Opinion: The navy submarine purchase gets blocked, don’t worry it will buy UAVs instead

The executive order for the Navy to postpone the purchase of two submarines worth 22.5 billion baht showed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-cha had learned from last year’s mistake.

This issue of buying submarines when people are not being compensated for lockdown and dying from Covid because of shortages of hospital beds and vaccines is certainly not new.

So, how can the Navy still be this ignorant and tone deaf.

Its spokesman said last Friday that they have to propose the purchase because it is their duty to follow the process and that the parliament will have the final word on it.

He said it is a part of a package where if you bought one submarine, there is a need to buy the second and the third one so that they can be rotated for maintenance purposes.

However, the proposal was shot down by Prayut as soon as he heard it.

Then comes the idiotic comments from Sorawut Nuengjamnong, a Chonburi MP for the ruling pro-junta Palang Pracharath Party, who said On Monday that the Navy is willing to take the “injury” of postponing the deal instead of the people.

Where will it hurt?

The money that the Navy is using to buy these weapons is taxpayers’ money.

The ones that are hurting and dying of Covid right now are the people.

The navy is supposed to protect the people.

We are under attack by Covid, not torpedoes.

How will the move to stop buying submarines hurt the people?

People are dying. This is not the time to be buying things that are not needed right now. The priority is to minimize the number of Covid deaths via mass vaccination and the government had failed to do that.

The government’s mismanagement is hurting and killing people not the postponement of a deal to buy two submarines.

If you really are a representative of the people in Chonburi, which is now one of the hardest-hit provinces, you should go and ask them what do they think about your comment.

Worse yet, an opposition MP from the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party, Yutthapong Charassathien, also said Monday that the Navy still has a plan to buy other machines in this fiscal year, including a project to buy unmanned aerial vehicles worth 4.1 billion baht.

Now you are pushing it.

This is why weapons acquisition programs must be transparent and open to the public.

The people should also be able to access them via a website, similar to what is being done in the United States by the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) which provides the details of the US Department of Defence’s budget numbers and justification.

Without transparency, the people can only be informed by MPs willing to do their job and there is not that many.


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