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Defence minister denies appointing Shinawatra family members

Written by World Events

Thailand’s new defence minister Sutin Klungsang denied a report today (Sunday) that he has appointed two members of the Shinawatra family as his chief advisor and secretary.

The report was based on a leaked defence minister order, appointing six individuals to his staff, including Payap Shinawatra, younger brother of former prime minister Thaksin as chief of his advisors, and Porpong, Payap’s son, as his secretary. The order on which the report was based was not, however, signed.

In his Facebook post today, Sutin claimed that the order is a fake, adding that he had not made any appointments at all because he has no authority to do so, until after the delivery of the government’s policy statement to parliament tomorrow.

Yesterday, Sutin attended a workshop on “Thailand’s security under the new world order and geo-politics”, held at Rangsit University.

During the workshop, the defence minister said that he had met with several former defence ministers and others to get their perspectives on national security. From the National Security Council he came to the understanding that national security is defined as a fight against social conflict, lack of trust in political institutions, environmental imbalance, epidemics, unrest in three southern provinces, terrorism, multinational crime, illegal narcotics, poverty and illegal immigrants.

He also said that, in his opinion, the Thai military must reduce the procurement of armaments. He cited the purchase of submarines from China, saying that the Royal Thai Navy should scrap the contract or ask for surface ships instead if the submarines are not equipped with German-made engines, as stipulated in the contract.

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