Tongue-Thai’ed! Part IX: The ‘Cib that Frabs’ – Dems target PM Yingluck’s gaffes

Originally published at Siam Voices on October 5, 2011

“Tongue-Thai’ed!” encapsulates the most baffling, amusing, confusing, outrageous and appalling quotes from Thai politicians and other public figures – in short: everything we hear that makes us go “Huh?!”. Check out all past entries here.

Last Sunday the Twitter account of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was ‘hacked’ – or rather somebody knows the password already or has guessed it correctly, which isn’t necessarily ‘hacking’.

There is a German saying that goes, “Who has the damage, doesn’t need to provide for the ridicule”. And to add injury to insult,  Miss Chitpas Bhirombhakdi, the daughter of the executive vice-president of Singha Corporation, thus often-referred to as the “Singha-heiress” and now deputy spokeswoman for the now opposition Democrat Party (read about her debut here), has tweeted on Monday morning:

สื่อของ ยิ่งลักษณ์ นับวันจะถูกบีบให้เหลือน้อยลง สัมภาษณ์สดก็ไม่ได้ ออกทีวีก็ไม่เป็น ออกวิทยุก็พูดผิด ทวิตเตอร์ก็ถูกปิด ทีมงานเหนื่อย!

Yingluck’s media outlets are dwindling by the days – she doesn’t give live interviews, doesn ‘t do TV, mixes things up on [her] radio [show], now [her] Twitter [account] got closed! Her staff’s exhausted!

Tweet by @TANTchitpas on October 3, 2011 at 08:41:48 , translation by me

This is the latest in a string of mocks and roasts against Yingluck and her government ever since the Democrat Party was booted out. Here’s just a selection of attacks by the Democrat Party. Astonishingly and strangely enough, in a The Nation article on Yingluck’s Twitter mishaps the editors somehow sneaked in a whole paragraph with something that has nothing to do with the actual story:

Yingluck also came under criticism from Democrat spokesman Chavanont Intarakolmalyasut for mispronouncing ya faek (vetiver grass) as ya praek (pesty grass). “Even when the prime minister was reading a script, she read it wrong,” he said.

She should apologise for her slip-up during her weekly radio address, he said, adding that he did not think it would be funny if 15.7 million Pheu Thai supporters decided to grow weeds instead of vetiver grass for flood prevention.

Democrat MP Watchara Phetthong said Yingluck had made too many gaffes lately. Her misleading remarks about the Navy’s submarine procurement request came just last week, followed by the inability to distinguish between the grass to prevent soil erosion and the weed, he said.

Hacker of PM’s twitter account ‘identified’“, The Nation, October 4, 2011

Before that several Democrat MPs have called the either Yingluck or her government a “puppet PM“, being “obessed with helping Thaksin” and one even her a “ninja” – all that only just happened last September!

But the cake takes the aforementioned Watchara Petchthong who said this after Yingluck’s radio slip-up:

“ผมถือได้ว่ารัฐบาลชุดนี้หลอกลวงพี่น้องประชาชน น่าจะเรียกได้ว่าเป็นรัฐบาล “แปตอหลู” และผมยืนยันว่าจะเรียกรัฐบาลว่าอย่างนี้ (…)”

“I say that this government has fooled the people, so you can say this government is a “cib that frabs” and I insist to [continue] call this government [like this] (…)”

ส.ส.ปชป.ให้ฉายา’แปตอหลู’ จี้นายกฯขอโทษพูดผิด“, Thai Rath, October 2, 2011

Now, in order to understand what Watchara has called this government, we have to explain what “cib that frabs” or in original “แปตอหลู” (pronounced bae-dtoh-loo) actually means: If you want say something indirectly in Thai, people like to swap out letters that results in total gibberish. But if you put it into the right order, you would get “ปูตอแหล” (pronounced “pou-dtoh-lae“). ปู (“Pou“) is Yingluck’s nickname, while “ตอแหล” (“dtoh-lae“) means to lie or to fib, though this word is only used for women. All in all then we would get the “crab that fibs” – which is a rather convoluted way to say that this government is lying.

While it is important that an opposition keeps the government in check and gives a nudge here and there when the occasion arises, it is interesting, if not revealing, to see how they criticize and for what and also what they actually say.

Just because we have a new government, it doesn’t mean they all suddenly stop saying stupid things. If you come across any verbosities that you think might fit in here send us an email at siamvoices [at] gmail.com or tweet us @siamvoices.

Saksith Saiyasombut is a Thai blogger and journalist currently based in Bangkok, Thailand. He can be followed on Twitter @Saksith and now also on his public Facebook page here.

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