By: Heamakarn Sricharatchanya and Praphorn Praphornkul
Published: 7/04/2009
Source: Bangkok Post

Newin Chidchob, who used to be Thaksin Shinawatra's right-hand man, on Tuesday made an emotional appeal to the former premier to stop questioning His Majesty the King's royal judgement in the selection and appointment of privy councillors.

He said only in this way could Thaksin prove his loyalty to His Majesty.

"I would like to ask Mr Thaksin and the red-shirt leaders who they think they are, that they should think they have better judgement than His Majesty,'' Mr Newin said in a lengthy speech at a press conference in Bangkok.

''By what right do you claim to know better than His Majesty?" Mr Newin said.

Members of Bhumjaithai party appeared with him at the press conference, which lasted for almost an hour.

Mr Newin, who at one stage paused to wipe tears from his eyes, called on Thaksin to stop causing conflict in the country.

"If he [Thaksin] really loves Thailand and the Thai people, as he has claimed repeatedly, he should stop causing disunity in the country from now on," he said.

Mr Newin again reiterated that he had never betrayed his former boss.

"I am just like a hound (ma lah nua). If there is a day when I do not follow an order then I'm seen as being ungrateful," he said. He viewed this as having a difference of opinion, and not as a betrayal.
''We are human beings, not slaves,'' he added

Mr Newin said he had received three things from his association with Thaksin -- a working concept that benefits him in politics, the 10 nights in detention after Thaksin was ousted in 2006, and being accused in the rubber-sapling corruption case and the digit-lottery case.

"But I and others who are accused remain in the country to fight the charges within the justice system,'' Mr Newin said. ''It is only Mr Thaksin who escapes the judicial process."

He then said his group does not support the red-shirt rallies, and he stressed that the Abhisit Vejjajiva government was democratically elected.

"I would like to ask the red-shirt leaders...do they accept that a government is democratically elected only if members of their group are in power?" he said.

The goal of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), he said, was more than just to overthrow the government.

The group's leaders were using the UDD's supporters as a tool to destroy the country, he continued.

The Buri Ram politician then called on the public to use their discretion in deciding whether to join the UDD's mass rally on Wednesday. He reminded them that one of the UDD's core members announced last month that the group would build a new Thai state, and that the satellite TV station, Democracy Television (DTV), would be used as a medium to increase support for it.

He questioned the UDD's objectives in wanting to build a new state, and asked what regime would control it.

"If they want to bring down the highly respected institution, they will have to walk over my dead body first," he said.