12 July 2024

Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao has sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, urging him to rescind the appointments of Amorn Meemano and Phuvit Panyasith as political officials attached to the Office of the Secretary-General of the PM’s Office.

The cabinet approved Amorn, Phuvit and Somchai Sarovart, as proposed by two small pro-government parties, Thai Rak Tham and Prachatham Thai, on Tuesday.

In the letter, Thammanat did not offer any details to support his request.

The appointment of Amorn, especially, has caused a big stir in stock trading circles, due to his background as the CEO and major shareholder of Crown Tech Advance public company, or AJD, which was later changed to AJ Advance Technology public company, or AJA.

In late 2018, Amorn and 40 other investors were accused, by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), of manipulating AJA shares and were ordered to pay 1.727 billion baht in fines. The case was also investigated by the Anti-Money Laundering Office. In mid-2019, the SEC forwarded the case to the Office of the Attorney-General.

Peeravit Ruangluedolapak, leader of Thai Rak Tham party, and Phichet Sathirachavan, leader of the Prachatham Thai party, told the media today that they jointly nominated the two men without any intention to embarrass the prime minister or the Government.

Peeravit insisted that he, and the party executives of the two small parties, had checked the criminal backgrounds of the two nominees and did not find that they had committed any criminal offences.

He added that the two used to be political observers and advisors to several ministers in previous governments and, therefore, their experience and expertise would be useful to the government.