Thai Education Minister’s Praise for North Korean System Sparks Outrage
Thailand’s Education Minister is under fire for praising the strict discipline of the North Korean education system.
According to local media outlets, including the Bangkok Post, on the 6th, Education Minister Permpoon Chidchob spoke highly of North Korea’s enforcement of discipline among students during a meeting with Kim Je Bong, the North Korean ambassador to Thailand, on the 19th of last month.
Minister Permpoon also praised North Korea’s patriotism and loyalty to its leaders.
He added that if they receive educational support from North Korea, the Ministry of Education would like to learn from it.
A statement on the Minister’s social media account stated, “I hope to visit North Korea to study its culture and have opportunities for exchanges that will benefit education.”
On that day, Ambassador Kim reportedly visited the Ministry of Education to congratulate Minister Permpoon on his appointment and discuss expanding exchanges.
Nearly 20 days have passed since their meeting, but the online community is still boiling with criticism.
There are continuous reactions mocking the Minister and opposing his views.
Thai people are leaving critical comments on social media, such as “There is no hope,” “Does he want Thailand to become like North Korea?” and “This is a masterpiece.”
Minister Permpoon has been a police officer for 37 years, from 1984 to 2021.
He is the brother of Newin Chidchob, the leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, which is part of the current coalition government, and became the Minister of Education when the new government was formed last year.
Concerns were raised from inside and outside the political sphere when he was appointed Minister, given his lack of educational and political experience and background as a police officer.
At the time, experts pointed out that if he adhered to the old bureaucratic system, unlike today’s students who want to exercise their freedom and rights, there could be problems.