Miss Universe Thailand has been threatened with a lawsuit and potential jail time after a picture of her seemingly “standing on” the country’s national flag went viral.
Anchilee Scott-Kemmis courted controversy after the Miss Universe Thailand Facebook page uploaded a picture of her against the backdrop of the Thai flag, and reportedly underfoot.
Standing on a national flag is a crime punishable by law in Thailand.
JAIL TIME AND A HEFTY FINE
Following the photo scandal, Anchilee Scott-Kemmis was slapped with a threat of a lawsuit from Sonthiya Sawasdee, a former political party advisor.
He accused her of allegedly violating three sections of the 1979 Flag Act, which warns citizens against desecrating the sacred symbol. If convicted, the act is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to 40,000 baht (almost R20 000).
He told Bangkok Post: “Miss Universe Thailand has sizable followers on social media. This is considered an inappropriate publication.”
However Sonthiya also claims the beauty queen did “not act maliciously” and could evade punishment.
MISS UNIVERSE THAILAND RESPONDS
Miss Universe Thailand pageant organisers have responded to the controversy. Pageant director Piyaporn “Pui” Sankosik defended Anchilee Scott-Kemmis and the competition against the allegations.
She said in a recorded interview: “That was the graphic made to convey the greatness of Thai people, not the real flag necessarily”.
The organisation’s Facebook page has since removed the promo picture from its feed.
Meanwhile, Anchilee has officially departed for Eilat, Israel where she will be participating in the Miss Universe pageant on 12 December 2021.
The 22-year-old model met with hundreds of adoring fans who wished her well ahead of her journey at the grande finale next month.
TRICOLOR of UNITY.
Three Colors and One Real Body.
THANK you, EVERYONE, for your LOVE!
What a LOVELY TIME we had at the airport!
“Voice Footage” from “ห้องข่าวหัวเขียว” ThairathTV
70th MISS UNIVERSE
DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THAILAND
Posted by Miss Universe Thailand on Wednesday, 24 November 2021