Three former Thai prime ministers visited our little big island during the National Day weekend last week.
Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, Mr Thaksin Shinawatra and Mr Somchai Wongsawat enjoyed local cuisine at a bak kut teh store on Saturday and a seafood restaurant on Sunday.
According to Madam Catherine Neo, a director of the Ming Kee Live Seafood Restaurant, it is not Mr Thaksin’s first time having his favourite dishes there.
In the last two years, she claimed that he has been at the restaurant about four times to eat their signature dishes: bamboo clams with garlic and crab beehoon.
But it was a first for his sister, Ms YingLuck, and Mr Somchai, who is married to Mr Thaksin’s younger sister, Ms Yaowapha.
Madam Neo, 46, told The New Paper: “Mr Thaksin’s assistant would usually call the restaurant a day before to reserve a table. About 20 people came and they were all very polite and friendly.”
A translator was there to help communicate with the staff of the restaurant.
According to Madam Neo, who was at the restaurant on Sunday, the group, who took two tables at the restaurant, were chatting in Thai and conversation seemed light-hearted.
Though there were patrons at two other tables in the restaurant at that time, Madam Neo said they did not ask to take pictures or speak with the former Thai prime ministers.
Madam Neo said: “We have had other international VIPs come, but the locals would usually not bother them. Singaporeans respect the privacy of these VIPs.”
The group of 20 had ordered $1,819 worth of food, including chilli crab, abalone tofu, hor fun and black pepper venison.
She added there were no particular food requests and the group were pleasant to the staff.
Shin Min Daily News reported that the former prime ministers also visited the Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House during their trip to Singapore. They ordered the pork ribs soup, liver slices and vegetables.
Ms Yingluck needed to ask for permission to leave her country because of pending legal allegations against her, The Bangkok Post reported.
The former Thai prime minister was forced to step down on May 7 for allegedly abusing her power.
The military ousted her government in a coup on May 22.