From Manager, February 18, 2019
In black box: “Siam smile” “Why do Thai people always smile? Because Thai people don’t have a stand on everything. When they are asked about anything they can’t answer so what they can only do is smile… without any stand.” Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit
[Refers to a quote from Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn when describing Thai people’s political viewpoints.
In the quote, “don’t have a stand on everything” means people do not know what to say and do not have stands on issues. The implication being that people were perhaps not doing their duty as citizens for not having strong viewpoints like Thanathorn did.
This quote was criticized for reflecting a condescending viewpoint towards grassroots voters as it is well-known that Thais smile when trying to maintain the middle ground in a situation or when trying not to offend.
The joke here is that Thanathorn has a big grin on his face indicating he has no political stand and his own mind is empty. However, the allusion might also be that he is faking his empty-headedness just like the grassroots voters he spoke about since Thanathorn once had controversial political viewpoints that he disavowed once he founded his own political party.]
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