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Nicknamed "The Hammer Man" for his strict approach when he chaired previous House sessions, newly-appointed House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont tells how he will enforce parliamentary rules.
New House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont has an unusual nickname. He is known as "The Hammer Man" for his strict approach he chaired previous House sessions. Yesterday Bangkok Post reporter Mongkol Bangprapa had a chance to ask him about this. Below are some of the more interesting answers. You can read the full interview here: http://bit.ly/o1DFU8
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Chatting with the "Hammer Man"
Somsak: Same rules for everybody.
You've asked the MPs for cooperation to ensure quorums are met and to behave in an orderly fashion. You've also asked the prime minister to attend question-and-answer sessions. Are you making an effort to shore up the parliament's image?
I am, and I intend to achieve it. People are fed up [with what happened during past House meetings]. MPs should do their job. I have a plan on how to achieve this but this is not the time to discuss it.
Will you hold talks with the government and the opposition about how important this is?
I don't have to. I will act as decreed [by the rules]. I'll treat them with respect and I ask for their cooperation. If the problems persist, I'll find measures to deal with that.
To the public, you look uncompromising. Do you think this image will work with the House?
If I am seen as uncompromising, it's because I go by the rules. When something is made into a rule, and when I adhere to that rule, no one can criticise me for being uncompromising. I'm strict because of the rule, which is there to ensure an orderly debate.
You were tested on your first day. [Rak Thailand party leader Chuvit Kamolvisit was asked to leave the chamber after making numerous protests.]
That's my duty. If I don't [stand up to such tests], they'll say I'm lame.
How much cooperation do you expect from the opposition?
I see them as members of parliament. I don't see this one is the government and that one is the opposition. The same rules apply to all.
You've also asked for cooperation from the prime minister. How much do you expect?
It's her job [to answer questions in parliament], but I'm aware that it is impossible for her to show up every time. She has a country to run. We all have to be reasonable. If she misses a meeting just to cut ribbons at some event, that isn't reasonable.
Are you considering proposing the removal of MPs who miss meetings without a proper cause too frequently?
Let's discuss it if we have that situation. For now, I will treat them with respect.
House Speaker – the person who is in charge of most of the activities of the House of Representatives ประธานสภาผู้แทนราษฎร
nickname – physical
hammer – a tool consisting of a piece of metal with a flat end which is fixed onto the end of a long thin usually wooden handle, used for hitting things ค้อน
strict – very careful and exact เข้มงวด
approach – a way of doing or dealing with something การจัดการกับปัญหา
chair – to be the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน, ทำหน้าที่ในฐานะประธาน
session – a formal meeting of an institution such as a parliament or a court การประชุม
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
cooperation – a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them การร่วมมือกัน
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
quorum – the smallest number of people who must be present at a meeting to allow official decisions to be made องค์ประชุม, จำนวนบุคคลที่กฎหมายกำหนด
orderly fashion – in a well-controlled, well-behaved way อยู่ในระเบียบ มีความสงบ เรียบร้อย
shore up – to help to support something that is weak or going to fail ยัน, พยุง, เสริม
image – an opinion that people have about someone or something ภาพลักษณ์
intend – to plan to do; to want to happen ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น, วางแผนไว้
achieve – to succeed in doing something, especially something difficult to do บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
fed up with – annoyed or bored with something that you feel you have accepted for too long เบื่อ, ผิดหวัง โดยเฉพาะกับสิ่งที่เจอมานาน
the opposition – the political party or parties that are not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน
decree – to decide, judge or order something officially สั่ง
respect – to accept the importance of someone's rights or customs เคารพ
persist – to continue ยืดเยื้อต่อไป
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
deal with – to take action to solve a problem จัดการปัญหา
uncompromising – very determined, and not willing to change your opinions, plans, or actions ไม่ละลด,เด็ดเดี่ยว,แน่วแน่
adhere to – to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. ทำตามกฎหมาย
debate – a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
chamber – one of the sections of a parliament ห้อง ห้องประชุม
numerous – many มากมาย
protest – a strong complaint or disagreement การประท้วง
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
lame – weak อ่อนแอ
apply – to concern or relate to somebody/something ทำให้เกี่ยวข้องกับ, ทำให้มีผลต่อ
aware – knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
reasonable – fair, practical and sensible มีเหตุผล
event – a planned public or social occasion เหตุการณ์
removal – taking something or someone away from somewhere, or off something การย้ายออก, การเคลื่อนย้ายได้, การถอนออก
frequently – often บ่อยๆ