Exiled ex-Thai PMs enjoying Penang

Premier attraction: Yingluck and Thaksin tucking into some of the local dishes in George Town, Penang. — Photo from Yingluck’s social media site.

GEORGE TOWN: Exploring the Pearl of the Orient reminded exiled former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Phuket and made her miss her country more.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Yingluck who is here with her brother and also exiled former Thai premier Thaksin, revealed that it was her second visit to Penang.

“Came to Penang for the second time after a long time.

“Here to find old memories with my brother. The city has changed a lot,” she wrote.

Yingluck, 55, said Penang has a similar vibe to Phuket island.

“I miss it. The food is similar. And what’s even more unique is that the city has photo spots along the walkways or shops for people to take photos as memories.

“I want our tourist town (Phuket) to improve to have more memorable spots to have pictures taken,” she said.

From savouring local delicacies to exploring street art along Armenian Street and taking a trishaw ride in George Town heritage enclave, the Shinawatra siblings were seen having a good time in Penang.

“My brother and I took the opportunity to go and find some old-fashioned desserts and it makes me miss home a bit,” Yingluck continued.

The former Thai premiers played plain tourists as they took in the sights of George Town on a trishaw, besides indulging in Penang’s famous char koey teow, Chinese pasembur, or chien (fried lobster) and lobak and enjoying desserts like ice kacang and cendol.

They also stopped to be photographed with some of Penang’s famous murals and wall art including that of the Kids On a Bicycle at Armenian Street and Boy on a Chair at Cannon Street

Yingluck said taking photographs of tourist spots helped one to remember a place.

Thaksin, 73, was Thailand’s prime minister from 2001 to 2006, while Yingluck was the first Thai female prime minister, serving from 2011 to 2014.

Thaksin fled Thailand in 2008 to escape a corruption ruling and has lived in exile ever since.

A controversial 2013 Amnesty Bill that would have paved the way for his return instead triggered street protests which culminated in the 2014 coup against Yingluck’s government.

She was tried in 2016 but did not appear in court in August 2017 for the verdict.

An arrest warrant was issued. Yingluck fled the country and is said to be based in London.

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Yingluck Shinawatra , Penang , visit , Thaksin


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