THE Free People group blasted the government after coalition MPs voted to approve the purchase of two more submarines from China at a subcommittee meeting on Friday with the price tag being 22.5 billion baht, Voice TV and Sanook.com reported this morning (August 23, 2020).
In a Facebook page post, the Free People group said this purchase was approved at a time when the Thai economy is in a bad state with this year’s gross national product (GDP) projected to plunge to minus 12 to 13%.
The post accused the MPs who approved the purchase of the two submarines of not having any thought for the people who are starving, needy and struggling to survive.
“The amount of money, 22.5 billion baht, could be used for other purposes, such as improving the well-being of the people. Instead they are buying the submarines to meet the needs of a handle of people even though the contract does not specify that it must be purchased in fiscal 2021 budget,” the post said.
Free People group urged the people to remember the names of the MPs who raised their hands and approved this purchase while warning “we’ll see what happens at election.”
The four MPs who approved the two submarine purchase are Mr. Chiradech Srivirat, Palang Pracharath MP from Phayao; Ms. Siriwan Praschaksattru, former head of Democrat Party; Ms. Kornis Ngamsuknaratana, Palang Pracharath MP for Bangkok; and Mr. Chaiyuth Phumakarnchana, Phum Chai Thai MP from Prachinburi.
The four MPs who voted against the purchase are Mr. Khru Manit Sangpum, Pheu Thai Party MP from Surin; Mr. Yuttapong Charatsathien, Pheu Thai Party MP from Maha Sarakham, Dr. Rawat Wisrutvej, party list MP of Thai Liberal Party; Ms. Wanawaree Talomsin, Kao Klai Party MP for Bangkok.
However according to meeting regulations the chair has the tie-breaking vote with Mr. Suphol Fongngam, Palang Pracharath Party list MP, voting in favour of allotting budget for this purchase.
Chart Pattana Party MP Mr. Dan Hetrakul did not attend the meeting.
Top: A Free People group’s satirical sketch of the submarine purchase approval. Thai headline says, “We’ll see about that at the election.” Photo: Sanook.com