Thai Intel was contacted by several soldiers who said they represents a group of Thai rank and files soldiers who said they wanted bonus first, and submarine second. Yingluck, the Prime Minister and also Defense Minister, is increasingly under pressure, to the demand of Thailand’s defense establishment to allocate funds to buy submarines, as local press even reports that the Thai navy has built a submarine base and have trained soldiers to operate submarines. The group of soldiers told Thai Intel, that for the past few years, the normal year end bonus to soldiers were discontinued, for a variety of factors, with the year end bonus, amounting to only about US$100 to 200 for the typical rank and files soldiers. “The rank and files soldiers are already paid very little salary a month and we depend on the year end bonus for a little break from it all,” said a rank and file soldier to Thai Intel. He said the Thai military should think about the well being of soldiers before thinking of acquiring the multi US$ billion submarine fleet for Thailand. “As a soldier, we are dedicated to safe-guarding Thailand security and wants the best equipment to accomplish the task, but the bonus is very important to our morale. We feel as if the Thai military places more importance on equipment, than the soldiers who will be operating the equipment,” said the soldier.
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