The House Committee on Corruption Affairs, chaired by Pol Gen Seripisut Temiyavet, is looking increasingly like a circus, with the constant tit-for-tat squabbling between him and committee member, Ms. Pareena Kraikupt, which appears to have taken on an air of infantile absurdity.
When the House committee meeting resumed this morning, Ms. Pareena, Palang Pracharat MP for Ratchaburi province, raised her hand to protest against Pol Maj-Gen Virote Pao-in, Pheu Thai senior party member and an advisor to the chairman, taking the seat next to the chair, a place normally reserved the committee’s deputy chairman.
Opposing members on the committee then argued with each other until a parliamentary official was summoned to explain the rules on House committee seating. The answer was that there are no written rules, prompting Seripisut to announce that members may occupy any seat they wish.
Ms. Pareena then rushed to take a seat next the former police chief, who jokingly told reporters in the meeting room to take pictures of him seated next to Pareena, adding he had the privilege of sitting next to a beautiful woman, which was good provided that she did not embrace him.
The House committee meeting then proceeded until the issue about a proposal to unseat Seripisut as the committee chairman was raised. When Seripisut noticed Pareena working on a mobile device, he asked if she was texting someone, to which she replied that she was googling a report about House speaker Chuan Leekpai’s plan to unseat Seripisut as committee chairman.
Another round of noisy arguments erupted, prompting the chairman to threaten to report to Mr. Chuan that he was disturbed by the use of smartphones in the meeting room.
Sira Jenjakha, a Palang Pracharat MP, interjected, saying that the committee chairman had not been looking at her device, but her person.
“There is nothing about Pareena that is worth watching,” Seripisut was heard to have responded to Sira, who hit back, saying “Is this the statement from a former police chief?”
Seripisut has annoyed Pareena and other Palang Pracharat members in the House committee with his obsessive pursuit of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over his failure to recite in full the oath of allegiance during the swearing-in ceremony several months ago.