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updated 2 Aug 2014, 16:34
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Wed, Mar 13, 2013
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Thai-Pakistani model mistaken for daughter of Cambodian minister

The Thai-Pakistani model mistaken for the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung is mystified about why she was dragged into the affair.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Amena 'Ice' Gul, a television actress, says her real father is Pakistani, and lives overseas.

"I don't want to tell him that someone has mistaken me for the daughter of a deputy prime minister, as I am sure he would not understand", she said.

Democrat MP Watchara Petchthong told the House on Wednesday that a 15-year-old girl who turned up at parliament on Wednesday claimed she was Mr Chalerm's daughter.

He showed the media a photograph of the girl, which inquiries by netizens quickly revealed was actually a doctored picture of Ice.

Told about the error later, Mr Watchara insisted the teenager who turned up at parliament claiming to be Mr Chalerm's daughter looked the same.

Ice is 20.

Mr Watchara said the girl, who identified herself as Wayuhasthep Yubamrung, turned up to see Mr Chalerm but was turned away by security. She was carrying a three-month-old child.

He asked Deputy House Speaker Wisut Chainarun to investigate, as all Thais should have the right to see their members of parliament.

He said the girl was contacted by a Democrat Party official as she sat at the bus stop opposite parliament.

She told the Democrat she had just been to Hua Mak police station to inform them she had lost her French passport.

She handed the Democrat a photograph, with a note scrawled on the back for Mr Chalerm: "Dad, it's Wayu. I'm not dead. Please receive this, and call me".

Mr Wisut agreed to investigate. Parliament officials called the number on the back of the picture, but the phone had been turned off.

They also contacted Mr Chalerm to find out if he had a missing daughter. The deputy prime minister, who was exercising at home when he took the call, laughed off the matter.

Mr Chalerm, who has three sons, said he and his wife had known each other since they were teens, and he hadn't strayed.

"What's she look like?" he asked reporters jokingly.

"She's good looking", they replied.

"Even so, she's not mine", he said.

Mr Watchara spoke to reporters after raising the matter in the House, and held up the photograph which the girl had handed over to his party.

Media reports say that within moments of the picture going public, netizens had identified the woman in the photograph as Ice.

Reporting on the results of his inquiry, Mr Wisut said an inspection of footage from CCTV cameras around parliament, including one at the bus stop opposite, failed to turn up any evidence of the girl. "No one recalls her", he said.

Mr Watchara has now apologised to Ice for dragging her into the affair. "I accept that she and Mr Chalerm do not know each other but I have no intention of saying sorry to Mr Chalerm",he said.

He had contacted Hua Mak police station, who confirmed a teen identifying herself by the name given to his party had notified them of a missing passport. He had asked to see the station's CCTV footage.

Ice, meanwhile, said she didn't recognise herself in the picture at first.

"When I first saw the picture in that morning's news I didn't realise it was me. When a friend sent me the picture I started to feel as if it looked familiar, but thought it must have been someone else who simply looked like me.

"But when I saw that the picture was actually part of an advertisement which I once made, I realised it was me for sure.

"I wonder why she should choose my picture, instead of her own. I don't know the girl, or Mr Chalerm, nor am I Mr Chalerm's daughter", she said.

Mr Chalerm says he does not intend taking the matter any further, as no one suffered any harm. Ice says she is taking advice from friends.


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