Weekly News Magazine: Obsessed with votes from the young, April, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, April 27-May 3, 2018
Main cover picture: New future?
[Refers to famous girl group BNK48 who met with PM Prayuth at Government House. This was a part of a public relations event to promote the Public Relations Department’s Happy Family Radio project, which aims to attract younger listeners to its radio station, FM 105 MHz.
Recently, a lot of famous people were invited to visit PM Prayuth. This leads observers to believe that PM Prayuth is trying to attract younger people to support him as the next prime minister.]

Top: Analyze a game of ‘Jack Ma’ and the ‘Durian effect.’ Who are a winner-losers?
[Refers an analysis of the visit of Chinese businessman and owner of Alibaba Jack Ma (pictured with Prayuth top left). He signed a massive investment deal with the government to help improve e-commerce in Thailand, particularly in the agricultural sector.
One day after his visit, 80,000 Thai durian were ordered through Alibaba which demonstrated a huge demand from the Chinese market.
However, this caused concern as to whether the biog money deals will result in a real benefit to Thai people and farmers.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, April 27-May 3, 2018
Main cover reads: ‘Absorbing’ model
[Refers to PM Prayuth (pictured at right as a pale shadow of Thaksin who is on the left) who is expected to retain his PM post after the next elections.
Recently, the junta appointed two former politicians to the government in what is seen as attempt to build alliances with MP factions.
Sontaya Kunplome, a Phalang Chon Party leader was appointed as adviser to the prime minister on political affairs. His younger brother Ittipol was appointed an adviser to Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat.
This has raised expectations that PM Prayuth is now following Thaksin’s model to attract well-known politicians to his party in order to amass enough MPs to insure he keeps the post of PM.
This is also known as being a “vacuum cleaner.”]

From Manager Weekly, April 28-May 4, 2018
Main cover reads: OTu
[Refers to the junta led by PM Prayuth who met with famous girl group BNK48 at Government House to promote the Public Relations Department’s Happy Family Radio project.
Recently, a lot of famous people, such BNK and the cast from the popular Thai period drama Bupphaesannivas (or “Love Destiny”) were invited to visit PM Prayuth.
This causes speculation that PM Prayuth is trying to attract the votes from young for the upcoming election.
This headline mimics the word “Ota” used among BNK’s fanclub. “Ota” is from the Japanese word “Otaku” meaning a person who is obsessed with something such as pop culture. The word is combined with PM Prayuth’s nickname, “Tu.” So, it becomes ‘OTu’ meaning, perhaps, that the prime minister is obsessed with youth culture in an attempt to gain votes in the next election.]

Top: Phenomenon of [red] ‘jointly delay’ indented forest. Invisible hands VS people’s power
[Refers to a controversial construction project of judges’ residences build on a forested area on Doi Suthep mountain in Chiang Mai. This issue received much attention from the public as it is thought as a test of the junta conern in addressing issues popular with the public.
Although the junta ordered a temporarily stop the project in order to investigate this case, there is concern that the junta may not permanently end this project to return the forest back to the people.
“Jointly delay” refers to this concern as the junta and the judges, probably referred to here as “invisible hands,” may help delay this investigation and the hand back of the land. Then when the public forgets about it, they can move forward again on the construction.
Recently, an interview with Supreme Court judges Sawat Surawattananan and chamnarn Rawiwannapong (pictured at right) showed they supported the of continuing of the project and caused public disappointment.]
Bottom left: “Mohamed Salah” King of Egypt and god of the poor.
[Refers to Egyptian professional footballer Mohamed Salah who plays forward for the English club Liverpool and the Egyptian national team. He is praised as the hero of the poor as he donates funds to help his hometown and the poor in the country.]
Middle: New hope of Kantana planning to buy the channel NOW from the Nation
[Refers to media group Kantana which is planning to buy the NOW channel from the media group Nation to expand their business during the intense competition in the digital TV sector.]
Right: “Danger” of food supplement products
[Refers to the danger of food supplement products which are now popular and easy to buy, particularly from online.]

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