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Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn Challenges Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang on Thailand’s 2025 Military Budget

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In the bustling halls of parliament last Friday, Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang was seen deep in conversation with Pheu Thai Party MPs during a brief respite. The air was thick with anticipation as the opposition party, Move Forward Party (MFP), mounted a formidable challenge to the national defence budget. They argued that the proposed military expenditure did not address the evolving landscape of security threats. The photo, capturing this dynamic exchange by Chanat Katanyu, perfectly encapsulates the tension of the day.

Leading the charge, Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, an MFP list-MP, raised an eyebrow at the 2025 fiscal year’s defence budget. He questioned its potential to truly bolster national security and propel the much-needed reforms. From his viewpoint, the army’s apparent indifference to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was baffling. After all, these modern marvels play a crucial role in military operations, as well as combating drug smuggling and contraband trafficking.

Highlighting a specific point of contention, Wiroj picked apart the 540-million-baht budget allocated for anti-drone systems. According to him, it underscored a glaring misjudgment of current security dynamics. He remarked that the army’s UAV operational policy was drastically lacking in comprehensiveness, raising concerns about its overall readiness and strategy.

Moreover, Wiroj slammed the 550 million baht earmarked for luxury position cars for high-ranking officers, contrasting it sharply with the maintenance budget, which only saw a minimal increase. He demanded answers on why the training budget soared by 582 million baht, especially given the anticipated reduction in conscript numbers for that fiscal year.

The air force was not spared from his scrutiny, either. Wiroj questioned the wisdom behind the air force’s procurement plan for fighter jets, valued at a staggering 19.5 billion baht. He urged the air force to adhere strictly to the offset policy, ensuring that this hefty investment also brought tangible economic benefits to the nation.

Turning the heat up on Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang, Wiroj admonished him for not living up to public expectations. The MFP outright rejected the proposed budget, calling for more justification for such extensive spending.

In response, Mr. Sutin defended the military’s UAV plans, asserting that the armed forces had indeed announced a comprehensive UAV development strategy. He claimed that there were already sufficient strategic UAVs, with capabilities for manufacturing among the armed forces themselves.

He further bolstered his argument by mentioning that the Defence Technology Institute was on the verge of signing agreements with leading Thai and international firms to enhance UAV manufacturing. In a nod toward future-proofing the country’s defence industry, Mr. Sutin revealed plans to establish a cyber-command unit, aiming to strengthen Thailand’s cyber warfare capabilities.


  1. David L June 21, 2024

    Why does Thailand need such a large budget for luxury cars? This is a total waste of taxpayer money!

    • Nina June 21, 2024

      Exactly! They should focus on more important issues like healthcare and education instead.

      • RealTalk_Randy June 21, 2024

        But isn’t national security crucial too? We can’t just ignore it.

      • David L June 21, 2024

        Sure, but luxury cars for officers? That’s clearly excess.

    • Sophia P. June 21, 2024

      Maybe those cars are necessary for high-ranking officials? They do need reliable transportation for important duties.

  2. TigerEye June 21, 2024

    The military needs to modernize, and UAVs are vital. Wiroj has a point about the allocation but let’s not downplay UAVs.

    • AnalyticAndy June 21, 2024

      I agree. Modern threats require modern solutions, but the budget should reflect realistic needs.

    • Nina June 21, 2024

      Modern solutions are important, but aren’t we putting too much into the military at the cost of social programs?

    • TigerEye June 21, 2024

      That’s a fair concern, but security threats are evolving too. Balance is key.

  3. AcademicAbe June 21, 2024

    The focus on UAVs and cyber warfare is prudent. However, transparency in budget allocation is important.

    • SkepticSam June 21, 2024

      Transparency? Good luck with that. Governments rarely are transparent about military spending.

      • AcademicAbe June 21, 2024

        True, but public scrutiny and demands for transparency can push for better governance.

      • David L June 21, 2024

        Sam’s right. They always pass these budgets with minimal transparency.

    • EducatedEmma June 21, 2024

      Public scrutiny must be rigorous. Without it, funds are often misused.

  4. Mikael S June 21, 2024

    Why argue over military budgets when the real issue is the political instability that leads to these budget misallocations in the first place?

    • Lindsey M. June 21, 2024

      Agreed! Political instability is at the root of all these problems.

    • ScholarSam June 22, 2024

      Political instability exacerbates budget misallocation but isn’t the sole cause.

  5. TheObserver June 21, 2024

    Sutin’s defense about UAVs sounds more like an excuse. Where’s the proof of these comprehensive plans?

    • TechieTom June 22, 2024

      Exactly! We need to see actual results, not just hear about ‘plans’.

    • ThinkerTheo June 22, 2024

      What if they are in the early stages? Can’t judge too soon.

    • TheObserver June 22, 2024

      Fair point Theo, but given the past track record, skepticism is justified.

  6. Peachy_Keen June 22, 2024

    I think the allocation to anti-drone systems is necessary. Drones are becoming a huge threat globally.

  7. ConspiracyChris June 22, 2024

    Maybe the military budget is so high because someone’s skimming off the top?

  8. ObjectiveOlivia June 22, 2024

    Wiroj’s criticism about luxury cars and high training budgets is justified. Prioritizing spending seems off.

    • MilitaryMike June 22, 2024

      High training budgets aren’t necessarily bad. Better training means better readiness.

    • ObjectiveOlivia June 22, 2024

      Yes, but why the disparity between luxury expenses and critical operational needs?

  9. Merely_M June 22, 2024

    Are these investments in cyber warfare really helping? Or just a waste like the rest of the budget?

    • CyberCarl June 22, 2024

      Cyber warfare capabilities are essential in today’s digital age.

    • TechSavvySarah June 22, 2024

      I think they have potential, but implementation must be transparent and effective.

    • GeekyGlen June 22, 2024

      Absolutely necessary. The biggest threats aren’t always physical nowadays.

  10. Jackie23 June 22, 2024

    Doesn’t all this spending on military make us look aggressive? Can’t we allocate more to peaceful initiatives?

    • PeaceLoverPat June 22, 2024

      That’s a valid concern. Too much military spending can provoke neighboring countries.

    • DefenderDan June 22, 2024

      But being underprepared isn’t an option. Deterrence is part of defense.

  11. Lisa M June 22, 2024

    Wiroj’s scrutiny is important, but how can we ensure it brings actual change?

    • Victor June 22, 2024

      Accountability in governance needs to be strengthened, otherwise, it’s all noise.

  12. YoungYing June 22, 2024

    Investment in military tech can also boost civilian sectors if done correctly.

    • CynicalCynthia June 22, 2024

      That’s a nice thought, but rarely happens in reality.

  13. Rick S June 22, 2024

    I think both sides have valid points. Finding a balanced budget is challenging.

    • BalancedBob June 22, 2024

      Absolutely, and often the compromise leaves no one satisfied.

  14. InquisitiveIda June 22, 2024

    Is there any oversight on how this budget is implemented?

  15. CriticalKatherine June 22, 2024

    Without more public pressure, these budgets will continue to be mismanaged.

  16. CuriousCasey June 22, 2024

    Could greater public involvement in defense spending decisions help?

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