KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The latest song by Thailand prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has been met with ridicule and scorn by the nation’s people.
Released on February 9, five days prior to Valentine’s Day, there is no love for song Diamond Heart which has received a humbling 31,000 ‘thumbs down’ on YouTube and just 1,000 up votes by some 130,000 listeners.
The ballad, as it is called by some, encourages “sacrifices for the country, society and Thai fellows”, according to Thailand portal The Nation.
“No matter how much thunder strikes, we will be determined to move forward. We only know that our intention is good and never alters,” the lyrics read.
“Make your hearts like real diamonds and you won’t lose anything. Today we are beside you, obstacles will mean nothing.”
On social media, the reception was far less uplifting.
“Rotten music,” wrote one commentator.
“Uncle Tu, an artist,” said a sarcastic other, referring to the PM’s nickname.
“People with true diamond hearts would not lie day after day... and seize power from women,” Twitter user @noonchuckyai posted.
Prayut led the military coup that overturned Thailand’s civilian government in May 2014, ousting elected leader Yingluck Shinawatra.
He promised elections would be held last November following numerous delays. But a recent law passed just weeks ago could see them postponed until 2019.
Critics called for his resignation.
“Uncle Tu has finally found his calling. Please step down and go compose songs,” one YouTube user wrote, reported by news.com.au.
It is suggested a scandal involving the Thai junta’s number two Prawit Wongsuwan is another reason the song has sparked backlash.
In December, a Facebook group called for answers to Prawit’s habit of luxury spending. Deciphered images shared on social media showed him wearing at least 25 different high-end watches with a total value over US$1.2 million (RM4.67 million), including 11 Rolexes, eight Patek Philippes and three Richard Milles.
The deputy, who is also defence minister, is currently being probed by an anti-graft agency and has promised to step down if it is found the watches were acquired with public assets. He claims the watches are borrowed from friends.
Another YouTube comment read: “Diamond heart, or diamond ring?” in reference to the uproar.
Diamond Ring is his fifth song to be released during Prayut’s tenure as PM, with previous four Bridge, Because You Are Thailand, Hope, Faith and Returning Happiness to Thailand similarly calling on unity in troubled times.
It is reported the Thai PM often reads or writes poems or lyrics to parliament in an attempt to cheer them up.