6 June 2024

Recent Instagram posts by well-known music producer Neung Jakkawal Saothongyutitum, aka Neung Jakkawal, showing him kidding around with his young daughter and touching her inappropriately, has caused an uproar on social media, with many questioning the appropriateness of his actions.

In some pictures and videos, Neung Jakkawal was seen touching his daughter’s stomach, buttocks and near her crotch area, as well as trying to kiss her on the lips. On at least one occasion shown on social media, he supposedly got his daughter to suck his nipple.

The Thai-language #NeungJakkawal hashtag trended No.1 on Twitter in Thailand this morning (Wednesday), logging more than 1.6 million tweets.

One comment reads “Please have respect for your daughter, both in front of other people and in private. Showing love toward a family member is normal, but touching this and that part of her body is not the normal actions of a father. With due respect, if this was done to your daughter by someone else, would you allow it? The right to touch their body always belong to your kids, so they know what bad things someone could do to them, otherwise they will think it is normal for everybody to do it. The truth is that they are not OK.”

Another comment from a social welfare worker reads “As a social worker, who has been working with children exposed to sexual assault, I confirm that even parents do not have the right to touch the sensitive parts of their children, which include breasts, genitals and buttocks. These things are taught in the “feeling yes, feeling know” course which teaches children to understand the limits and feel good or bad.”

Yet another Twitter comment cited a 29-second clip posted on YouTube on August 20th featuring a lesson to her daughters, she said that if anyone, besides her and their aunt, tries to touch their private parts, they must tell her immediately, scream loudly or inform their teacher or someone else whom they trust.

The music producer has since offered his apology to the public on his Instagram, saying he understands and appreciates people’s concerns and that he would be more careful in the future.

“I support expressing affection with family members within limits and with mutual respect,” he wrote.

Director of the Ethical Centre and a specialist in children’s affairs, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suriyadeo Tripathi, said that children are not the property of their parents, meaning that they can do anything to them. Then he cited the convention on children’s rights which, in essence, states that parents have the duty to protect their children and enable their development so they can grow up and live in a normal society.