Former Thai Prime Ministers and siblings Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck Shinawatra were spotted on December 18 sampling some good Thai chow at Thaksin’s namesake food stall Thaksin Beef Noodle at Seah Im Food Centre near HarbourFront, here in Singapore.
For hawker and stall owner Jaesen Ng, the surprise visit was a dream come true, especially since he named his food stall specifically the after Thai ex-PM Mr. Thaksin.
The visit happened on Tuesday, December 18, at around noon. Ng said that the former Thai PMs arrived with Mr. Thaksin’s daughter, Paetongtarn (Ing) Shinatwatra.
“I was elated. After all, I named my stall after him,” said 64-year-old Ng to another media source.
Ng shared that when he opened his Thai-style beef noodle shop in 2003, he was in search of a name that would have impact and one that would be easy to remember. “Thaksin” was the perfect choice for Ng, who hoped to meet the namesake of his shop someday.
“I knew deep inside that I would meet him,” said Ng, who also asked, “What took you so long?” when he finally met the former Thai PM.
Ng took to Facebook to post about the visit, saying that he had waited 15 years to meet Thaksin and that he was “humbled” by being visited by “two great former prime ministers”.
Here is the post:
Mr. Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn (Ing) Shinatwatra also shared a post on her Facebook page about their visit to Thaksin Beef Noodle stall.
In her post below, Ing thanked Thaksin Beef Noodle for the “love and support” shown toward her father.
The video below, which has been circulating around WhatsApp, shows Ng leading the Shinawatras toward Thaksin Beef Noodle, where they checked out the menu and took some photos in front of the stall.
Mr. Thaksin served as Thailand’s prime minister from 2001 to 2006, when he was overthrown in a military coup. He fled Thailand after that and was convicted of conflict of interest charges in absentia in 2006. He now lives in Dubai.
Mr. Thaksin’s sister, Ms. Yingluck, also became Thailand’s prime minister, this time in 2011. However, she was thrown out by a court ruling in 2014, after which her government was overthrown as well by a similar military coup.
Ms. Yingluck, who is now allegedly based in Britain (according to sources in the Puea Thai Party), left Thailand in August 2017. A few weeks after that, the Supreme Court sentenced her to five years in jail after she mismanaged a rice subsidy scheme.
The Shinawatras were also spotted in Singapore in February of this year. According to party members, the siblings had travelled to China, Japan and Hong Kong before landing in Singapore.
It is not clear how the Mr. Thaksin knew of Thaksin Beef Noodle stall, but the Shinawatras’ visit made owner Ng very happy. He reported that he was surprised that the Shinawatras liked his food, “especially my pad thai and dried chilli”.
According to Ng, Ms. Yingluck enjoyed his dried chilli so much that she took a pack away with her.
In his post, Ng thanked the Shinawatras for visiting his stall, where they enjoyed “three bowls of beef noodles and a pad thai”.
“To host a prime minister is a privilege – to host two is beyond words,” said Ng proudly on his Facebook post.