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Submarine purchase worth B22.5bn put on ice

Submarine purchase worth B22.5bn put on ice

THAILAND: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has put the brakes on the navy’s plan to buy two new submarines worth B22.5 billion from China, citing the urgent need to divert funds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 19 July 2021, 09:41AM

Photo: Bangkok Post.

Photo: Bangkok Post.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich said yesterday (July 18) Gen Prayut, who concurrently serves as defence minister, had instructed the navy to postpone the purchase plan, because there is an urgent need to manage spending for the maximum benefit of the people.

The Defence Ministry concluded the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating, so Gen Prayut told the navy to push back the purchase of the submarines and hold talks with China to explain the delay, Lt Gen Kongcheep said.

He said the procurement of the submarines is a government-to-government agreement between the Thai navy and its Chinese counterpart.

Members of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) also voiced opposition to the navy’s plan.

Deputy Agriculture Minister and PPRP secretary-general Thamanat Prompow said he had explained the party’s stance to the House subcommittee on durable product items, state enterprises, ICT equipment and revolving funds.

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The budget to buy the second and third submarines from China was scrutinised by the subcommittee, set up by a House committee vetting the budget bill for the fiscal year 2022.

The navy will explain the need to buy the submarines to the committee today.

The PPRP opposed the procurement as the country is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, Capt Thamanat said.

“Therefore, any budget spending must be considered carefully. The country is facing a pandemic crisis. It is like waging the Third World War,’” he said.

“We want to the navy to delay the purchase.”

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Kurt | 20 July 2021 - 14:08:24

@Timothy, the in Australia convicted + 4 year prison time served Thai Minister, ex flour export ringleader was at time of his arrest in Australia a Captain in RTP. Constant cultivating his RTP Captain history, sure he has many friends in RTP, makes his local enemies to be careful toward him. Very logic happening in Thai thinking.

JohnC | 20 July 2021 - 10:04:45

I wonder where all the "high ranking officials" will get their new Mercedes' and golf club memberships from now? Don't worry apparently Patong tunnel will offer lots of opportunities for future kick-backs.

Timothy | 20 July 2021 - 09:05:34

I thought they already ordered the submarines and they were being built. Why is the flour exporter still being referred to as Capt? It must have been very disappointing to have to postpone the purchase. Those submarines would be very handy for transporting loads of his flour. 

Xi_Virus | 19 July 2021 - 21:30:38

Xhan ZERO Xha, The International White-Powder "Agriculturist", "Da WATCH-MAN" and rest of the TEAM GANG-(xters) ... are aware of the consequences that are awaiting ...

Sandbar | 19 July 2021 - 15:37:29

Thailand in "chaos". The world is watching this unfold and scratching their heads on how a proud country is being "submarined" by an egotistical narsositic regime run by fraudsters!

Christy Sweet | 19 July 2021 - 13:22:25

The old scam- inflate the price so as to offer a discount. They had no intention of buying subs, this alleged walk back is all about making Prattles look good cause he knows the ka-ka is about to get neck deep. 

Fascinated | 19 July 2021 - 12:05:34

Our resident loon in action again- he clearly has no concept about the type of sub the gov't wanted to purchase. Note that this purchase is only postponed, not cancelled.  The existential threat to Thailand from its neighbours does not support the purchase its all just willy waving.

Kurt | 19 July 2021 - 10:11:25

General Prayut has spoken, there is no money for sub toy fun. Good thinking time ahead for Navy what for it needs subs.  Seas around Thailand are not deep enough to launch missiles from underwater. Besides, it will be hard to find Thai crew to man them, superstitious as they are below surface. Many sea ghosts.


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