PM insists mandatory conscription is still needed

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday reaffirmed the need to retain the mandatory conscription for Thai male adults as soldiers form an indispensable force in time of crisis or emergency.

He was speaking a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting in response to criticism that mandatory conscription should be scrapped as there is no need of conscripts. All Thai men are legally required to go through the annual conscription process. Lot drawing has been the method used to determine who are to be conscripted.

Defending the mandatory conscription, the prime minister said that soldiers have several roles besides defending the country. He said soldiers are necessary in time of crisis as government agencies don’t have enough manpower to deal with such situation.

He said that the living conditions of conscripts now are much better off than they were in the past, with each of them now being paid 8,000-9,000 baht a month which is equivalent to the daily minimum wage of 300 baht, better living condition and better food.

He claimed that in some areas, the number of men who volunteer to be conscripted is more than required.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)