11 July 2024

Two government MPs nearly came to blows in Parliament today.

While Mr. Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, leader of the Thai Civilized Party, was in the middle of a media interview, on the ground floor of the parliament building, Mr. Sira Jenjakha, of the Palang Pracharat Party, walked toward the group.

Mongkolkit immediately sprinted toward Sira, grabbing his right hand, prompting Sira to call on members of the media present to take pictures of Mongkolkit’s rough approach, while yelling “Don’t touch me! You cannot touch me! You are a hooligan!”

Mongkolkit responded with “Why don’t you think before you speak? Who started it (the trouble)?”

“I have thought it out already. Don’t talk to me,” said Sira.

After the brief showdown, Sira showed the media a message, allegedly posted on social media by Mongkolkit, threatening to punch his teeth out. The message reads “Ai Sira. Wherever I meet you, I will knock out all your teeth. You don’t know me!”

Sira said he will call on House Speaker Chuan Leekpai to provide MPs with protection against intimidation. He later met with Mr. Chuan for about ten minutes to report the incident.

Mongkolkit also met with the Speaker, reportedly to give his side of the story. He later told the media that the matter between him and Sira would be resolved if the Palang Pracharat MP just says sorry, adding that he could sue Sira for defamation.

The Thai Civilized party said Mongkolkit promised Mr. Chuan that there would be no further trouble between him and Sira in the parliament compound, but gave no such undertaking outside the compound.

The cause of the conflict between the two MPs was apparently Mongkolkit’s call for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down if he could not end the student protests within a month.

Reacting to Mongkolkit’s remark, Sira urged him to look in the mirror and resign as an MP first. Sira also suggested that Mongkolkit might have a hidden agenda or might have run out of money, and offered to help if he had.