Deputy House speaker defends trip to Singapore

First deputy House speaker Padipat Santiphada

Deputy House speaker Padipat Suntiphada has defended his planned Singapore trip, saying people should not jump the gun in criticising him or his trip.

“It is strange, because the trip has not yet commenced but many have already criticised me and the trip. They would do better to wait to see our performance after the trip and read my reports, which I will send to the ministers involved and the House speaker,” Padipat said.

The 12-member group trip to Singapore, which Padipat of the Move Forward party will lead, has attracted harsh criticism on social media. The popular hashtags are #my_taxes, #taxpayerspayforyourtrip and #Padipatusesmytaxes.

Padipat also defended the budget of Bt1.379 million he has sought for the five-day trip, saying that, when he proposed the expenses for the trip, he just asked for the maximum.

“In reality, we will not use that much. The real amount will be lower than that proposed. Moreover, we will return the balance for sure,” he said.

Commenting on the proposed expenditure for accommodation, which is budgeted at Bt12,000 per night per person, Padipat said he has already asked officials to find accommodation for Bt7,000-Bt8,000.

Staying at a hostel to save the budget is, however, out of question, he said.

He said the objectives of the trip to Singapore, which will start this Thursday, are to learn about the Smart and Open Parliament system, dust management and Thais’ lives in Singapore.


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