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Move Forward MP Pukkamon Nunarnan Challenges Government’s $3 Billion PR Budget in Heated Debate

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During an intense budget debate in the House of Representatives on Friday, Move Forward Member of Parliament, Pukkamon Nunarnan, made a compelling argument against the government’s significant allocation of funds to public relations (PR). Her scrutiny threw a spotlight on the nearly 3 billion baht set aside for PR activities, questioning the necessity and efficiency of such extensive spending.

Pukkamon Nunarnan, a prominent party list-MP with the Move Forward Party, meticulously dissected the proposed outlay of 2.94 billion baht of taxpayer money earmarked for advertising and PR campaigns. Her analysis uncovered a troubling trend: a staggering 600 million baht worth of projects were redundant, particularly those focused on anti-drug campaigns. According to Pukkamon, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), and both the Defence and Interior ministries have overlapping initiatives.

The MP expressed skepticism about whether these repetitive campaigns would offer real benefits to the public. She raised an eyebrow at the Anti-Fake News Centre, which, instead of being a neutral and independent body, appeared to be defending specific political parties while withholding information that could potentially aid the public. This inclination towards partiality, she warned, could turn the center into a political pawn.

In a twist of irony, while the government bypassed earmarking a budget for promoting “soft power” TV programmes, Pukkamon noted a 36 million baht allocation aimed at enhancing Thailand’s international image through “proactive” PR efforts. This led her to question the true intentions behind these financial maneuvers.

Moreover, the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) was brought into the spotlight for its extensive network of 729 social media channels. This includes 313 TikTok accounts and 129 YouTube channels, numbers Pukkamon found implausibly high and worthy of deeper scrutiny.

One of the more perplexing issues she highlighted was regarding a TV channel that, although privately owned, had shuttered its doors. Some of its programmes were then transferred to the state-run NBT. Despite the Public Relations Department’s assurances that these transfers adhered to regulations, Pukkamon pointed out that the transferred programmes had dismal ratings, raising questions about their actual public interest value.

Pukkamon advocated for amending the Government Procurement and Inventory Management Act to provide clearer guidelines on PR expenditure and procurement to ensure that every baht spent serves the public interest transparently. She firmly emphasized that government funds should never be misappropriated for self-serving propaganda.

As a final thought, Pukkamon passionately called on the media to maintain independence and neutrality, especially in political matters. In her view, the media’s role is to inform and educate the public without bias, serving as an unbiased watchdog rather than a political ally.

Her call for action reverberated through the House, with eyes turning towards how these significant issues would be addressed. Pukkamon’s incisive critique not only underlined the importance of financial accountability but also the pivotal role transparency must play in governmental operations.


  1. Alice June 21, 2024

    This is why I support the Move Forward Party! Finally, someone is challenging this wasteful spending.

    • Tommy A. June 21, 2024

      But isn’t some PR necessary to keep the public informed? It’s a tricky balance.

      • Alice June 21, 2024

        Informing the public is one thing, Tommy. Burning millions of baht on redundant campaigns is another.

    • Pat_K June 21, 2024

      Exactly, Alice! Transparency is key. We deserve to know how our tax money is being used.

  2. Sam June 21, 2024

    You can’t be serious! Without PR, how do we expect to combat misinformation effectively?

    • Mike H June 21, 2024

      Sam, sure, but when PR turns into propaganda, that’s a big problem.

      • Sam June 21, 2024

        I agree we need checks and balances, Mike. But cutting the budget by this much can be dangerous too.

    • Ploy P. June 21, 2024

      Sam, maybe the issue is not the PR itself, but how it’s managed. More accountability would help.

  3. Nick June 21, 2024

    Imagine 3 billion baht being used for things like education or healthcare instead. Priorities are messed up.

    • Sue June 21, 2024

      Yes, but don’t forget that perception globally also matters. We can’t put everything in one basket.

      • Nick June 21, 2024

        Sue, global image is fine, but not at the expense of domestic needs. It’s about balance.

    • Alisa June 21, 2024

      True, Nick! How about using that money to address the COVID situation better? That would’ve been more practical.

  4. Mark L. June 21, 2024

    Is it just me, or does anyone else find it crazy that there are 729 social media channels? Ridiculous!

    • Jenny June 21, 2024

      Absolutely! Who even monitors all of those channels? Seems like a waste of resources.

      • Mark L. June 21, 2024

        Exactly, Jenny. They probably just fill them with repetitive content that no one watches.

    • Kevin_Tech June 21, 2024

      Makes you wonder what the actual engagement on those channels looks like. Probably close to zero!

  5. Ava June 21, 2024

    The Anti-Fake News Centre being biased is a huge issue. How can we trust our sources?

    • Victor June 21, 2024

      Ava, independent bodies should not be influenced by politics. It’s a real betrayal of trust.

      • Ava June 21, 2024

        I totally agree, Victor. We need reform to ensure neutrality.

    • Elle_Writes June 21, 2024

      Public trust is at an all-time low. More transparency could help, but who will ensure that?

  6. Gregory June 21, 2024

    NBT taking over private programs sounds sketchy to me. What exactly is going on here?

    • Mac June 21, 2024

      Agreed, Gregory. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes we probably don’t know about.

      • Gregory June 21, 2024

        Precisely, Mac. This really needs deeper investigation.

    • Sara L. June 21, 2024

      And what’s worse, those transferred programs had poor viewership. What was the point?

  7. Jenna June 21, 2024

    Pukkamon’s call for media independence is so vital. A free media is essential for democracy.

    • Taylor June 21, 2024

      Absolutely, Jenna. But achieving true independence from political influence is easier said than done.

      • Jenna June 21, 2024

        True, but it’s a fight worth fighting for. We owe it to the next generation.

    • Paulie June 21, 2024

      Media should serve the people, not the politicians. It’s a cornerstone of a healthy democracy.

  8. Oliver B. June 21, 2024

    Why aren’t more MPs questioning this budget? It’s like they don’t care about fiscal responsibility!

    • Lila June 21, 2024

      Many probably benefit from the status quo. It’s hard to bite the hand that feeds you.

      • Oliver B. June 21, 2024

        Sadly, Lila, that’s probably true. Corruption is a vicious cycle.

    • garcia57 June 21, 2024

      Most politicians are more concerned about their own gain than the public good.

  9. Chris June 21, 2024

    This debate makes me worried about where other budget allocations are going without scrutiny.

    • Steph M. June 21, 2024

      Chris, that’s the crux of it. We need more MPs like Pukkamon who dare to question authority.

  10. Liam June 21, 2024

    Why does it feel like everything is about image nowadays? Focus on real issues, not PR stunts.

  11. Fran June 21, 2024

    This is a wake-up call. We need stronger laws to make sure money isn’t just thrown away.

  12. Nate K. June 21, 2024

    Good on Pukkamon for calling out the PM’s office. Too much money is being wasted.

    • Olivia June 21, 2024

      For sure, Nate. It’s about time someone cut through the BS.

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