Thai defence minister proposes public distribution of military-owned land

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

Sutin Klungsang, the Defence Minister, put forth a proposition to distribute some military-owned land to the local populace, as part of the governmental strategy to modernise the armed forces.

This was revealed by the Defence Ministry’s spokesperson, Thanitpong Sirisawetsak, post a Defence Council meeting. The 62 year old Sutin presented policies to the ministry’s department heads and the leaders of the four armed forces, which are to act as guideposts in executing their respective responsibilities.

According to Klungsang, the ministry’s operations must align with the constitution stipulations and other legal provisions. The commanders are instructed to carry out the national strategy and the government’s policy with the aim to bolster national security and public safety. This is also meant to enhance the ministry’s administrative system while supporting the government.

Thanitpong disclosed that the ministry is fast-tracking a government policy to modernise the armed forces. This policy has been criticised for allocating excessive funds for weapons procurement. As part of the modernisation plan, surplus military-owned land, currently under the army’s supervision, will be returned to the public. This move is intended to uplift the public’s living standards, boost the economy, and strengthen the country overall.

Initially, the 2nd Army Area has plans to return military-owned land in Nong Wua So in Udon Thani for agricultural purposes. A survey is currently being conducted to assess the size of the military-owned land and determine the soil conditions. The ministry is also contemplating reducing the number of conscripts in favour of voluntary enlistment, ensuring that it does not compromise the army’s defence ability.

The ministry is also considering reforming the armed forces to make them more efficient and lean, and restructuring some of the ministry-affiliated agencies.

Klungsang stated that the procurement of weapons and armaments will be streamlined to enhance transparency. Such projects must be held accountable, he added.

He also indicated that the welfare of military officers and their families will be improved.

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Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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