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Thai Naval Drama: Submarine Deal Dilemma Amidst Engine and Contract Crisis

Welcome aboard, dear readers, on what could be an intriguing voyage through the tumultuous waters of government contracts and military procurements! Picture this: a tactical game of chess where the pieces are mammoth machines of naval warfare, and one move can change the nature of the battlefield. This is the drama currently unfolding in the hallowed halls of the Defence Ministry. Buckle up, as we dive into the depths of a submarine saga that’s got more twists and turns than a spy thriller.

Our tale begins with the Ministry pondering a puzzling predicament: should they amend a hefty contract with a Chinese shipbuilder? You see, it’s been confirmed that the prized undersea vessel in question—a submarine of formidable might—can’t be fancied up with a German diesel engine as initially planned. The gears of bureaucracy turn slowly, and the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) advice was anticipated with bated breath. Alas, when said advice arrived, it was as clear as muddy waters, offering no definitive direction on how to navigate these choppy seas.

Imagine a scene straight out of an absurdist play, with our protagonist, Sutin—let’s call him the Submarine Seeker—declaring that the reply was about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine (pun intended). The enigmatic response from the OAG mirrors another head-scratcher from the Council of State. Once tasked with deciding on a 500 billion baht digital wallet borrowing bonanza, the Council danced around the question with the grace of a ballerina, advising the government to tread the treacherous fiscal waters with extreme caution and to cling to the Financial Discipline Act as their life raft.

Yet, Sutin is not one to be deterred. With the spirit of an admiral, he asserts that the Defence Ministry’s course is clear: regardless of how the currents may shift, the Cabinet’s seal of approval is as vital as the North Star for navigating the sea of red tape. The plot thickens with a dash of international intrigue, as Germany’s stance forbids its engines from powering Chinese military leviathans. Beijing’s counteroffer—a homegrown engine—was cast aside by the discerning Royal Thai Navy, who then flirted with the idea of purchasing a battleship—scratch that, a frigate from China. Yet, that plan hit an iceberg as the financial demands swelled like a tempestuous ocean.

With nary a moment to lose, Sutin muses whether to ask the Cabinet if the 13.5 billion baht deal should be given the gift of time. He’s as sure as a captain at the helm that whatever the decision, it won’t make waves in the ministry’s fiscal forecast for 2024. The funds designated for this underwater behemoth will instead flow into the construction of a submarine port, which promises to be as robust and reliable as any naval stronghold.

Sutin, with the assurance of a seasoned sailor, ensures us that all is not lost—even if the submarine deal vanishes into the ocean depths, the port will stand as a monument to maritime might, ready to welcome other vessels to its versatile docks. After all, the contract for this nautical wonder has been inked in two stages, with the possibility of changing course still on the table, much like a ship adjusting its sails to the capricious winds. The third act of this play—the making of a submarine-exclusive port—remains but a glimmer in the Defence Ministry’s eye, unsigned and full of potential.

So there we have it, a narrative rich with strategic maneuvers and political gambits, where the stakes are high, and the outcomes uncertain. Will the submarines of the Royal Thai Navy glide through the waters with new engines, or will this deal submerge into the annals of ‘what could have been’? Stay tuned, and may your reading journey be as enthralling as the seas are deep.

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