One of the reasons why the Abhisit regime is so keen to apply the repressive ISA measures as long as possible (perhaps paving the way for the declaration of a permanent state of emergency and the suspension of what little remains of free speech and parliamentary democracy) is because it is a good pretext to buy the loyalty of the army – the military are on triple pay while it lasts.
Just to make sure everyone knows what is going on, it was announced today that the Abhisit regime is openly giving the military yet more money to buy more ‘necessary’ equipment in the wake of the scandals following the procurement policies involving the GT200 metal stick ‘bomb detectors’ and the non-flying airship thing which is supposed to be keeping watch over the southern border region and certainly would not present a very tempting and easy to hit target if it ever did start to fly.
The ‘necessary’ equipment, apparently, includes:
“The source said the weapons procurement plans proposed by the armed forces would be worth an estimated 400 billion baht.
The source said the navy would try again to seek authorisation to buy two second-hand submarines at a cost of more than 20 billion baht.
The navy has set up a committee to conduct a feasibility study on the submarine purchase project. It also wants to buy a new fleet of frigates to replace old ones which have been in use for 15 to 20 years.
The source said the army would seek cabinet approval to procure a new fleet of tanks which would be part of a plan to establish the new 3rd Cavalry Division in Khon Kaen.
About 70 billion baht would be required to buy the tanks.”
Readers may recall that the plan to put tanks on the streets of Isan represents Privy Councillor Prem Tinsulanonda’s desire to stamp on the face of the poor forever. Alas, our time to enjoy the presence of this person may be limited – how will we suppress our grief?
OK, I’ve rewritten this to take out some of the better jokes, just in case.