Saving lives VS Saving faces, special privileges, and bureaucratic red tapes

Vaccine shortage. People dying. General Prayut Chan-o-cha holds emergency power. Chulabhorn Royal Academy gets special power to procure vaccines.

If the offer of 20 million doses of Sinopham is authentic and is deliverable within two weeks, then General Prayut should use his power and make it happen. After all, saving lives is more important than saving faces, special privileges, and bureaucratic red tapes, right?

On 27 March, Accap Assets Ltd, the local representative of Tellus Agrotech PTE, Ltd, sent a letter to Doctor Nithi Mahanonda, Secretary-General of Chulabhorn Royal Academy.

The letter stated the company had procured 20 million doses of Sinopham for the Thai government deliverable within two weeks. But the company claimed it has not been able to reach anybody in government. As usual, social media went nuts.

By evening time on the same day, the Prime Minister Office’s spokesperson Anucha Buraphachaisri stated Accap is a real estate company. Therefore, it is not licensed to import vaccines. He insisted that upon internal inquiries, the company never contacted the government.

Doctor Nithi himself posted his doubts about whether Accap is a legitimate distributor of Sinopham. He said the company should go through proper government channels. He asked for criticisms to stop because the people have suffered enough.

Meanwhile, the 26 May Royal Gazette announced that a special power had been granted to Chulabhorn Royal Academy. The Academy may procure vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic directly. (Which explains why Accap contacted Doctor Nithi directly.)

On the pages of Thailand Vision and Top NEWs FC, the people cry out in gratitude; once again, the monarchy is saving us.

When asked about the announcement, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he only found out at the same time as everyone else.

As usual, Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krea-ngam said, “It’s fine.”

“This is emergency power as there’s vaccine shortage.”

The deputy prime minister explained that the Academy doesn’t have the credentials to import vaccines directly. Therefore the announcement was made to let the public know that the Academy now has the credentials.

There you have it, just another day in the Land of Dazed and Confused.

Chulabhorn Royal Academy plans an announcement later today (28 May) to further clarify the situation.

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