The Cambodia Daily reports that when the portly Thai Princess Sirindhorn arrives in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province for a three-day visit to Cambodia on Monday, “she will enjoy the comfort and privacy of a luxurious freestanding bathroom built for her on the shore of a popular lake at a cost of more than $40,000, officials said…”.
The “8-square-meter outhouse overlooking Yeak Lom Lake on the outskirts of Banlung City was carried out by the Siam Cement Group (SCG) at the request of the princess and took 19 days” to complete.
For the couple of people who do not know, the Crown Property Bureau is the largest shareholder of SCG and runs the group. International shareholders might question this “donation” that really does polish the royal posterior.
Sirindhorn is nearly always acclaimed at the most “down to earth” of the royals, but clearly her nether regions need special and expensive care.
“This toilet was constructed for the Thai princess’ use. When the princess has finished with it, they will take the toilet equipment back to Thailand, but the princess will leave the building for our community to use…”. Well, SCG will leave it.
We wonder why Cambodians don’t deserve “toilet equipment”? Perhaps the royal butt has special features and leaves something behind that might be exploited. We recall that Kukrit Pramoj once smashed a toilet after the king had seated himself on it for his ablutions.
A Thai involved in the outhouse construction noted that SCG had used “materials are of the very highest quality,” and required the work of one Thai supervisor and “10 Thai laborers who built the structure using only materials imported from Thailand.”
Presumably, for Thai elites, Cambodians are untrustworthy or worse when it comes to royals. Cambodian workers banged up some other, “more modest” bogs for the royal’s usually extensive entourage when they need to empty the pipes.
The report says that the “facilities will almost certainly come in handy” because “Pierre-Yves Clais, the owner of the Terres Rouges Lodge in Banlung City, said his staff had been tasked with organizing a lakeside banquet for Princess Sirindhorn featuring fish amok, fish in butter sauce, foie gras and ‘pancakes done the French way’.”
The report cites Andrew MacGregor Marshall, the author of “A Kingdom in Crisis: Thailand’s Struggle for Democracy in the Twenty-First Century,” who described the construction as “an insult to the Cambodian people.” He’s right.