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Foot-in-Mouth Prayut Mocked for Telling Flood Victims Prayer Can Keep Storms Away

'Let’s pray for Prayut to quit instead.'

Prayut Chan-o-cha Thailand Prime Minister Goofy Silly Funny Prayer Wai Rings

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha – who earlier said flooding would not be a concern this year – has landed in more hot water after telling flood-afflicted locals to pray for deliverance from storms and torrential rain.

Prayut on Sept. 26 visited the northern province of Sukothai where monsoon floods have washed away houses and destroyed many locals’ livelihoods.

The former army chief with chronic foot-in-mouth disease suggested that those affected could improve the weather through prayer.

“The [monsoon] storms are hitting us right now. In 2020, there were five storms, but we’ve seen only one so far,” Prayut was quoted as saying. “So I ask all of you to pray together. Don’t let another storm come our way. Only one storm is enough.”

The deluged and Prayut’s critics stormed social media to mock and ridicule the mercurial premier.

“This statement proves that this man is completely incapable of ruling a country for the benefit of the people. Prayer and fortunetellers do not advance a country,” one commenter said, referring to the prime minister’s alleged penchant for consulting fortunetellers before making important decisions.

“Let’s pray for Prayut to quit instead,” another commenter said.

“What about a plan to prevent flooding [in the first place]? In about six months we’ll have droughts again. Every year it’s the same,” noted a third.

In predominantly Buddhist Thailand, superstitious beliefs continue to hold sway over a large segment of the population, including senior politicians such as the prime minister.

In 2017, Prayut bought 20 ceramic containers with lotus flowers growing in them and had them placed in the compound of Government House in Bangkok for good luck.

Prayut, who has been excoriated on social media for his administration’s disastrous handling of Thailand’s unfolding coronavirus crisis, has several auspicious rings and wears a different one every day in line with his various tasks at hand.

“The four rings are named Wan Phra, Wan Namoh, Wan Sondej, Wan Noppakao,” Prayut once explained. “When I wear my [army] uniform, I have to move them to my left hand because wearing them on the right hand makes it hard to salute.”

In a further bid to protect himself from bad luck, the general turned politician wears a bracelet made from the hair of an elephant’s tail.

The original version of this story appears in UCA News, a Bangkok Herald partner.