The pregant lady, the bank employee and the beauty queen – it’s a cast of characters that might collide with hilarious consequences in a comedy sketch, but instead it was an all-too-real and quite miserable affair.
In the mood for a fresh uproar, the social media last week seized on a video clip taken at the scene of the “crime”. All it showed was the bank employee slipping and falling to the ground, but the caption filled in the sordid details.
Allegedly the bank worker repeatedly kicked the pregnant woman – to the point where she had to be hospitalised – because her son had dented the bank worker’s new Mercedes car. Both parties filed complaints with the police, but no resolution was in view until actress and TV presenter Panadda “Boom” Wongphudee, a former Miss Thailand, stepped in to mediate.
Boom heads the Do the Good Things Organisation (Ong-gon Tham Dee), through which showbiz people help the less fortunate, but a lot of online pundits felt that striking a deal between the feuding parties amounted to letting the bank employee off the hook, and was thus not a “good thing”.
They taunted Boom, saying she’s a lousy negotiator, and some folks laid siege to her on Instagram, posting comments rife with foul language. Others wondered why an ex-beauty queen was getting involved in the first place. Well, Boom explained, “The family of the pregnant woman contacted me and asked me to mediate.”
Two people were having a row, she said, “but wasn’t it better that we could find out a way to settle it or at least minimise the damage? I’ve tried to explain this to the public, but nobody’s listening. And I was really upset because I became a target!”
“I can’t please everyone,” she said, “but I can assure you that I’ve always talked to the people who asked me to help them. I’ve learned a lot from this situation, though. I’ve learned to be more tolerant. I’ve learned that, as long as I know what I’m doing, other people’s praise or hatred doesn’t mean much, because it comes and then goes. So I just focus on the people who need help.”
Boom said her inspiration in founding the Do the Good Things Organisation was Bin Bunluerit, the actor-director who’s done a lot of volunteer social work.
“When Bin was hospitalised, it struck me that social volunteering shouldn’t be all left to one man. Everyone has to help. There were many people around me who were also interested in doing social work, so we grouped together to help those in need. Now we have 31 members, and 25 of them are actors or artists.
“I want to use my fame to help other people,” Boom said. “People know us, so it’s easier for us to get at the needed information and help in other ways. Our organisation has helped settle many legal cases and we even look into online solicitations for donations to make sure it’s not crooks preying on good-hearted people.”