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Major business interests of the Army

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Major business interests of the Army

By THE NATION

 

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General Apirat Kongsompong

 

The public is taking an increasing interest in military reforms after Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong announced last week that military personnel would be offloading some of their private business interests within three months, to make the Armed Forces more transparent and end illegal or shady operations within the barracks.

 

Surachart Bamrungsuk, a renowned Army academic told “NationTV” that there are at least 15 businesses the Royal Thai Army (RTA) is involved in. They are:

 

➤ Savings Division at Army Welfare Department: It essentially makes all Army personnel contribute a portion of their monthly payroll to set up a fund for emergency or housing loans. The fund has become so huge that it generates considerable profit, but its management and distribution are still questionable.

 

➤ Army television stations: Currently the RTA has two stations under its wings -- Channel 5, which it runs and manages, and Channel 7, which operates under a private concession contract. These stations have generated huge profits from advertising and concession fees.

 

➤ Army radio stations: All four regions of Army divisions have their own radio stations scattered nationwide, which generate revenue from advertising just like TV stations.

 

➤ Army horse race tracks: Currently there are two in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai provinces.

 

➤ Army golf courses: They are located in almost all major boot camps nationwide. Although the Army needs these sports facilities for personnel training and hosting its activities, these golf courses also accept civilian memberships and some even have their own business chains such as restaurants and resorts.

 

➤ Army boxing stadiums: There are two in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

 

➤ State lands under RTA administration, including the Thanarak Housing Project that aims to provide cheap housing to Army personnel.

 

➤ The welfare firearms project for Army personnel.

 

➤ Army football club.

 

➤ Restaurant businesses within boot camps.

 

➤ Funeral Welfare Division of the Army Welfare Department, which works similar to the Savings Division.

 

➤ The Royal Thai Army Club, which offers concession contract to private operators to run and manage.

 

➤ Road construction business using Army equipment and personnel as labour.

 

➤ Convenience store business (7-11) within boot camps.

 

➤ Other businesses, such as renting Army land as petrol stations or selling soil from Army construction projects.

 

“These are the businesses or commercial uses of army’s personnel and resources that RTA must clarify their transparency to the public, including how the profits are managed and distributed back to the army personnel,” Surachart added.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382312

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-02-18

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44 minutes ago, BobbyL said:

Apirat seems to be like the Pied Piper leading this reform against the army. Given his family history and wealth, I wonder how may business interests he has that could be a bit iffy. 

 

If you're serious, look at Apirat's sponsorship and ask yourself 'qui bono?' if all Army lands are returned. I don't know anyone who would benefit, but there is someone, and Apirat knows who it is. You cannot reasonably praise a mountain rescue dog for bravery if that's what he's been trained to do, the whole point of training is to modify normal behaviour.

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7 minutes ago, missoura said:

Throughout the years here in Thailand there are three underlying aspects that I have noticed. It is a rather simplistic view, but one that I believe does hold some merit.

1. The people fear the police.

2. The police fear the army.

3. The army fear the people.

 

 

 

Hmmm. Nearly right. It isn't the army who fears the people, it is the people the Army have been trained to protect that fear the people, which is why the army has been trained to protect them...

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In Western countries horse racing is considered "The sport of Kings",  I would imagine Thai's consider it as "The sport of Generals"  Well with so many of them they have to do something to occupy their time. 

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Arms dealing not on the list

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  • Confused 1

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Quite the little enterprise the military have going on.

 

Follow the money.

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Nothing in the shrimp and fishing industry ? 

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