The Thai Ministry of Defense made a rapid backtrack on Tuesday following a huge backlash against their proposal to buy a 6.1 billion baht landing ship from China.
The plan to buy the ship had been in the pipeline since September, however, an official proposal was only submitted to the cabinet this morning, Tuesday, March 31st.
Almost instantly, a major backlash occurred on social media with many Thais pointing out a 6.1 billion spend was completely unnecessary at this time when there is a fight against coronavirus happening around the country.
Instantly, the hashtag #IToldYoutoStopBuyingWeapons began trending on Twitter and it remains one of the top trending hashtags by Tuesday afternoon.
Move Forward Party MP, Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, called on the government to focus instead on supplying hospitals with ventilators rather than purchasing military equipment. He said:
“We’re in a situation where we need medical equipment and healthcare funding to handle the COVID-19 outbreak. The government must understand this and use the budget to offer relief to citizens.”
He also mentioned a list of alternatives for the 6.1 billion baht including providing 406,667 people with the 5,000 baht-per-month cash relief for three months, purchasing 7,176 IPPV ventilators, 5,083 PPE suits, 2.44 million masks, or 174,286 N95 masks.
Source: Khaosod English