Outrage over drinking competition for Thai women

BANGKOK: A drinking competition for women held at a shopping mall here yesterday went ahead despite Thai senators expressing outrage over the event, organisers said. 

Kittidech Putjusamai, chairman of Thaksin Plaza Company – unconnected to the family businesses of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra – said the competition had gone smoothly. 

“No contestants pulled out. We had a target of 15 contestants and that's what we had, so we were successful,” Kittidech said. 

Contestants had to drink five shot glasses of Thai moonshine and wine, and run a short zig-zag course around wine bottles in a race against the clock. 

Arunothai Sriaran, 36, scooped the 5,000 baht (RM440) cash prize for imbibing and completing the course in seven seconds, he said. 

The competition, aimed at promoting local moonshine and wine, proceeded despite protests from several Thai senators.  

Senate committee vice-chairwoman Rabiabrat Pongpanich reportedly branded the competition “a disgrace to the prestige of all Thai women”. 

The Thai News Agency cited her as saying that the competition was degrading to Thai women and culture. 

“We denounce the organisers. As a mother I regard the competition as seriously destroying the image of Thai women and their dignity,” she said. 

Senator Wallop Tangkananurak, the chairman of the senate committee on women, children and senior citizen affairs, said the competition flew in the face of national campaigns encouraging people to quit drinking. 

While predominantly Buddhist Thailand is famed for its tolerance, drinking to excess in public, particularly by women, is frowned upon. – AFP 

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