January 27, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases worldwide exceeded 100 million, and the death toll exceeded 2.15 million. Although international vaccine research and development have made great progress, due to many factors, the world seems to be generally slow to move on vaccination.
If the people cannot be vaccinated as soon as possible, the further spread of the epidemic will inevitably be inevitable.
Thailand, as an “top student” in Southeast Asia’s anti-epidemic, has also faced serious challenges in the escalation of the epidemic recently.
Grey industries such as illegal workers in Myanmar and Luo Yong underground casino have led to the spread of the epidemic.
As of January 29, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thailand reached 16,221.
In the face of the deteriorating situation, the Thai government, which has not yet obtained a vaccine, has no choice but to use administrative means to strengthen prevention.
This provides an excuse for the opposition to attack the government.
The former leader of the New Future Party, Tanatton, fiercely criticized the government’s inaction in vaccine policy and sharply exposed the Thai government’s use of cooperation with AstraZeneca to pay taxes to the people to channel benefits to royal holding companies.
Tanaton’s “reveal of the secret” was like a shocking stone.
It quickly fermented in Thailand, triggering a fierce reaction from the government and the opposition, with a large number of supporters and opponents, reflecting the polar tearing of Thai society.
Tanatton: Prayut government “manuishes plank road, darken warehouse”
As we all know, since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Thai government’s anti-epidemic achievements have been remarkable, and it has maintained zero growth in infection cases for several months.
Even the opposition continues to hold large-scale rallies, which is safe and sound.
However, since the end of November last year, the second wave of the epidemic has suddenly hit, and confirmed cases have appeared in many places.
Although the Thai government has taken timely measures, the public officials exposed such as knowing that the law is breaking the law and the collusion between officials and businessmen have questioned the credibility of the government.
In order to save the trust of the people and stabilize their ruling position, Prime Minister Prayut, Vice Premier Anut and other senior government officials have informed the public of the government’s various measures and important progress in the coronavirus vaccine on different occasions, cheering up the people who are constantly in anxiety.
In November 2020, the Thai government announced in a high-profile way that it had reached an agreement with the international biological industry giant AstraZeneca to establish a vaccine production base in Thailand using the latest technology of the University of Cambridge’s coronavirus vaccine, planning an annual output of 200 million units to supply the Thai government at a low price while radiating the whole Southeast Asian region.
The specific company that cooperates with AstraZeneca is a pharmaceutical company called Siam BioSci.
According to the disclosure of the Thai government in early January 2021, production is currently advancing in an orderly manner, and the 26 million vaccines scheduled by the Thai government are scheduled to be delivered in May.
However, Tanatton, an influential anti-government politician among the people and former leader of the New Future Party, pointed out in a live webcast speech on January 18 that the government’s so-called Thai-British vaccine cooperation hidden shocking secrets, shocking the whole country.
On the same day, Tanaton, as the chairman of the Forward League, conducted a game called “Royal Vaccine: Who Makes Profit?” through his personal Facebook account. Who suffers?” Live broadcast of
He pointed out that vaccines are of great significance for Thailand’s recovery of economic growth and social stability. If the people can be vaccinated as soon as possible, the country can be opened to welcome tourists as soon as possible, and the economy can quickly stabilize and recover.
However, compared with Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia in Southeast Asia, the Thai government has two major problems with vaccines: First, it is slow to move.
Due to the extreme scarcity of the coronavirus vaccine, many countries began to negotiate the purchase of vaccines as early as the first half of 2020, and the vaccines of major manufacturers around the world have long been booked out.
Although the Thai government promised to vaccinate the people free of charge, no vaccine has been obtained so far. Even if 2 million Chinese Kexing vaccines have been urgently purchased, it will cover only 1 million people, and it will not start to vaccinate the people until March at the earliest.
AstraZeneca’s 26 million vaccines were delivered later. The slow action of the Thai government directly affects the recovery process of Thailand’s economy.
The second is to put a desperate bet. The Thai government has always pinned its hopes for a coronavirus vaccine on its cooperation with AstraZeneca, and has hardly considered vaccines from other countries. This is in sharp contrast to the practice of other countries.
For example, Malaysia has cooperated with vaccine suppliers such as Pfizer, Modena, AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom, Beijing Kexing in China, etc. At present, the total number of vaccines purchased can cover 71% of the population.
The Philippines has purchased enough vaccines from AstraZeneca and Beijing Kexing, respectively. Tanaton believes that the vast majority of countries in the world will not put eggs in the same basket, but will take diversified measures to seek vaccines to reduce risks, which is extremely dangerous for the Thai government.
After that, Tana explained to the audience the real motive behind this dangerous act of the Thai government, and pushed the live speech to a climax.
He believes that the reason why the Thai government does not consider vaccines from other countries is to take this opportunity to channel huge profits to Siam Biotechnology Co., Ltd., a private enterprise.
Why does the government support a private enterprise to cooperate with an international biological industry giant like AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom? Why does the government not only firmly support the enterprise in policy, but also allocate 600 million tbillion to improve the production conditions of the enterprise to meet the British requirements?
Tanatung said that in the final analysis, there is only one most reasonable explanation for all this: Siam Biotech Company is a wholly-owned company of King Rama X, and what the government does is completely public and private, which conveys benefits to the royal family.
According to the survey of Qianjin Group, Siam Biotechnology Co., Ltd. was established in 2009 with a registered capital of 4.8 billion Thai baht.
It is a pharmaceutical company that has never been involved in vaccine research and development and production.
Siam Biotech Company is responsible for undertaking technology transfer from AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom and carrying out production under the guidance of the United Kingdom. Another company called APEXCELA specializes in sales. Both companies are located in the Xizun Lhasa Building in Bangkok.
The most critical point is that the actual controllers of Siam Biotechnology Co., Ltd., APEXCELA and Xizun Lhasa Building are King Rama X Wajilalongkorn.
After investigation, Tanaton also found that since its establishment, Siam Biotech Company, including many of its subsidiaries, has lost money for years and has never made a profit. Siam Biotechnology Co., Ltd. alone has a cumulative loss of 581 million Thai baht.
Tanatone asserted that the company’s operation has failed from beginning to end, and the Thai government tried to take advantage of the opportunity of working with British companies to help it “turn over the salted fish”.
Obviously, Siam Biotech companies can not only obtain technology transfer from AstraZeneca, but also become a global reputation as a vaccine manufacturer.
In addition, 200 million vaccines are produced and sold every year, which is profitable and receives huge financial support from the Thai government. It can be said that the benefits are killing more than one stone.
However, due to the delay in vaccination time, the people can only live in panic every day. The national economy has stalled and the people’s lives are difficult.
Tanatton concluded his speech by questioning Prayut’s government whether Prayut government can assume this responsibility if there is a problem with the vaccine produced by Siam Biotechnology Co., Ltd. and the Thai government does not have other alternative options?
Thai government hits back fiercely, accusing Tanaton of “contempt for the monarch”
Tanaton bombarded the royal family and the government, which aroused a strong response in Thai society. On January 19, Thai Prime Minister Prayut angrily said: “Tanaton’s words about the ‘royal vaccine’ are completely distorting the facts!” On the same day, he also participated in the exhibition of scientific and technological innovation achievements sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology Innovation.
In front of the garbage classification technology booth, Prayut said to the live media in a punt way: “Now that there is enough garbage caused by the novel coronavirus, don’t make other garbage, such as ‘social garbage’.” Everyone present understands the gods and smiles without saying a word.
Anutsting, the deputy prime minister and minister of public health directly responsible for vaccine work, reacted even more strongly. In an interview, he said with a blue face: Tanatone should not talk nonsense until he knew the truth.
The king devoted himself to the people and worked hard and contributed a large number of anti-epidemic materials to the country, but Tanatone was not grateful at all.
Instead, he linked the vaccine with politics and played the topic. He also quoted the traditional Thai saying “(when rowing) don’t row with your hands, but don’t block the water with your feet”, criticizing Tanatun for not only not contributing, but also making trouble from it.
Dr. Nakon Bansi, director of the National Vaccine Institute under the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, explained to the public the context of the cooperation between Thailand’s Siam Biotechnology Company and AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom from a professional perspective.
He said that Thailand’s Siam Cement Group (SCG), which is also a royal industry, has always had a cooperative relationship with Cambridge University. When it was learned that AstraZeneca used Cambridge University vaccine technology to produce vaccines, Siam Cement Group urged AstraZeneca and the Thai government to reach a cooperation.
AstraZeneca has conducted qualification research on many pharmaceutical companies in Thailand to achieve the goal of localized production of vaccines in important regions of the world. Due to the particularity of the coronavirus vaccine, the production conditions are extremely harsh, and AstraZeneca requires partners to have the ability to produce 200 million vaccines a year before considering it.
Among many enterprises, only Siamese creatures meet their requirements. Therefore, it is not the Thai government that requires Siam Biotechnology to cooperate with AstraZeneca, but that other enterprises are not eligible, and even pharmaceutical companies under the Ministry of Health of Thailand are not enough to undertake such an important task.
In addition, there are other vaccine manufacturers in Southeast Asia that want to qualify as a regional partner of AstraZeneca. However, with the strong support of the Thai government, AstraZeneca believes that Siamese biology is more powerful.
While the Thai government fiercely responded to Thanatton, it also took legal measures to prosecute him.
On January 20, Thailand’s Minister of Socio-economic Electronic Information Putipong appointed Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Assistant Tosapon and Su Peng, the Permanent Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, to prosecute the police against Tanatonic’s so-called “royal vaccine”, accusing Tanatsun of violating article 112 of the Criminal Code (i.e. “contempt for the monarch”) and the Electricity Brain method.
Tosapeng said that 11 of Tanatone’s speeches led the people to receive misinformation, thus misunderstanding the royal family, which will certainly have an immeasurable negative impact and lead to people’s distrust of the government’s anti-epidemic work. In the future, the Thai government will use legal weapons against those who publish similar false information on the Internet.
Tanatone continues to attack the government, but the social response is polarized.
Despite the Thai government’s strong response and the prosecution of Tanatun under article 112 of the Criminal Code, Tanatton refused to forgive, publicly responded to the government’s criticism, and continued to attack the government.
On January 21, he held a press conference at the headquarters of the Forward Mission and broadcast it live online. He stressed that the mistakes and inefficiencies of Prayut government’s work on the coronavirus vaccine are obvious and undeniable facts.
Vaccines are like “a ray of light at the exit of the tunnel”. Due to the inaction of the government, the country’s economy is hopeless, and the Thai people will still live in dark tunnels.
In addition to criticizing the inefficiency of the government, he reiterated his strong doubts about the private use of government power and the transmission of benefits to Siam Biotech companies controlled by the King.
He asked the government to immediately disclose all contractual agreements related to the cooperation between Siam Biotechnology Co., Ltd. and AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom, and be subject to review and supervision.
Regarding his experience, he said that looking back on the past, Prayut always used the royal family as a shield. Anyone who criticizes the government, Prayut will definitely be loyal to the royal family and defended, accusing him of irreverence to the royal family and trying to cover up his mistakes and inefficiency. Because of this, people increasingly have doubts about the royal family.
Finally, he also asked Thai society a question. Does questioning and criticism of the Prayut government mean that he is not loyal to the royal family and hostile to the royal family?
Biyab, Tanatton’s partner and former secretary-general of the New Future Party, firmly supported Tanatin’s remarks. He also put forward the view that in order to maintain the king’s supremacy, the king must not really govern the country or allow the king to do business.
Because once there is real power, it will be subject to censorship and supervision, and it may be criticized.
If you do business, you will be prosecuted for commercial reasons. Therefore, we must adhere to the principle that “The king can do no wrong”, because “The king can do nothing”.
If the prime minister or minister of the government always use the king as a shield and criticizes the critics as “unfaithful to the king”, then why do we need to form an elected government? Are these prime ministers or ministers officials of democratic government or ministers under the absolute monarchy?
However, Tanatone’s remarks also attracted criticism from all walks of life.
Gong Chadikawani, the former finance minister under the Abhisit government and now leader of the Brave Party, believes that it is very proud that Thailand’s Siam Biotech Company can become a partner of AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom and a production base in Southeast Asia, all thanks to the founder of Siam Bio-La King of King Bhumibol of Maca IX and King Rama X who carried it forward. In the current crisis, Tanaton links the vaccine problem to politics, which is very out of place and will discourage doctors on the front line and others.
Nantiva, the former deputy director of the National Intelligence Office, posted on his personal Facebook account for two consecutive days to criticize Tanatone. He pointed out: If Tanatton just wants to criticize the ineffectiveness of the government’s vaccine procurement measures, why must he involve the royal family?
Moreover, Siam Bio Company was established by King Bhumibol during his lifetime to develop drugs for the Thai people without relying on foreign countries.
It doesn’t matter who Siamese creatures cooperate with. What matters is that Thais have vaccines to use. They are the only countries in the ASEAN region that can produce vaccines.
Moreover, Tanatone’s so-called year-old losses are actually the initiative of Siam Bios. King Bhumibol said that the loss of Siam Biocompany is to make money, and the money lost by the company is the profit of the people.
Siam Biotech Company is in excellent condition. British companies are not blind and will never choose companies that do not have enough capacity to produce and supply vaccines in the ASEAN region.
In addition, many well-known doctors and well-known media people have also spoken one after another, criticizing Tanatone for playing politics with the topic of vaccines, and seeking political interests for himself.
For example, the famous media person Sonti Lin Tongyu quoted Professor Yong Pworawan of the School of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University and criticized Tanatone for being “stupid”. He pointed out that Thailand’s anti-epidemic achievements are remarkable, and the epidemic is not serious.
Therefore, before the effectiveness of the global vaccine is confirmed, it can be observed calmly for a period of time without bidding other countries and eager to vaccinate the people. Moreover, he believes that the cooperation between Siam Biocompany and AstraZeneca is beneficial to the Thai people.
Multiple considerations of the single vaccine program of the Thai government
As of the author’s writing, the Tanatone shelling vaccine incident has been fermenting for ten days. During these ten days, Tanaton has been verbally attacking the government through the Internet, insisting on requiring the government to disclose relevant contract documents.
The Far Progressive Party, which is preparing to debate the distrust of cabinet members, also actively cooperated with Tanatone in the parliamentary struggle, ciding Prime Minister Prayut on the grounds of the government’s inefficacy in vaccines.
And Vice Premier Anutin, who is in charge of vaccine work, also showed no weakness. He published articles on personal social media one after another to explain the rationality of the government’s behavior and prove his innocence.
At the same time, perhaps due to Tanatone’s increased public criticism of the delay in the government’s vaccine program, the Thai government accelerated the certification of AstraZeneca vaccine and urgently purchased 150,000 vaccines from AstraZeneca for priority to high-risk groups.
Moreover, Prime Minister Prayut also said that he would consider liberalizing the possibility of private medical institutions importing vaccines themselves.
The author believes that there are indeed some risks that the Thai government places all its hopes on the cooperation between Siam Biotech and AstraZeneca in vaccine procurement.
Recently, AstraZeneca announced that due to the decline in production capacity at a production base, the number of vaccines supplied to the EU in the first quarter has been significantly reduced from the original promised 80 million to 31 million doses, and the delivery volume has been reduced by 60%.
At present, the vaccine market is the seller’s market, and it is impossible to buy a vaccine without booking in advance.
There are many uncertainties in the production of the coronavirus vaccine. Once the production chain of Siam Biotech companies has problems, resulting in normal production, the Thai government will face a very embarrassing and dangerous situation.
However, conversely, the good intentions of the Thai government should also be understood.
In the past year, the Thai government has encountered many crises. It should not only organize anti-epidemic, but also prevent protests, and solve the problem of food and clothing for the people.
Therefore, in terms of vaccines, the Thai government hopes to take this opportunity to reverse the situation and kill more birds with one stone. For example,
The image of the government can be improved with the help of vaccine projects.
Working with AstraZeneca to localize vaccine production and use it as the main source channel of vaccines can reduce the cost of vaccines and get vaccines for free for all after purchase at a lower price, making a record.
As the only local vaccine producer supplier in the Southeast Asian region, Thailand can also sell vaccines to neighboring countries while meeting the injection needs of its people, enhancing its influence in the Southeast Asian region and enhancing the image of the royal family.
In the past six months, the image of the royal family has been greatly damaged under the influence of anti-royal protests, and there is an urgent need for some very outstanding political achievements to boost the people’s respect and trust in the royal family.
If the wholly-owned holding company of the royal family can become the “savior” of the whole people, the royal reputation and image will naturally be improved.
In any case, vaccine is a livelihood project, but also a popular project. For the Prayut government, which has been criticized for its participation in the gray interest chain, it is only allowed to win but not lose.
We don’t know whether Premier Prayut, the “hero of anti-epidemic”, can successfully solve the vaccine problem and tide over the current difficulties this time. Let’s wait and see.