21 May 2024

Thailand’s Mental Health Department decided today (Tuesday) to drop Miss Universe Thailand 2020 Amanda Obdam as its brand ambassador over her online political comments, only after a week of her appointment.

Citing concerns over an intensifying political conflict in the country, the department’s abrupt action followed growing criticism of her appointment as the beauty queen continued to post comments in support of anti-establishment protests and criticism of police crackdown on her Instagram and Twitter since late last year.

The Mental Health Department and the organizing committee of Miss Universe Thailand signed an agreement on February 25, appointing Obdam as the brand ambassador, to promote the department’s efforts on mental health issues.

Her appointment has, however, received mixed reactions from the Thai public. Opinions are divided between those who support the government and the monarchy and those supporting the protests.

Dr. Panpimon Wipulakorn, the department’s chief, said today that the department had acknowledged public concern about Obdam’s role, adding that their main objective is to bring about happiness for the people and that they are receptive to divergent views.

As expected, the department’s decision drew flak from the supporters of the Ratsadon group and praise from their opponents.