Army Puts Truck Fleet on Standby, Anticipating Truckers Strike

The Royal Thai Army’s (RTA) First Division of the Royal Guards has designated a 34-truck fleet and drivers’ group to assist with cargo transport if there’s another strike over the diesel’s price.

The temporary measure responds to the government’s need to alleviate difficulties related to truck delivery services’ interruption after Thailand’s Land Transport Federation said it would take concrete action to pressure authorities to limit the diesel’s price to 25 baht per liter.

The government has resisted demands from truck drivers, arguing that it has used a substantial amount of money to keep the diesel’s price at 30 baht/liter, below the current market price of 34 baht/liter.

However, the Thai Liberal Party (Seri Ruam Thai)’s leader Seripisut Temiyavet questioned the initiative proposed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha earlier this week, arguing that it would not be effective because it does not address the problem’s root cause.

Solving the issue under that approach paves the way for misuse of public funds and corruption, Mr. Seripisut stated, adding that he doubts the military’s transparency in using funds to acquire too many trucks.

Moreover, the parliament’s anti-corruption committee chairman said the army’s involvement in delivering cargo might violate the Constitution even if it is only part of a contingency plan to alleviate the sector’s difficulties. It could prevent the state from doing related business with the private sector, he went on.

Mr. Seripisut also asked the government why the fuel’s price was expensive in the country, considering that it has several oil rigs in the Gulf of Thailand.