Opinion: The generals indecisiveness is costing the country big in pandemic fight

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One of the expectations when you have military men running the country is that at least they would be decisive.

Human rights? Probably not. Liberty respected? Definitely no. Fully functioning democracy? Not really.

But decisive, firm, and quick action is a hallmark of the armed forces. After all, when one is under fire or in battle, quick and decisive action saves lives and wins the day. Perhaps the silver lining to all this is that these men will never lead us into battle.

Even before Songkran, doctors inside the Ministry of Public Health and the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration had warned the government to lock the country down or face a pandemic wave worse than any previous one.

What transpired instead was an indecisiveness and feet-dragging.

It seemed that no one in the cabinet was willing to risk their neck and make hard decisions. Instead they dragged their collective feet and chose to do nothing less they get blamed for more economic malaise.

It seemed that for all their bluster and their cherishing of martial values, the generals inside government house seemed incapable of taking a courageous decision for the country.

Even now with multiple hotspots breaking out throughout the country and record numbers of Covid-19 cases being counted everyday, the generals continue to choose the most milquetoast, lukewarm option given to them.

Experts have agreed that these limited restrictions (that were introduced too late) will not sufficiently bring down the new number of cases (if at all).

For a government that came into power promising decisive change and the need of military precision in guiding the country forward, the cowardice being shown by the cabinet speaks volumes about the quality of the men making the decisions.

There are hard decisions that every leader must make and obvious sacrifices will have to be made should we choose to bring the country back into lockdown.

But it is the correct, albeit difficult, decision.

The government has shown it is too afraid to make that decision. And if they lack that willpower, maybe it is time they relinquish the mantle to someone who does.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has said his government was doing the best it possibly could given the circumstances.

I would reply with a Winston Churchill quote, “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”


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