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Maj Gen Dr Rianthong Nanna’s Harsh Discipline Sparks Outrage: Teen Punished Beyond Bounds in Bangkok Hospital

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In a riveting turn of events that sounds more like the plot of a drama than reality, Maj Gen Dr Rianthong Nanna, the director of Mongkutwattana Hospital renowned for his sharp tongue and no-nonsense approach, has found himself at the center of a storm. This wasn’t a typical day at the hospital; the incident involved a 14-year-old boy, a clandestine cigarette, and an unconventional punishment that has tongues wagging across Bangkok.

The controversy erupted when this teenager decided to light up a cigarette in what he thought was the secret sanctuary of the hospital restroom. Little did he know, his puff was about to ignite a firestorm. The incident, which took place late one Monday night, quickly escalated from a simple admonishing to a tale that would capture the city’s attention.

Caught red-handed, the boy emerged from the restroom only to be greeted by a posse of hospital staff, an ominous sign of the drama that was to unfold. Led to the lobby, he was slapped with a 5,000-baht fine – a hefty sum that might have extinguished his smoking habit but instead sparked an even greater controversy. Before he could digest the situation, his mobile phone was confiscated, serving as a prelude to the arrival of Dr Rienthong, the hospital director himself.

What followed could only be described as a scene from a bygone era. Dr Rienthong, in a display of authoritarian discipline, not only slapped the boy multiple times but also delivered a physical punishment straight out of a medieval playbook, including kicks and knees that would make a wrestler proud. The finale? A command for the teen to strip and make his exit in a state of undress, an act that surely left everyone involved, including the boy, in a state of shock.

As the teenager stumbled out onto Chaeng Watthana Soi 12, naked and bewildered, he sought refuge in the kindness of strangers, a vivid reminder of the unexpected turns life can take. Meanwhile, the legal gears began to grind. Lawyer Ratchaphon Sirisakhon, championing the cause of the humiliated youth, demanded justice for not one but five offences, painting a picture of a punishment far outweighing the crime.

Ms Kanlaya, the boy’s mother, struck a chord of reason amidst the cacophony. Acknowledging her son’s mistake, she couldn’t fathom the rationale behind the draconian measures meted out. Her words, “My son may not be a good guy… But what you did, you have to accept it too,” resonated with a plea for balance in justice.

Never one to retreat, Dr Rienthong doubled down, announcing an astronomical jump in the fine for smoking to 500,000 baht and declaring his hospital a bastion against both smoke and waywardness. Proud of his stance, he seemed unperturbed by the prospect of legal battles, standing firmly by his methods designed to instill a hard-learned lesson.

Dr Rienthong’s penchant for controversy is not new. From forming a group to monitor royal defamation to enforcing a social media scrutiny policy for new hires, his exploits are legendary. Yet, this latest episode has undoubtedly cast a spotlight on the fine line between discipline and dignity, raising questions far beyond the smoke-filled confines of a hospital restroom.

In a city that never sleeps, where every day brings a new story, this tale of punishment, controversy, and a quest for justice continues to capture the imagination. As the dust settles, what remains is a conversation about consequences, respect, and perhaps, a reflection on how we choose to teach the lessons that life inevitably brings our way.


  1. JaneDoe101 May 15, 2024

    I can’t believe what I’m reading! This is not discipline, it’s outright abuse. No one, especially a teen, deserves to be treated this way for a mistake like smoking. There has to be a better way to handle such incidents.

    • TraditionUpkeep May 15, 2024

      Completely disagree! The kid broke the rules and disrespect the hospital’s policies. Dr. Rienthong’s methods may seem harsh, but they are clearly designed to teach a hard lesson. This is about setting an example.

      • JaneDoe101 May 15, 2024

        Setting an example by abusing a child? That’s a dangerous precedent to set. Discipline should be about teaching, not traumatizing. There’s a fine line between enforcing rules and violating someone’s basic human rights.

    • LegalEagle88 May 15, 2024

      From a legal standpoint, this could be seen as assault and battery, not to mention humiliating in a public manner. There’s a process for disciplinary actions, and this went way beyond any rational measure.

  2. HealthFirst May 15, 2024

    Smoke-free hospitals are common and for good reasons. Smoking is a public health hazard. The kid was wrong to smoke, especially in a hospital. However, the punishment does seem excessive and poorly executed.

  3. BangkokNative May 15, 2024

    As a Bangkok resident, I can tell you, this is not how we want our children treated. Yes, smoking is wrong, but there must be compassion in discipline. What happened to talking and understanding instead of jumping straight to punishment?

  4. Sir Smokes-a-lot May 15, 2024

    I got caught smoking as a kid, and a stern talk was enough to scare me straight. No need to go medieval on the kid. Dr. Rienthong has taken it too far this time.

  5. Disciplinarian May 15, 2024

    Kids today get away with too much because consequences aren’t severe enough. Dr. Rienthong is doing what needs to be done to ensure his hospital remains respected and rules are followed.

    • ModernMomma May 15, 2024

      Are you suggesting that humiliating and physically abusing a child is okay because ‘rules are rules’? That’s a twisted view of discipline and respect.

      • Disciplinarian May 15, 2024

        It’s not twisted, it’s about maintaining order. Sometimes the old ways are what’s needed to get through to the youth.

      • RealistRaj May 15, 2024

        Maintaining order shouldn’t involve stripping a child’s dignity away. There’s nothing ‘real’ about causing psychological trauma to teach a lesson.

  6. EmpathyEngineer May 15, 2024

    This entire situation could have been an educational moment. Instead, it turned into a spectacle of punishment. We need empathy and understanding, not fear and aggression, in our institutions.

  7. FactFinder May 15, 2024

    Let’s not overlook that Dr. Rienthong has a history of controversial actions. This isn’t a one-time occurrence; it’s a pattern. It’s time to question whether his approach to discipline and rules is in the best interest of society.

  8. OliverTwist May 15, 2024

    Anyone else thinks a 500,000 baht fine for smoking is downright ludicrous? That’s an impossible amount for most people. How does this even serve as a reasonable deterrent?

    • SensibleSara May 15, 2024

      Exactly my thought! It’s purely symbolic and meant to intimidate rather than educate or rehabilitate. Punishments should fit the crime and offer a path to rectification, not lead to financial ruin.

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