Thai Airways, masks, poor policy

31 03 2020

This is a bit of an update post on things we’ve posted on recently.

Criticism of the regime’s virus blunders and policy failures and flip-flops continues, not least because as the virus takes hold, parts of the country are burning in an emergency that has been ongoing for months.

Meanwhile, one of the chief bunglers, Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsomgpong told a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration it needed “to achieve the 90% travel cut goal to flatten the curve of new infections.” That’s a bit rich from a man who deserves derision for his (in)actions. Essentially the regime is happy for the poor to be completely screwed. Apirat hates them because they can’t be trusted politically.

Don’t believe us on how tone deaf, arrogant and self-centered the military leadership is? Then consider a proposed military purchase:

General Chaichan Changmongkol, permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Defence, had prepared to propose the procurement of an amphibious assault ship, at an expected budget of more than 6.1 billion baht, at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. But it appears that General Chaichan had already removed this proposal from the meeting’s agenda.

He only pulled it after huge criticism “from opposition parties and the public…”.

As airlines everywhere are collapsing and begging for bailouts while laying-off almost all their workers, according to “Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak … the government will not allow ailing flag-carrier Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) to collapse and dismissed rumours of impending lay-offs as a result of the coronavirus crisis.” We guess this is partly because the airline needs to continue to chauffeur the king and his major wife back and forth to Europe.

Finally, we hope that there’s a math mistake in a Bangkok Post report. However, as published, the horrid military posterior polisher and Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has announced that the mask problem has been “solved.” How’s that? Masks are being made locally. Yes, we realize that everyone already knew this. But here’s the bit that caught our attention. On N95 masks, the report states that “400,000 of them have been procured from China in a government-to-government deal costing 1.5 billion baht …”. Our math suggests that this G-to-G deal is costing 3,750 baht per mask. Really? Is that possible? Is Thammanat Prompao organizing this?



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