They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:4 & Micah 4:3
The Thai military budget has risen substantially since the 2006 coup (the budget before the coup was 86 billion Baht) though the recent announcement of a reduction of the budget from 171 billion Baht to 151 billion Baht (about US$4.97 billion) means that the Army will have to suspend the 3.89 billion Baht purchase of another lot of 89 armored personnel carriers (APCs) from the Ukraine. However, it seems most of the cut will be simply from the delaying the purchase of the second set of 6 Gripen fighter jets worth 15 billion Baht from Sweden.
Taxes on alcohol (other than lao khao) , tobacco, and petrol continue to climb and the government has introduced the country’s first property, land, and inheritance tax legislation.
A new golf course in Hua Hin might help in solving these problems and the good folks at the Army Welfare Office who maintain Suan Son Pradiphat, seem willing to oblige (beat their APCs into golf clubs?). Behind the tattered azure curtain along the highway south of town you can observe the earth moving equipment hard at work.
No details on who’s designing the course or when it will open but the work is fast and furious so it shouldn’t be too long. It is a great location and very convenient for those staying at the Banyan.
Perhaps the revenues will go towards reducing Thailand’s 58 state enterprises ease their liquidity problems.