Singha beer family disowns Chitpas

The father of Singha beer heiress and core anti-government protest leader Chitpas Bhirombhakdi on Monday announced his daughter will change her surname, to allow her to continue political activities without further hurting the family business.

In an open letter sent to the media on Monday evening, Jutinan Bhirombhakdi, executive vice-president of Singha Corporation, said he had talked to Ms Chitpas several times about her expression of opinions on political matters, but they had different opinions on several issues.

Ms Chitpas, who was formerly deputy spokeswoman for the Democrat Party, insisted on continuing with her political career, he said.

He said said, “My wife and I and Ms Chitpas have discussed this for a while and agree that [she should] change her surname.”

Mr Jutinan did not say what surname his daughter would adopt, but Ms Chipas can use the maiden family name of her mother, ML Piyapas Bhirombhakdi, née Kridakorn, if she takes the step advocated in the letter. 

In the letter, Mr Jutinan also apologised for his daughter’s views expressed in an interview with  foreign reporters, whch he said had caused resentment by many people.

A Boon Rawd Brewery source said people in the Bhirombhakdi had been instructed by Phraya Bhirombhakdi, the founder of the family, to avoid getting involved with politics as he believed politics could not get along well with business.   

The source said Ms Chitipas is the first family member not to abide by Phraya Bhirombhakdi’s advice.

The source confirmed the sale volumes of beer produced by the company remain normal. Mr Santi did not prevent any member in the Bhirombhakdi family to step into politics because it is a personal right but urged that their political career must not involve the family and its business.

Mr Jutinan last week warned his greater family of the possible affects on the family's Boon Rawd brewery interests if Ms Chitpas continued her political acivities.

The British-educated 27-year-old was quoted in a report by AFP last week as saying: "... many Thais lack a true understanding of democracy... especially in the rural areas".   

The announcement came after Singha family patriarch and managing director of Boon Rawd Brewery Santi Bhirombhakdi last week sent a letter to Mr Jutinan, which was somehow leaked to the public, warning the company and family had now been dragged into involvement with politics by Ms Chitpas’s political activities and asking him to review his earlier warnings and advice on the issue.

Mr Santi is Mr Jutinan's cousin. 

Last week, four petrol bombs were hurled into the grounds of Ms Chitpas's family home on Soi Ramkhamhaeng 12 in Bang Kapi district. Not one was injured and police say the attack was likely politically motivated.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 09/01/2014 at 10:40 PM
she will start with a lot of money, what are you talking about ?and its easy to go protesting if you no need to feed a family ! imo shes just bored and she get attention, because thai-people fall on their knees if they have rich people in front of them!
Discussion 2 : 28/12/2013 at 03:12 PM
I am perplexed with the tone of your comment. You are obviously one of the many who adulate money and the rich. Being rich does not necessarily mean being happy. I think Chitpas would gladly trade her fortune with love and support of her family.
Discussion 3 : 28/12/2013 at 01:57 PM
Maybe, but even with her British education she may 'do an Aphisit' and revert to type. This IS Thailand you know.
Discussion 4 : 27/12/2013 at 03:15 AM
"This woman one day will be a Prime Minister of Thailand". If so, it is a day we will rue, because it will not be a democratic Thailand. Perhaps to be eligible to vote we have to show our bank statements, or show our land title deeds. Perhaps she will have to face mobs roaming the streets screaming for her resignation. What is to prevent those opposed to her using the same tactics Suthep and she are using today?
Discussion 5 : 26/12/2013 at 06:52 PM
graydog, did Chitpas study democracy and politics in the UK? Just because someone is UK educated doesn't mean they automatically become knowledgable in democracy. Granted, you could say living in the UK has given her exposure to living in an established democratic country, in which case she should be well aware that mass violent protests are not tolerated and will be tackled by police (think Tottenham riots in 2011). Also worth noting, Britain came 26th, near last, in a recent study of the quality of democracy in 30 countries.
Discussion 6 : 26/12/2013 at 04:39 PM
Oh please she's from one of the richest family in Thailand. Why are people feeling sorry for her? She should just stay humble and enjoy her good fortune.
Discussion 7 : 26/12/2013 at 04:04 PM
sinnerboy. No, Carlsberg is not Chang's parent company, though they were once in a joint venture. Ironically for you this year Carlsberg signed a marketing agreement with Singha!
Discussion 8 : 26/12/2013 at 02:27 PM
Personally, I don't see anything wrong in holding and expressing one's political convictions as long as there is no violence and no one has been slandered. Why then the need for an apology? Indeed, the perpetrators who tried to petrol bomb her residence should be apprehended and held to account. Surely Right Vision, Right Conduct and Right Livelihood should govern behaviour in Buddhist Thailand.
Discussion 9 : 26/12/2013 at 12:16 PM
Chitpas is Heroine, and Genius is her fire, Talent is her fame
Discussion 10 : 26/12/2013 at 06:16 AM
Why study in the USA? Because they have the best universities. Their society is more egalitarian, less class distinction; no such thing as House of Lords, which gives you the idea that privilege can be yours by birth.
Discussion 11 : 26/12/2013 at 05:13 AM
Yes we British do tend to fit into the Orwell view of democracy, all animals being equal, but some more equal than others
Discussion 12 : 26/12/2013 at 05:06 AM
Lao Beer is the best in SE Asia
Discussion 13 : 26/12/2013 at 04:59 AM
No more Singha beer for this boy, I'll soon get used to Chang, parent company Carlsberg from a truely democratic country, Denmark
Discussion 14 : 25/12/2013 at 07:35 PM
While your at it, nighthawk, you might as well quit drinking LEO also. As the family produces the "lower quality" albeit better tasting (in my opinion at least) beer. This is a fact that most hi-so's play down because of the working class association with LEO beer. LEO, the Thai version of Budweiser for sure.
Discussion 15 : 25/12/2013 at 07:04 PM
"This woman one day will be a Prime Minister of Thailand"... When his friends will have removed the vote for the majority and win the civil war they want. maybe.
Discussion 16 : 25/12/2013 at 06:28 PM
Why study in USA? Isn't it where the Shinawatras studied, but have no clue about democracy.
Discussion 17 : 25/12/2013 at 04:15 PM
What say you? Thaksin and Yingluck are the prime examples of successfully mixing business with politics!! See how they have managed to enrich themselves further while in power?
Discussion 18 : 25/12/2013 at 04:11 PM
True. Time to switch to San Miguel beer, folks! Much smoother ...
Discussion 19 : 25/12/2013 at 04:08 PM
' ... not to be misled further.' I beg your pardon - BeingAsian. Khun Chitpas has a mind of her own and knows fully well the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies, and, yes - democracy and autocracy.
Discussion 20 : 25/12/2013 at 02:40 PM
democracy does begin at the voting booth, it certainly does not end there. Khun Chitpas comes from an ideal background to improve the thai political arena by winning votes - without money. It is hard work, but nobody said it was going to be easy. Read Chamlong Srimuang on WIKI - oh, how much i wish there was another chamlong right now right here.
Discussion 21 : 25/12/2013 at 02:25 PM
This woman one day will be a Prime Minister of Thailand. I doubt she will stick with Democrat Party . This is a debut of her political career She is well educated and rich . She knows exactly the impact of her family business , but she is care about her country than anything else.
Discussion 22 : 25/12/2013 at 02:05 PM
Or Yingluck should change her surname. Hmmm billionaire families in politics all over Thailand. both side huh.
Discussion 23 : 25/12/2013 at 10:55 AM
Who wrote this headline? She has not been disowned by her father! For business reasons, she has been asked to change her last name simply to protect the family's brewery from losing sales. Maybe she should change her name to Shinawatra.
Discussion 24 : 24/12/2013 at 10:37 PM
Ms. Chitpas is faced with a tough choice: will she be a politician ... or a singer/entertainer. But then again, in Thailand you can probably be both at the same time, and still be taken seriously.
Discussion 25 : 24/12/2013 at 05:02 PM
She does the right thing by not using this last name anymore,we need many more young and courageous person like her.I would be very proud to be her father
Discussion 26 : 24/12/2013 at 12:44 PM
I would rather think of an amiable agreement between parents and daughter; she changes her name to prevent the whole family and business to be hurt by her personal conviction and political activities. Chitpas, go on assuming your political affinities with the same integrity that you have demonstrated until now.
Discussion 27 : 24/12/2013 at 10:36 AM
I'm not so sure about "truth" which many people claim to speak but which few of us can do with absolute conviction. She does however speak her opinion boldly and that is good enough. I may disagree with her but (as Voltaire didn't actually say) I defend her right to say it.
Discussion 28 : 24/12/2013 at 09:38 AM
It is unfortunate that so many Thai have the mistaken idea that democracy begins and ends in the voting booth.
Discussion 29 : 24/12/2013 at 08:45 AM
How do you know the family worries about money? Perhaps they worry about money and Thailand, not necessarily in that order, as we all do. She worries about Thailand; that's because she's never had to earn money (presumably).
Discussion 30 : 24/12/2013 at 08:37 AM
telling the truth is a taboo here. Let's all live under lies and false informations.
Discussion 31 : 24/12/2013 at 08:27 AM
There's a fine line between conviction and bullheadedness.
Discussion 32 : 24/12/2013 at 08:20 AM
I have the utmost RESPECT for this lady. The family worries about money, she worries about Thailand.
Discussion 33 : 24/12/2013 at 08:19 AM
Smart, pretty and intelligent! Possibly so, though two words would have sufficed. But not misguided? Could it be due to listening to all those House of Lords debates, where privileged is guaranteed by birth? Perhaps should get out and about in rural Thailand a bit more, especially North and Northeast.
Discussion 34 : 24/12/2013 at 08:02 AM
Why Khun Jutinan has to apologize for his daughter, as she speaks the truth?
Discussion 35 : 24/12/2013 at 07:56 AM
But many more millions don't. What does being pretty have to do with anything?
Discussion 36 : 24/12/2013 at 07:43 AM
She a great girl, she made me quit drinking Singha beer. Good for me!
Discussion 37 : 24/12/2013 at 07:28 AM
Khun Chitpas I "kow tau" to you for having true character and know true democracy. Yr family do not deserve your intelect!
Discussion 38 : 24/12/2013 at 07:26 AM
Dear Ms Chitpas, Please marry me for free use of a legal binding name.
Discussion 39 : 24/12/2013 at 07:25 AM
Chitpas is so much cuter and smarter than YS
Discussion 40 : 24/12/2013 at 07:11 AM
"she clearly doesn't believe in civil rights and equality and is an extremist". Replace 'she' with several Shinawatras and I think you'd have a more accurate statement.
Discussion 41 : 24/12/2013 at 06:58 AM
Chitpas, millions from all over the World support you! Be proud! You are very smart, pretty and intelligent!
Discussion 42 : 24/12/2013 at 06:54 AM
Telling the truth is not appreciated in Thailand. And this is a Buddhist country?
Discussion 43 : 24/12/2013 at 06:42 AM
All ways,it is all about saving face.
Discussion 44 : 24/12/2013 at 06:32 AM
There is a saying that I learn growing up "Stupid is what stupid does", and trust me, Ms. Chitpas is not stupid. That should say a lot about the the rest of her critic. Thailand should take a page from from China, and execute all major corruption crimes, or at lease band the person and their immediate family from politic for the rest of their life.
Discussion 45 : 24/12/2013 at 06:17 AM
Chin up girl, millions of us respect your values and beliefs and we love you for it.
Discussion 46 : 24/12/2013 at 06:15 AM
What a waste of British education; not to understand what democracy is all about. But then so was Abhisit's. They might have done better to have studied in the USA.
Discussion 47 : 24/12/2013 at 06:15 AM
Yes, the ultra educated rural folk engage firebombs before brains against an innocent families home. Let's put more of them in office. Brilliant! She deserves a family that supports her with love and rewards independent thinking not one that folds to red shirt violence that requires killing of all who think differently. Congratulation, she can start her own family with family values over money.
Discussion 48 : 24/12/2013 at 06:08 AM
Changing your surname and being disowned are two different things. Is she still in the will?
Discussion 49 : 24/12/2013 at 06:07 AM
Money before blood!
Discussion 50 : 24/12/2013 at 05:44 AM
The UDD just hate a woman that is educated and can speak her mind. My hats off to her for fighting for her beliefs. If more Thai women from the North did this then maybe the family wouldn't have them working in Pattaya and sending money home. This father should be ashamed to not stand by his daughter. Normal for some thai man. Money first family last.
Discussion 51 : 24/12/2013 at 05:34 AM
Agreed, when politics creates this time of family divide, things are out of control. But I think this situation is representative of the deep divide within Thai society.
Discussion 52 : 24/12/2013 at 05:33 AM
I hope that she will be reffered to as " daughter of Jutinan Bhirombhakdi " in all future articles .
Discussion 53 : 24/12/2013 at 05:27 AM
the statement she made was correct ,being uk educated she has a good understanding of democracy, most farangs think the same way thailand is not a real democracy, some thing very wrong with the set up if there has only ever been 1 prime minister to go a full term. reform is needed but not at the hands of only 1 party,and after reform all thais need follow the rules put in place.
Discussion 54 : 24/12/2013 at 03:18 AM
For one, she is spot on. Most Thais, both those living in the rural area and in Bangkok don't know what is Democracy, all they know is Mob Rule, which is quite self-evident as we speak!
Discussion 55 : 24/12/2013 at 03:05 AM
Imagine this movement will become a major success and imagine Chitpas will become a famous politician someday – maybe PM. I wonder what her family will do then. Will they proudly say: “she is one of us”? I wish her all the best. Thais clearly want a good looking PM. She looks better than the current one…
Discussion 56 : 24/12/2013 at 01:40 AM
Sadly for Ms Chitpas, beer is thicker than blood. In a fledging democracy like Thailand, freedom for expressing one’s political conviction is discourage for individuals from well known families and mega business entities as there are dire repercussions from the opposing sides; it’s ‘either you’ve with us or with them’ ultimatum. Fear is the by-product of democracy in Thailand; the fear of expressing one’s political conviction, the fear of losing political power and the fear of losing out on lucrative contracts and personal benefits. Where are the honors and personal sacrifices for the good of the people and nation?
Discussion 57 : 24/12/2013 at 01:28 AM
I had a full British education and grew up under that democracy. My verdict is that she is 100% right in her opinion and stand against corruption. Some of the people posting here obviously have no idea what they are talking about and simply regurgitate the propaganda like programmed cattle.
Discussion 58 : 24/12/2013 at 01:05 AM
The politics of beer make me smile cause now I start to understand why there is nearly no more Singha to see in northern and northeastern Restaurants. But sorry - drinking Leo means also to support this company - as far I know. Please tell me if I'm wrong. So the number of choices (not only if talking about beer) is very small in Thailand (compared with Germany). However: without election there's a clear statement of the voters! Maybe you all should try it now with Lao Beer - the quality however is great and it is politically nearly correct (which color you might choose ever)....
Discussion 59 : 24/12/2013 at 01:05 AM
Money put before principles, a common sickness in Thailand.
Discussion 60 : 24/12/2013 at 12:57 AM
I guess Singha thinks selling beer to rural people is more important than family .
Discussion 61 : 24/12/2013 at 12:37 AM
So true - she has all that money spent on her for an overseas education and she shows no understanding of democracy. Her and Abhisit clearly need to return to the UK for some remedial training!!
Discussion 62 : 24/12/2013 at 12:36 AM
She is already an adult but just inexperience. She should listen more to her own family members advise and not to be misled further. Everything there is always 2 views of each other.
Discussion 63 : 24/12/2013 at 12:23 AM
Many Thais lack a true understanding of democracy, especially the Bangkokian elite. They somehow think that democracy is compatible with racism and classism.
Discussion 64 : 24/12/2013 at 12:22 AM
Those " poor, dumb rural folk" seem to know more about right and wrong than these "educated elite".
Discussion 65 : 24/12/2013 at 12:19 AM
She's simply too young to understand the world and people. At 27, inexperience and easily misled by people who are older than her or her father of whom she cannot understand or know their true objectives behind. Whether politicians are corrupt or not, importantly is whether they bring stability and economic growth for the country, no one can guaranteed whichever party that every of their members are free of corruption. In certain countries corruptions are higher than Thailand, a good government puts more money back to help to grow your economy, bring better living for the rural people, bring stability and peace. What else you want?
Discussion 66 : 24/12/2013 at 12:16 AM
The headline disown seems inaccurate. They do not say she is "out of the will". They are trying to disassociate the business from her - although as I recall she has played some role in the business before. I would like to see now how well she responds to her accusation of the rural population being less educated - perhaps if they had more "heiresses" in the villages they could have the life she has had - where she thinks she can do as she pleases with no consequences....
Discussion 67 : 24/12/2013 at 12:14 AM
It's not the fault of the British education system if she's a poor student.
Discussion 68 : 24/12/2013 at 12:14 AM
"... Many Thais lack a true understanding of democracy ... especially in the rural areas" ... Princess, you should educate the mob around you first.
Discussion 69 : 24/12/2013 at 12:05 AM
"many Thais lack a true understanding of democracy... especially in the rural areas". Can anyone teach me how democracy is being applied into the red villages ?
Discussion 70 : 24/12/2013 at 12:03 AM
No more Singha or Leo? I wish all brave boycotters a lot of Changovers then!
Discussion 71 : 23/12/2013 at 11:59 PM
SIngha is one of my favorite beers, so I'm glad the family and the business is distancing themselves from her. There is nothing wrong if she belonged to a political party, but she clearly doesn't believe in civil rights and equality and is an extremist.
Discussion 72 : 23/12/2013 at 11:51 PM
one can have a big mouth if you no need to work!
Discussion 73 : 23/12/2013 at 11:50 PM
they should have a complete refund...........
Discussion 74 : 23/12/2013 at 11:49 PM
Feel sad for her. To disown her IMO is going too far. I hope the changing of her surname does not mean disowning her. The family should say instead that it was her own opinions and have nothing to do with the family and that the family is not funding the insurrection activities.
Discussion 75 : 23/12/2013 at 11:44 PM
Having different opinions is one thing, slandering is another one. As long as PDRC supporters are not ready to understand that, they won't win the hearts of the real majority.
Discussion 76 : 23/12/2013 at 11:14 PM
When things get tough you find out who your real friends are. Obviously this family cares more about money than righteousness.
Discussion 77 : 23/12/2013 at 11:11 PM
They will not buy because of the actions of the family patriarch? Or of the daughter? Perhaps the company will lose business on both accounts, from different customers.
Discussion 78 : 23/12/2013 at 11:09 PM
Some British private education has a lot to answer for
Discussion 79 : 23/12/2013 at 11:07 PM
Everyone is entitled to their point of view. Why should she be different? There is nothing my daughter could do that would make me want to distance myself from her. Maybe a case of business before family.
Discussion 80 : 23/12/2013 at 11:04 PM
The family should ask for discount on her British education, because of her understanding of equality and democracy.
Discussion 81 : 23/12/2013 at 10:56 PM
From Wikipedia: “The brewery [Boon Rawd Brewery] was founded by Boonrawd Srethabutra, on whom HM King Prajadhipok Rama VII bestowed the aristocratic title of Phraya Bhirom Bhakdi.”
Discussion 82 : 23/12/2013 at 10:50 PM
Too late, many will never buy another Singha or Leo, for good reason. Raise your children better.
Discussion 83 : 23/12/2013 at 10:48 PM
Are you never tired to talk with slogans. A better Thailand??? Thanks to Suthep, he showed to the whole world what in reality are the so called educated.
Discussion 84 : 23/12/2013 at 10:46 PM
Hats off to Chitpas Bhirombhakdi !
Discussion 85 : 23/12/2013 at 10:34 PM
If you pay both sides, you cant have a "black sheep" amongst your siblings.
Discussion 86 : 23/12/2013 at 10:30 PM
If she fights for a better Thailand, the family should support her braveness through thick and thin.
Discussion 87 : 23/12/2013 at 10:25 PM
She should stick with polo or have a beer and relax before the election .
Discussion 88 : 23/12/2013 at 10:04 PM
Disgusting response from the family. Good luck with everything in the future Khun Chitpas.
Discussion 89 : 23/12/2013 at 09:34 PM
Won't work, lady, don't do it, remain proud of your true family name! Saying that, I assume it is really the name of your family, and not a 'recent creation' to avoid being singled out as a profiteering Chinese family by unhappy abused true Thais, like the Ku Shun family which became Shinawat(ra) nearly overnight, in 1938, like many others of a same origine, and greedy aims...
Discussion 90 : 23/12/2013 at 09:23 PM
Business and politics aren't best of friends. A shrewd business person knows that political neutrality is at the core of any business stability. Shrewd move by this family.
Discussion 91 : 23/12/2013 at 09:18 PM
Money first as usual... Hopeless...

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