6 June 2024

The Move Forward party is demanding that the chairman of iTV and president and executive director of its holding company Intouch Holdings, Kim Siritaweechai, explain the discrepancy between his statement during and the minutes of the company’s shareholder meeting regarding iTV’s status as a media company.

Move Forward Secretary-General Chaithawat Tulathon said at a news conference today (Monday) that he suspects that the minutes of the iTV shareholder meeting on April 26th, chaired by Kim, were intentionally doctored, to give the impression that the company is still operating as a media firm, which could be used to prevent Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat from becoming the next prime minister of Thailand.

He also claimed that there appears to be a conspiracy to block Pita, the party’s prime ministerial candidate, from assuming the post, citing the strange coincidence of electoral candidate Nick Sangsirinavin writing on Facebook about Pita’s alleged shareholding on April 24th, two days ahead of the iTV shareholder meeting.

Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana also submitted a petition to the Election Commission on May 10th, demanding a probe into Pita’s alleged shareholding.

Chaithawat also said that he suspects that iTV shareholder Panuwat Kwanyuen, who raised the question about the status of iTV with Kim at the meeting, could be a part of the conspiracy.

Responding to Panuwat’s question, Kim said, according to a recording presented on Channel 3’s “Sam Miti” news program on Sunday night, that iTV has not been operating as a media firm pending the outcome of an unresolved legal dispute.

iTV has sued the secretariat of PM’s Office for revoking it UHF spectrum licence and scrapping its broadcasting contract. The UHF spectrum was later granted to Thai PBS.

The written minutes of the same shareholder meeting, however, quote Kim as saying, in response to Panuwat’s question, that iTV remains operational in accordance with its registered objectives and the company has submitted its annual financial statements and corporate tax return to the Department of Business Development.

Chaithawat said that this lack of clarity over the legal status of iTV is not coincidental, as he insisted that the Move Forward party will try its best to defend the public interest and its leader against all the bad faith attempts to negate his rightful quest for the premiership.

The Move Forward secretary-general claimed that, in iTV’s financial statement for last year, the business activity of the company was changed to television and its business product and service are advertising and investment.

He pointed out that the change in the financial statement for 2022 contradicts Kim’s statement that iTV has ceased all business operations pending the outcome of a legal dispute.

“How can it be possible that Kim does not know whether iTV is still operating as a media entity and has revenues earned from advertising?” asked Chaithawat.