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PM backs B100m NYE plan

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended the government’s plan to spend some B100 million to secure K-pop sensation Lalisa “Lisa” Manobal of Blackpink and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 26 October 2021, 09:05AM

Andrea Bocelli. Photo: AFP

Andrea Bocelli. Photo: AFP

The Tourism and Sports Ministry has confirmed that both singers will perform in New Year’s Eve shows in Phuket as part of the country’s tourism reopening scheme, reports the Bangkok Post.

The move came under fire after it was revealed that the deals would cost around US$3mn (about B100mn), with critics saying the money could be better spent to support SMEs or rehabilitate the country.

Quoting the prime minister, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the government has set aside funds for both COVID-19 rehabilitation and schemes to spur the economy.

The budget for hiring both performers is part of the tourism promotion scheme, which is necessary as the country is gearing up for its reopening, said Mr Thanakorn.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the proposal to hire the performers will be discussed at a mobile cabinet meeting on Nov 16 in Krabi.

He said the ministry will need to see the details of the contracts first before they are finalised. The draft, he said, should be ready by the end of the month.

Mr Phiphat said for the time being the ministry has not yet asked the government to allocate funds from the central budget for the scheme.

He insisted that the plan to bring both artists to Thailand merited economic value, before adding most of the funds will come from private sector sponsorship.

Meanwhile, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) yesterday (Oct 25) allayed concerns that the Nov 1 reopening might be delayed as new infections remain high.

CCSA assistant spokeswoman Apisamai Srirungson said contingency plans will be put in place to ensure the reopening’s success.

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Fascinated | 26 October 2021 - 22:09:04

One wonders what his kickback, apart from 'selfies' is? Old men and young girls- nothing new here.

christysweet | 26 October 2021 - 18:55:10

Yes let's have a huge group party  to fan the flames of a 4th wave Did they learn nothing from relaxing restrictions during Songkran last year that spread SARS like wildfire? 

christysweet | 26 October 2021 - 18:49:48

C'mon Bocelli I can see but  'Lisa' is what -some kind of inflated ego internet 'influencer'? Isn't her contribution to culture based  on brainwashing  young women into feelings of  negative self -worth? 

Foot | 26 October 2021 - 14:55:21

Must be a huge commission for the "booking agents."  
Very few opera lovers in the world and few non-Korean fans of K-pop. all just a diversion from reality, anyway.
I guess they couldn't find any money to help the noodle vendor gunned downed in cold blood by the Royal Thai Policeman on Bangla Road a few months ago.

Nasa12 | 26 October 2021 - 14:33:15

Not to worry. Lisa and Andrea will save the day. Just be patient a little longer. Hold on a little longer. The promised land is coming soon. If not tomorrow, certainly the day after tomorrow. Have faith in the sacred ones.

JohnC | 26 October 2021 - 09:16:01

Well I know where I won't be going on new year's eve! Stupid waste of money but isn't that always the case with politicians, they love to spend tax-payer's money on ridiculous ideas but not their own. How much more will you waste on fireworks and sundries?


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