The flexibility of the sufficiency economy concept took centre stage yesterday in the king’s annual birthday address. The latter sections of the king’s talk were devoted to proposals for the purchase of high-cost military hardware. The Thai military, not content with the 60 percent budget increase they have already received from their puppet government, are now lobbying for a massive 300 billion baht input of funds over the next 10 years. Their lobbying has obviously borne rich fruit. While the king expressed reservations about some proposed purchases (the coast guard vessel on order is not big enough and a submarine may not be appropriate) his overall message was that a cashed up Thai government should open its coffers to the army, navy and airforce:
Now we are rich. The baht is over priced. So lets use it, use it as we should. …. The government, the country, the people have lots of money. So lets use it. … Sufficiency – if you have money you have to use it. If you have money there is no need to be stingy. Just buy it. Boats or tanks, just buy them.