday night.

He pledged his country's support for sustainable development and spoke about the success of Thailand's universal healthcare scheme during his speeches at the UN General Assembly.


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