Connect with us


Government postpones controversial submarines deal



PHOTO: Royal Thai Navy / Khaosod English

With a recent poll revealing that one of the public’s biggest concerns is the government’s decision to spend billions of baht on 2 submarines, many will welcome the news that officials have decided to shelve those plans… for now. If not the polls, the outrage on social media was a good indication about the public mood over the matter.

The survey, carried out by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, shows that the controversial purchase of 2 more submarines from China, and the ongoing political unrest, are 2 of the biggest worries among the general public right now.

This morning, the Bangkok Post reports that the government has now decided to postpone the purchase, which would cost around 22.5 billion baht, with China agreeing to a delay of a year. Thailand has already bought the first of 3 subs from China, which is expected to be delivered in 2023, and was funded by the 2017 budget.

Payment for submarines 2 and 3 would be spread in instalments over 7 years, with Suphon Fongngam from the governing Palang Pracharath Party overseeing the sub-committee examining the budget. With China agreeing to delay the deal for a year, the government has cut 3 billion baht from the budget for the first instalment. The Royal Thai Navy says the decision to postpone procurement came from the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, following discussions with China.

The move comes as Yuttapong Charasathien, from the Pheu Thai party, questions the validity of the deal. He says if the purchase is classified as a government-to-government deal, “it must meet certain criteria”.  Yuttapong argues there is no evidence the submarine deal constitutes a government-to-government agreement, meaning it contravenes the constitution.

”I suspect it is not a government-to-government contract. I have never seen the Chinese government send a written quotation for the submarines to the government. When I checked the contract for the purchase of the first submarine, the payment was made to a private company, not to the Chinese Finance or Defence Ministries. The company did not have a letter of authorisation from the Chinese government.”

Yuttapong points out that only the PM or Foreign Minister can sign such an agreement, and, in the case of the submarines, it was signed by a senior member of the Royal Thai Navy, who was not authorised to act on behalf of the government. Similarly, he says the Chinese company who signed was not authorised to represent the Chinese government.
Pheu Thai are considering petitioning the Constitutional Court regarding the legality of the deal, should there be any attempt to go ahead with it.

The Royal Thai Navy has defended the planned deal, saying the submarines have an essential role to play in protecting Thailand’s maritime security.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime3 hours ago

VIDEO: Thieves mess with the wrong gold shop owner in northern Thailand

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Immigration Police to Revise Visa Extension Criteria

Expats4 hours ago

Pattaya visa legend dies of cancer

Sponsored11 hours ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Tourism4 hours ago

Transport officials expect tens of thousands of bus travellers in Thailand during three-day weekend.

Phuket5 hours ago

Chinese tourist found dead in Phuket

Crime5 hours ago

Overstaying former pro footballer arrested for hawking lottery tickets in Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Twitter investigation discovers mass censorship & blacklisting under previous regime

Thailand5 hours ago

Brief history of the Japanese Onsen in Thailand

Patong6 hours ago

Officials say no to floating lanterns and fireworks on Patong Beach

Protests6 hours ago

Teen protestor claims police harassment

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand’s Full Moon Party attracts 12,000 tourists

Media7 hours ago

License to own unicorn issued by LA animal care authority

Hot News7 hours ago

Eight celebrities to join Japanese tycoon in space venture around the moon

North East7 hours ago

In northeast Thailand, a pretty camping site is being offered for free

Weather8 hours ago

Flash flood warning issued for 9 provinces in southern Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11