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Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang Probes Military Salary Deductions: Uncovering Financial Exploitations

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Conscripts were seen withdrawing cash from ATMs in droves, fueling a whirlwind of rumors and speculation. Over recent weeks, a series of explosive documents made their rounds on social media, drawing the public’s eye to the deductions from soldiers’ already meager pay for WiFi and other unexpected charges. This unexpected revelation led Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang to take swift action, ordering an investigation into salary deductions across all military units. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The public was already on edge when yet another incriminating document surfaced. This time, it detailed a 1,200-baht WiFi service fee being deducted from conscripts’ salaries. This revelation followed closely on the heels of a report about another 500-baht deduction for septic tank pumping—just one in a baffling series of deductions that ended up swallowing a staggering 60% of a conscript’s salary.

According to Jirayu Houngsub, the ministry’s spokesperson for political affairs, Defence Minister Sutin acted promptly, extending his investigation to encompass all military units. The circulating documents laid bare a laundry list of deductions from conscripts’ pay, including charges for insurance (330 baht), daily essentials (1,100 baht), a bag (590 baht), a camouflage suit (1,900 baht), a training suit (900 baht), drinking water and ice (470 baht), and cleaning supplies (990 baht).

However, it didn’t stop there. Conscripts faced additional deductions, such as donations to the PX, an army welfare shop (800 baht), contributions to funeral expenses (12 baht), deposits with the army (90 baht), and deposits with the Government Savings Bank (500 baht). When all was tallied, conscripts were losing between 4,500 and 5,400 baht from their monthly salary, which averages 10,990 baht.

The Royal Thai Army was quick to respond. A representative informed the ministry that the scandalous documents were old and based on outdated regulations, created with the intent of tarnishing the military’s reputation. According to the army, deposit deductions were something of the past and had now ceased. Significantly, there was no current regulation imposing a monthly WiFi fee on conscripts.

Jirayu emphasized that the army thoroughly verified this information. They even urged anyone with concrete proof of such deductions to come forward and share it with the ministry immediately.

The ministry’s reach extended through all military branches, thoroughly investigating the validity of the claims. They concluded that no WiFi charges were being imposed. In urban areas, conscripts enjoyed standard WiFi access. Meanwhile, those stationed in more remote or border areas received WiFi via radio or satellite signals.

However, an exception remained: Jirayu shared instances where new conscripts, often strapped for cash but needing to stay in contact with their families, opted to purchase mobile phones on credit. The cost of these phones was then deducted from their monthly earnings. This practice, while seemingly unusual, was a choice made by the conscripts themselves.

The controversy surrounding these documents and deductions has undoubtedly ignited a firestorm of debate, challenging established norms and bringing much-needed attention to the financial burdens faced by conscripts. Whether these revelations lead to lasting change remains to be seen, but for now, it’s clear that the Ministry of Defence is taking this matter very seriously.


  1. Anna Thompson June 14, 2024

    How could it be justified to take so much from people who are already earning so little? It’s outrageous!

    • Mike47 June 14, 2024

      It’s called discipline. The conscripts need to learn the value of budgeting and managing their finances.

      • Sophia D June 14, 2024

        Discipline is one thing, but exploiting them financially is a whole different story!

      • Anna Thompson June 14, 2024

        Exactly, Sophia. Discipline shouldn’t mean robbing someone of their basic income.

    • Julian Brown June 14, 2024

      Perhaps it’s not as bad as it sounds. Maybe the conscripts receive benefits in other areas?

      • Anna Thompson June 14, 2024

        Benefits or not, losing 60% of your salary to hidden deductions is indefensible.

      • Eva M June 14, 2024

        I agree, Anna. Hidden fees like these betray a lack of transparency and can lead to distrust in the system.

  2. TommySmith22 June 14, 2024

    The army claims these are old regulations, yet why are conscripts still complaining? Something doesn’t add up.

    • Laura W June 14, 2024

      Probably because the rules might be selectively applied or not all units update their policies.

    • Ben June 14, 2024

      Or maybe the army is just trying to brush off the criticism without making real changes.

  3. Nina L. June 14, 2024

    Why can’t they just be honest and transparent about the deductions? These conscripts deserve better.

    • Gabe June 14, 2024

      True, honesty is always the best policy. Trust is crucial for any institution.

    • Kevin P June 14, 2024

      I wonder if the public backlash will actually lead to any real change, or if this will be swept under the rug.

  4. Carlos Fert June 14, 2024

    The deductions are insane, but are the conscripts getting anything in return? How are the deductions justified?

    • Liam G June 14, 2024

      Apparently for things like WiFi, uniforms, and even funeral expenses. But that’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

      • Carlos Fert June 14, 2024

        Yeah, but isn’t the government responsible for those expenses in the first place? Feels like double-dipping.

    • Sara M. June 14, 2024

      The worst part is they aren’t transparent about it. How are people supposed to trust the system?

  5. JusticeWarrior June 14, 2024

    This is a total betrayal of these young men’s dedication to their country. Heads should roll for this!

    • Jayden72 June 14, 2024

      While I agree it’s bad, calling for heads to roll might be a bit too extreme.

    • QueenB June 14, 2024

      Sometimes, drastic measures are needed to make real change. Accountability matters.

  6. Sophie K June 14, 2024

    It’s always the lower ranks that suffer. Higher-ups don’t face these issues.

    • Ryan June 14, 2024

      Exactly, it’s easy to take advantage of those who can’t fight back.

      • Sophie K June 14, 2024

        The whole system needs an overhaul to ensure fairness and transparency.

    • Diana June 14, 2024

      Upper ranks have the power to change things but maybe aren’t motivated enough because they benefit from the status quo.

  7. Richard Zhang June 14, 2024

    Well, it seems to me that these practices might be more about mismanagement than malice.

  8. Lisa June 14, 2024

    It’s sad that they have to deduct so much from their salaries. Surely there must be better ways to handle budgets.

  9. Mark June 14, 2024

    I think WiFi charges are a big deal if they were really happening. Internet is essential these days.

  10. Jack W June 14, 2024

    The claim that new conscripts buy phones on credit is interesting. Maybe that’s a choice they make knowingly?

  11. Alexa June 14, 2024

    Can we talk about the mental stress this kind of financial pressure puts on young conscripts?

    • Grace H June 14, 2024

      It can definitely take a toll. Financial worries can really chip away at someone’s mental health.

  12. Xander June 14, 2024

    Why isn’t this happening to conscripts in other countries? Why just here?

  13. David L. June 14, 2024

    Maybe it happens elsewhere too but they don’t have the same level of transparency or investigation?

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