Pheu Thai MP throws rice in Parliament to protest PM, minister’s absence
Pheu Thai Party MP for Chiang Rai, Pichet Chuamuangphan, was ordered by House Speaker Chuan Leekpai to clean the floor of the parliament chamber today (Thursday). He had thrown rice on the floor to protest Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit’s unavailability to respond to his question about low rice prices.
During the House sitting today (Thursday), the opposition MP, who had earlier submitted an interpellation demanding the commerce minister respond verbally to his question about declining rice prices, appeared annoyed when he learned that he was not present in the chamber.
Taking to the floor, he said that farmers gave him rice grains as a gesture of protest against its low price, currently 5 baht per kilogramme, adding that, since the farmers do not want them back, he had decided to throw them on the floor of the chamber so they can grow.
Chuan, who was presiding over the House sitting, said he had sympathy for Pichet, but would prefer him to clean the floor himself, adding that he didn’t believe that the farmers would agree with him.
The MP promised to do so.
Chuan, meanwhile, said that there is no way that a minister is aware in advance that he or she will be confronted with an impromptu interpellation.
He also asked Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam to remind cabinet ministers not to miss the House sitting next Thursday, which is reserved for them to answer MPs’ questions.
Thailand’s rice export has declined in the past two years due to drought, while the price drop has been attributed to stronger Baht, and expensive shipping rates. Thailand is the second biggest rice exporter in the world after India.