Controversial luxury ‘Parliamentary club’ to be converted into office space
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai has ordered all the recreational facilities in the controversial parliament club, with the exception of the gym, to be closed and converted into working space for parliamentary officials, said Democrat party-list MP Issara Sereewatthanawut today (Thursday), following backlash about the appropriateness of such lavish spending of taxpayers’ money.
He explained that the facilities, which include a karaoke bar, a golf practice range, a dance practice room, a spa, a traditional and foot massage room, were in the original design of the parliament building in 2011 and a contract for the construction was signed two years later, which was before Chuan became the House speaker.
He admitted that he had no idea why such luxurious facilities were needed in parliament, as he suggested that those interested in the reason should question those who were in power at the time.
The club attracted criticism for the allegedly lavish spending of taxpayers’ money, with a hashtag trending on social media the following day. Move Forward MP for Phitsanulok, Padipat Suntiphada, petitioned House Speaker Chuan asking for a review of the club project.
The club is yet to formally open for use.
Issara said that Chuan pointed out that parliament is located on state land, which is governed by laws regarding this is kind of immovable State property, and that law clearly specifies that such land can only be used for official purposes.