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Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang Investigates Salary Deductions: Uncovering Unfair Practices in the Thai Military

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Conscripts were seen withdrawing cash from ATMs, a scene stirring a buzz on social media. The Ministry of Defence has launched a comprehensive investigation across all army units after documents surfaced, showing deductions from soldiers’ already sparse pay for WiFi charges and various personal items. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang has demanded a thorough probe into the salary deductions of conscripts nationwide. This directive came hot on the heels of another intriguing revelation—a 1,200-baht WiFi service fee being shaved off some salaries. This followed closely behind a report revealing a 500-baht septic tank pumping fee. What raised eyebrows even higher was the fact that these deductions collectively siphoned off nearly 60% of a conscript’s salary.

According to Jirayu Houngsub, the ministry’s spokesman for political affairs, Mr. Sutin had all military units scrutinized for documents indicating various deductions from recruits’ pay. The reported items included insurance at 330 baht, daily use items tallying up to 1,100 baht, a bag priced at 590 baht, a camouflage suit costing 1,900 baht, a training suit tagged at 900 baht, drinking water and ice adding up to 470 baht, and cleaning equipment costing 990 baht.

But wait, there’s more. Some units also listed deductions for donations to the PX, an army welfare shop, amounting to 800 baht, a funeral contribution of 12 baht, deposits with the army totaling 90 baht, and another 500 baht going into the Government Savings Bank. To sum it up, these deductions ranged between 4,500 to 5,400 baht, cutting deep into an average monthly salary of 10,990 baht.

Jirayu clarified that a Royal Thai Army representative informed the ministry that the documents making the rounds, seemingly aimed at tarnishing the military’s reputation, were ancient relics based on outdated regulations. While the deposits as deductions were a norm in the past, such practices had been shelved. And as for the WiFi fee, hold your horses—there’s no such rule in the military handbook.

The army, following up on this kerfuffle, affirmed that no such WiFi charges exist. However, if anyone could pinpoint the source and provide proof of the alleged deductions, they were urged to come forward and inform the ministry.

In the broader sweep, data gathered from all military branches affirmed the non-existence of any WiFi service charges. Jirayu further elaborated that conscripts stationed in urban areas enjoyed standard WiFi access, while those in remote or border areas had their connectivity needs met via radio or satellite signals.

Adding a twist to the tale, Jirayu noted cases where some new recruits, short on funds but eager to stay in touch with their families, opted to procure mobile phones on credit. Naturally, the cost of these phones found its way into deductions from their monthly earnings.

There you have it, a classic case of investigative protocol in action, unearthing the truth behind paycheck deductions, and debunking the myths swirling around WiFi charges—all while ensuring that every soldier gets a fair deal.


  1. Sara M June 14, 2024

    This is absurd! How can the military justify these crazy deductions from already meager salaries?

    • Andrew P June 14, 2024

      It’s not just crazy, it’s outright exploitation. These soldiers are risking their lives, and this is how they get treated?

      • littlewing87 June 14, 2024

        Exactly! And they’re probably not even getting those items they’re charged for. It’s a huge scam.

      • Sara M June 14, 2024

        I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s a sad reality for many conscripts worldwide, not just in Thailand.

      • Ethan R June 14, 2024

        Well, if the charges are really ‘ancient relics,’ someone needs to be held accountable for continuing these practices.

  2. Leah Thompson June 14, 2024

    Why does the army allow deductions for personal items like uniforms and drinking water? Shouldn’t these be provided?

    • Tom67 June 14, 2024

      You would think so. But maybe it’s their way of keeping budgets low. Still doesn’t make it right.

      • Leah Thompson June 14, 2024

        True, it’s just unfair. How can conscripts give their best when they are financially squeezed this way?

      • D Clark June 14, 2024

        It’s part of a larger systemic issue where soldiers are seen as expendable resources rather than valued members of the state.

  3. KhoongYi June 14, 2024

    The military always says they don’t have these fees, but somehow they still appear. Something doesn’t add up.

    • Sebastian L June 14, 2024

      Agreed. There’s definitely a disconnect between official statements and what’s happening on the ground.

    • KhoongYi June 14, 2024

      Right? It’s such a typical case of saying one thing and doing another.

  4. Nida232 June 14, 2024

    I’ve heard similar stories from my cousin who’s serving. They’re deducting money for things he never even sees.

    • Morgan June 14, 2024

      Sounds like a major cover-up! They’re exploiting these young men and women.

    • Nida232 June 14, 2024

      Exactly. Someone needs to step in and set things right.

    • Edgar James June 14, 2024

      And this is why transparency is crucial. Military officials should be more accountable.

  5. Jenna L. June 14, 2024

    Are these conscripts given any form of financial education? It seems like they’re being taken advantage of from all sides.

  6. Simon85 June 14, 2024

    The larger question is whether the Ministry of Defence will truly hold those responsible accountable.

    • J Sawyer June 14, 2024

      They’ll probably just issue some statement and hope people forget about it, as usual.

  7. Peter Y. June 14, 2024

    It’s easy to blame military bureaucracy, but we need to hold individuals accountable for these deductions.

    • John P June 14, 2024

      True. However, digging out the responsible individuals will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

  8. Chai V June 14, 2024

    My friend’s brother is in the army, and he says they’ve been fighting this for years. What scares me more is what’s happening that we don’t know about.

  9. JusticeForAll June 14, 2024

    It’s troubling how this goes unnoticed. Soldiers deserve better treatment than this.

    • lexicon55 June 14, 2024

      When something is systemic, it often takes years to change. But raising awareness is a start.

    • JusticeForAll June 14, 2024

      Absolutely. We need consistent pressure from both inside and outside the military for real change.

  10. Nicole June 14, 2024

    It’s alarming the amount of money being siphoned off. I mean, WiFi charges? Seriously?

  11. Dan8989 June 14, 2024

    The army should be transparent about their finances. Only then can we see where the money actually goes.

  12. armyvet42 June 14, 2024

    Being a former conscript myself, I can confirm that deductions for personal stuff were typical. Glad it’s finally being questioned.

  13. Liam M June 14, 2024

    This issue needs international attention. Maybe external pressure will force the military to clean up its act.

  14. Ellie C June 14, 2024

    It’s too easy for the higher-ups to dismiss these practices as ‘outdated.’ They need to take real responsibility.

    • paulos June 14, 2024

      It’s the convenient answer, isn’t it? Blaming past policies instead of acknowledging present misconduct.

  15. Vincent June 14, 2024

    What baffles me is how such egregious deductions have continued under the radar for so long.

    • Willa B. June 14, 2024

      When people with power are complicit, it’s easy to block scrutiny.

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