A bet between a prominent anti-government protester and a coalition MP over injuries sustained by the former in a recent rally remained unsettled on Monday, after the latter called off the bet at the last minute.
Sira Jenjaka, MP for the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, had dared Thanat Thanakit-amnuay — a well-known anti-government figure — to come to his house in Bangkok to prove Thanat’s claims that he has permanently lost sight in his right eye after he was hit by a rubber bullet during a protest at Din Daeng intersection.
Mr Jenjaka had said if Thanat could prove that his blindness was indeed genuine, then he would pay Thanat one million baht in cash.
However, if Thanat failed to come up with credible proof, then he would have to pay mr Jenjaka 10 million baht in cash.
On Monday, Thanat showed up at Mr Jenjaka’s house, bringing with him a 10-million-baht cheque.
However, before the issue could be settled, Mr Jenjaka left his home, saying he refused to be a part of “a charade” — specifically because he had asked Thanat to bring the money in cash, not a cheque.
Before leaving, Mr Jenjaka insisted the entire thing was not a bet, as the money will be ultimately spent on merit-making, regardless of who has to eventually pay up.
Mr Jenjaka had earlier asked for at least three independent optometrists to vouch for Thanat’s blindness.
Thanat, who had produced a medical certificate issued by a physician to confirm his injury, said he was prepared to undergo further checks at any hospital.
Thanat said Mr Jenjaka shouldn’t have made such a big fuss about the money being in cheque form, saying he clearly has more than enough money to pay.
“The car I drove here costs more than 10 million baht,” he said.
Thanat is said to have been disowned by his wealthy family after he joined the anti-government protests. Reports claimed his family took issue with the way he acted, which they perceived to be against “the higher institution”.